Tequila is another one of those brands that can split opinion right down the middle. As explained when i touched on blended whisky, stigma seems to carry most onto the trend that tequila is there to be slammed down with some salt, lemon and lime. Well i couldn’t agree more. It’s traditional to mask the taste of tequila with citrus and salt just to make the experience more palatable. But what you shoot in the bars and pubs is not the good stuff, and in good stuff i mean made using 100% blue agave. To non-tequila fans that means nothing, but a staple in the tequila world in Don Julio is more than happy to show the way.
The journey of creating Don Julio is a process in that each bottle consists of 100% pure blue Weber agave plants from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. Each plant is allowed to grow for seven to ten years before being harvested which develops its unique flavour for Don Julio. Aged in American white-oak barrels, Don Julio has been able to create the worlds first luxury tequila. And it all came about due to one man.
Don Julio is named after its founder, Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada, who began distilling tequila in 1942 at age 17. Gonzalez-Frausto established his own distillery, La Primavera in Jalisco, Mexico, and spent the next 40 years improving his craft. In 1985, Don Julio González-Frausto celebrated his 60th Birthday, with his sons commemorating the date by creating a Tequila in his name, Don Julio. After guests enquired if it will be available for sale and following the sheer popularity of the tequila in Guadalajara and neighbouring cities, they decided to launch the tequila in 1987.
So a relatively new tequila, created essentially as a birthday present. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on each expression that I’ve been lucky enough to experience –
Don Julio Blanco – 38%
Soft notes of citrus and lime on the nose that develops into a smooth offering on the palate. Quite light to begin but has a heavier finish with hints of pepper lingering.
Don Julio Reposado – 38%
Barrel aged for 8 months. Soft lemon and fruit aromas on the nose followed by delicate hit of spice. Very soft on the palate with vanilla and cinnamon mixing well. Sweet ending.
As you can imagine, the versatility of Don Julio can also rack up some impressive cocktails –
30 ml Don Julio Reposado
60 ml Grapefruit Juice
Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
Salt Rim (optional)
Combine Don Julio Reposado and grapefruit juice in an ice-filled highball glass. Top with a splash of lemon-lime soda and garnish with a lime slice. Salt rim optional.
Blanco Lxury Margarita
50 ml Chilled Don Julio Blanco
20 ml Agave Nectar
20 ml Fresh Lime Juice
Mix Don Julio Blanco, agave nectar and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with a lime twist.
The great thing about Don Julio is that its versatility doesn’t just stop at cocktails, it’s also a great food pairing –
Farmer’s Cheese With Herbs
1 Farmer’s Cheese (from Los Altos)
1 Romaine lettuce
1 Package of pita bread
The day before, cut the cheese into small squares and marinate it with olive oil, oregano, thyme and basil. Wash the lettuce and tear into small pieces by hand. Make a bed with the lettuce, then spread the cheese with herbs on top and serve the pita bread on the side.
Pairing With Don Julio Blanco –
The lactic tones of the farmer’s cheese are heightened by the spices. The olive oil gives it very nice tones when accompanied with Don Julio Blanco, as the sweet notes of the cooked and raw agave, with its fruity and delicate spicy and herbal tones, enhance the cheese’s flavor and bring out the herbal notes of the spices.
I always find your onto a winner when you can really use your spirit collection in so many ways. Grab yourself a bottle and get creative!
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.