A new brand of tequila has made an appearance in Albuquerque liquor stores: JLP Tequila. Named for the former governor of the Villa of Tequila, Jesus Lopez Portillo Y Galindo, JLP is a mid-range tequila will run you about $20-30, and it’s made from 100% agave. I tried all 3 of the varieties: Blanco (unaged), Reposado (aged 6 months), and Añejo (aged 12 months), and I’m pretty impressed. While it has been widely available in California, JLP is new to New Mexico.
First, an explanation about the two types of tequila manufacture. Tequila is distilled from agave, just like some whiskey is distilled from corn, but there are 2 different ways of processing it from there: 100% agave or mixto. 100% agave is the most pure type, with no added ingredients. A mixto uses at least 51% agave, then sugars are used to make up the remainder of the mixture. This would expain why 100% agave tequilas start at $20, but a bottle of Jose Cuervo is $13. It’s a mixto.
The older a tequila is, the less appropriate it is for cocktails, so I made a margarita with the JLP Blanco and found that it made an outstanding margarita, one of the best I’ve ever had. It’s a very smooth tequila and the muggyness that tequila is famous for is a bit more subtle.
Tasting it in a glass by itself, the JLP Añejo is very smooth, highlighted by an outstanding peppery/chili finish. The middle child, JLP Reposado, is a fine tequila for a Tequila Old Fashioned:
Tequila Old Fashioned
- in an old fashioned glass, add:
- 1 tsp of raw sugar
- 3 dashes of orange bitters
- 2 oz of JLP Reposado Tequila
- fill with ice and stir well
- garnish with a lime wedge