Tag Archives: tequila

Hornitos Plata and Hornitos Reposado

hornitos reposado and plata

Over half a century ago on Mexican Independence Day (September 16), Don Francisco Javier Sauza (yeah that聽same Sauza), created Hornitos聽tequila,聽an aromatic 100% blue agave experience that’s sweet and calming with a little bit of bite.

Hornitos Plata. This is Hornitos’ unaged tequila (“plata” is聽Spanish for聽silver). Plata has never聽made contact with wood barrels, so it’s聽a clear tequila. Because of聽its young age, Plata is聽more of an herbal and floral experience in the聽smell and taste. This is agave at its purest: very sweet, crisp and clean.

Hornitos Reposado. This “rested” tequila has聽an aromatic rush of blue agave, unexpected and exciting. The sting in the air that is immediately present in the nose of聽other tequilas is non-existent here. Instead, a sweet, calming waft of blue agave gets聽your attention.聽The flavor is mellow and very smooth, with a聽bit of聽welcome spice. Not a tequila I would associate with taking shots, Hornitos Reposado is smooth enough to聽sip, and enjoy the warmth in your chest of聽a nice, aged tequila.

Hornitos Reposado will run you聽$25 and Hornitos聽Plata, $20. The flavors of both are subtle, and though they’d be fine cocktail tequilas, I will likely enjoy聽Hornitos聽Reposado more often聽as a sipping tequila. The Plata is聽a little more聽floral and herbal than I’d prefer.

Tequila Avi贸n

Tequila Avi贸n

Tequila Avi贸n gets much of its reputation as the “tequila from Entourage,” which was apparently a sweet unpaid buddy deal. As I’ve yet to see Entourage, I just know Avi贸n based on this tasting. Avi贸n is available in Silver, Reposado, and A帽ejo varieties, with this A帽ejo clocking in at 2 years old.

Tasted alone, all three of these tequilas are world-class. There is a soapy note particularly in the Silver and A帽ejo varieties, as well as a bit of fruitiness in the Silver as well, and I’m sure it’s an outstanding mixer as a result. For a sipping tequila, the Reposado and A帽ejo are both great, but are significantly different from each other. The Reposado has a spicy woodyness that puts it more in line with whiskeys, and the A帽ejo is a smooth, mellow, subtler version of the the Silver.

avion autumn apple

Avi贸n has a really good collection of recipes on their site, and I found one that looked the best for a Fall drink: The Avi贸n Autumn Apple. I modified it just a bit for my own palate, so here’s my take on their recipe, which is high on the juice and pretty low on alcohol, so this would be a great party punch too:

  • 1 oz Avi贸n Reposado
  • 2 oz apple juice or cider
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • serve over ice in a collins glass
  • garnish with an apple slice

JLP Tequila

jlp anejo tequila

A new brand of tequila has made an appearance in Albuquerque liquor stores:聽JLP Tequila. Named for the former governor of the Villa of Tequila,聽Jesus Lopez Portillo Y Galindo, JLP is聽a mid-range tequila will run you about $20-30,聽and it’s made from 100% agave.聽I tried all 3 of the varieties: Blanco (unaged), Reposado (aged 6 months), and A帽ejo (aged 12 months), and I’m pretty impressed. 聽While it has been widely聽available聽in California, JLP is new to New Mexico.

First, an聽explanation聽about the two types of tequila聽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聽mixto. 聽100% agave is the most pure type, with no added ingredients. A聽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. 聽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 聽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聽tequila聽is famous for is a bit more subtle.

Tasting it in a glass by itself, the JLP A帽ejo 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聽raw sugar
    • 3 dashes of orange bitters
    • 2 oz of JLP Reposado Tequila
  • fill with ice and stir well
  • garnish with a lime wedge


Mango-Ice Margaritas

mango ice margaritas

This recipe is a minor variation on the margarita for the summertime.聽 First, puree mangoes with a bit of water and freeze the results in ice trays overnight.聽 Using the “mango ice” instead of regular ice, build your margarita.

Mango Ice Margarita

  • 1 1/2 oz of tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • on the mango rocks in a salt-rimmed glass
  • no garnish (it distracts from the cool yellow cubes)

Now, recently, I’ve begun doing something to my margaritas that people say has made them even better.聽 I add 1-2 ox of club soda/seltzer water on top and give it a stir.聽 It mellows out the pungent nature of tequila and makes a more refreshing drink anyway, and in this one, it helps break down the mango cubes.聽 You’ll want to let this one sit at the table before your guests start sipping so that the mango can get all sloshy in there.聽 The mango flavor will be subtle, and not overpowering.


mango ice margaritas

Absolutely Perfect Margarita


Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz of tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • on the rocks in a salt-rimmed glass
  • lime wedge garnish

So how’s that “perfect?”聽 The ingredient list is simple, but like I say in the book, quality is the key with all cocktails, so here’s what I used:

Lime juice must be fresh-squeezed.聽 I used course Himalayan Pink salt to rim the glass because it tastes really good and looks unique.聽 (Insert joke about manliness here)

hornitos reposado

I used Hornitos Reposado Tequila. A simple lesson in tequila types: blanco tequilas are unaged and so they’re the most pungent.聽 Reposado tequilas are aged 2-12 months to they are smoother, and anejo tequilas are aged from 1 to 3 years, so they’re smooth, the tequila equivalent to scotch.聽 Make sure it’s 100% agave tequila – that’s the only kind to use.

Hornitos Reposado is the best tequila I’ve tried so far, compared to Trader Joe’s brand 100% agave and 1800 Blanco.聽 It’s the smoothest and has the best flavor.

3 ingredients will help you make an absolutely perfect Margarita.聽 Simple!