Tequila season, if there is such a thing, is still a good way off. Granted Punxsutawney Phil told us it was coming sooner, but there is still a sheen of ice and snow on the roads and people are still snuggled tightly into their parkas. Nonetheless, National Margarita Day is staring us down, I for one am thrilled.
I am acutely aware that I will catch heat for this, but there are few cocktails that make me smile as big as watching a frozen Margarita oozing its way out of an industrial strength slushie machine. Preferably straight into a Red Solo cup. I can’t put my finger on it, but I guess it’s up there with smelling a charcoal BBQ fire up for the first time of the season, or seeing the first sundress gliding down the sidewalk. It represents a primal cry that the dreary days of winter are ending, that warmer and brighter days are ahead.
The frozen Margarita is a drink that requires time to enjoy, not because of overwhelming complexity, mostly because of brain freeze, letting each little bit melt a little before sipping it right up. It is a drink that calls for a more jovial time. It’s kind of difficult to have heart to heart conversations about love and life with a giant fishbowl of Margarita in your hand.
Don Julio Blanco
The agave nectar is dominant and supported with a whisper of fresh cut flowers, it is all held in a spotlight of sparkling lime and grapefruit zest. The entry is soft and easy going with a sweetness that commands center stage. Eventually the sweetness picks up strength and coats the palate with a rich amber nectar. Touches of pepper are mingled with a rich vegetal flavor of fresh cut grass. As it subsides, the pepper lingers about playfully with a perfumed air that leads to an effortless eucalyptus finish.
The nose offers up rich honey and apples, the alcohol punches above its weight class, but carries with it almonds and a earthy aroma that brings me to a stone covered creekside. At first sip the alcohol brings forth a slender honeyed sweetness that shoots down the center of the palate as it explodes with flavors of overripe peaches, lemon zest, and even more nuts all dusted in a light black pepper. This remarkable tequila finishes with a sturdy alcohol presence that still holds hands with that alluring honey and almond partnership that is as unique as it is lengthy.
The Agave nectar is so powerful here and it brings my nose closer to a rich candy vanilla, teetering on nougat. This richness reflects a Caribbean flavor profile expressing coconut, guava, and pineapple in syrup. The entry holds true as the agave nectar dominates and leaves perfectly articulated black pepper trails. The earthy aromas are born of a vegetable garden with red peppers, bitter greens, and bejeweled with gems of various citrus including lime, orange, and grapefruit. The finish goes clean and refreshing, and leaves just a subtle pepper trace, that is followed by a vanilla and dragon fruit dessert that finishes up perfectly dry.
These tequilas are sure to improve any standard frozen Margarita, but if you should find yourself nipping at the bottle on its own, I guarantee you, these will satisfy.