Tag Archives: cactus juice cocktail

Cactus Juice

espelon tequila and cactus juice cocktail

It’s going to be a little hard to hold this one in, because I discovered one of the best tequila cocktails I’ve ever tried. Stay tuned for the recipe – first, let’s talk about Espoln Tequila.

Espoln is a 20-year-old tequila brand and produces the typical blanco/reposado/aejo portfolio of tequilas, but we’ll focus on Espoln聽Aejo for two reasons. First, it’s only recently available in the United States (you won’t yet find it on the company’s website, in fact). Second, the聽aejo’s aging is finished in Wild Turkey聽bourbon barrels. While bourbon barrels are not uncommon for tequila aging, I suppose the specificity of the fact that these are in聽Wild Turkey barrels makes it all the more interesting to me.

Espoln聽Aejo, at $35 a bottle, is a really nice experience. Many a tequila maker is trying to sway the reputation of their product from the “shooter” market, and highlighting the quality you’ll find in a fine聽tequila, and this is one of those. This is not a muggy, sour tequila experience, and while you will certainly taste tequila in your glass of聽Espoln聽Aejo, this is much more of an oaky, crisp, smooth-drinking experience. I replaced my nightly glass of whiskey with it for a few days, and found it to be an equivalent experience, though somehow wetter and more refreshing than the brashness (not an insult) of whiskey.

So here’s the deal: a quality aged tequila聽is different than even a quality unaged tequila, and your cocktail recipes should reflect that. I found the following recipe, which contains a small amount of the Scotch-based liqueur Drambuie,聽and between聽Drambuie’s smokiness and the grittiness of the granulated sugar, this is a very tasty cocktail to drink with an aejo tequila, particularly one with whiskey elements聽like聽Espoln聽Aejo. Try it out:

Cactus Juice

  • in a shaker, combine:
  • 1 1/2 oz Espoln聽Aejo
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Drambuie
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • shake with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass on the rocks
  • garnish with a lemon slice

We make Cactus Juice on the Simple Cocktails Podcast. Listen here.