The next time you are looking for some of the best Mexican food in Tucson, and also want to increase your knowledge of tequila, swing by the Guadalajara Grill. We currently have around 50 different brands of tequila and we are adding more all the time. If we don't already, we will soon have the largest and best selection of tequila of any of the Tucson top restaurants.
That might sound like a lot of different brands, but it is nowhere near the number of tequilas that are available on the market today. The reality is, no matter how many brands we may add it would be almost impossible to ever stock every brand out there. That's because there are currently over 900 brands of tequila and soon to be more.
How is that possible, you might ask? The simple answer is: marketing. Not more than 10-20 years ago, that number would have been at most a few hundred brands. In fact, there are only around 100 licensed Tequila distilleries in the State of Jalisco making those nine hundred brands of tequila in Mexico, and over 2,000 brand names have been registered (2009 Statistics). Due to this, each bottle of tequila contains a serial number (NOM) depicting which distillery the tequila was produced in. Because there are only so many distilleries, multiple brands of tequila come from the same location.
What has been happening in the spirits industry overall is a trend toward "premiumization," basically meaning the explosive growth of high priced brands (think Grey Goose Vodka, for example). This trend has also been accompanied by an explosion in the cocktail culture, and consumer's appreciation for sophisticated beverages created by "mixologists" (highly skilled and trained bar tenders). While everyone in Tucson knows that Guadalajara Grill has some of Tucson's best margaritas, our skilled bartenders are also ready for the challenge of preparing a tequila-based specialty cocktail just for you on your next visit. To emphasize this point, since 2002 sales of high priced tequilas, called "ultra-premium" and "super-premium" by marketeers, have increased 28 percent. That is an average growth rate of 8.6 percent per year, as reported by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
With so many brands and types of Tequila out there, such as the new official category of ultra- anejo (aged at least 3 years) it is important to find a top Tucson Mexican restaurant or bar with a large selection of tequilas, and a commitment to educating their customers in the finer nuances of tequila. Learning to appreciate tequila is not much different from learning to drink wine; it requires a time commitment and access to many different types of tequila in order to develop one's nose and palette. If you take the time to explore the different taste profiles of tequila, soon you will develop an understanding of what you like best and an ability to see beyond brand names. Guadalajara Grill is committed to being the Tucson Mexican restaurant that provides you that opportunity to learn about tequila and explore your tequila preferences.
Keep reading our blog and visit our tequila menu including extensive selections of Anejos, Reposados and Silver tequilas as we continue to add more brands and flavor profiles, and vote for your favorite. And let us know what YOU like in a tequila. Finally, stay tuned for more news about our upcoming Tequila tasting events.
And of course, whenever you sample Tequila or any other distilled spirit, do so responsibly, with care and moderation. We've got your back on that one too! Nada en exceso, todo con medida. Cuidate!
Are you a Tequila lover? If you are, then perhaps Tequila has become for you like whiskey or red wine: a beverage to be savored, respected, and slowly explored.
In order to develop a deeper appreciation for the world's first distilled spirit, and a product native to the State of Jalisco surrounding Guadalajara, it will be necessary to invest some time and have the patience to sample and carefully get to know the different types of tequila, and the many flavor profiles within each. This is even more true now, as the world of tequila continues to change right before our eyes. Guadalajara Grill is committed, as part of our quest to provide you as complete and authentic a Mexican dining experience as possible (along with the best Mexican food in Tucson!), to offering the most complete tequila selection in Tucson as well as the information you need to become a more educated consumer of this most Mexican of products.
Just 10-20 years ago, there were at most a couple of hundred brands of tequila, but today that number has jumped to over 900 (and over 2,000 brands have been registered). What is going on you might ask? The short answer: marketing.
In the global spirits industry overall, there has been a major trend in the last decade towards what has been called "premiumization," or consumer preference for high-priced premium brands (think Grey Goose Vodka and all the brands that followed along in its wake). There has also been a return of the "cocktail culture," or a renewed appreciati on among consumers for unique specialty drinks prepare by "mixologists" or highly trained and knowledgeable bartenders.
In fact, Since 2002 sales of high priced tequilas, called "ultra-premium" and "super-premium" by marketeers, have increased 28 percent. That is an average growth rate of 8.6 percent per year, as reported by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
A new NOM (Norma Oficial Mexicana) for tequila (NOM-006-SCFI-2005) was issued in 2006, and among other changes, introduced a category of tequila called "extra añejo" or "ultra-aged" which must be aged a minimum of 3 years.
Although some tequilas have remained as family owned brands, most well-known tequila brands are owned by large multinational corporations. However, there are actually just over 100 distilleries making all these brands of tequila in Mexico, and because there are only so many distilleries, multiple brands of tequila come from the same location.
For many consumers, tequila has become like whiskey or red wine; a beverage to be savored, respected, and patiently explored. In order to develop the ability to distinguish among tequilas, to find out which styles and flavor profiles ones you like, there is no substitute for patience and a commitment to sampling and learning about them and what makes them different. And, of course, you need to have access to a large selection of tequilas and the information about them that allows you to deepen your understanding.
As part of our commitment to being the best Tucson Mexican restaurant offering an authentic and complete Mexican dining experience inspired by Guadalajara, the Guadalajar Grill is committed to being your partner in this journey of exploration of tequila. That's why we have one of Tucson's largest selections of Tequilas, and keep adding to it continually. We also provide information about each brand on our Web site, and give you the opportunity to vote on your favorite brand and post comments about what you liked or dislike about a particular brand.
Keep reading our blog for news about the Tequila Club, and The Guadalajara Tequila Tour that we are developing and check out our Tequila menu pages for Anejos, Resposados and Premium Silver Tequilas.
And of course, whenever you're savoring tequila, or any other beverage alchohol, do so responsibly, with care and moderation. We've go your nac on that one as well. Nada en exceso y todo con medida. Cuidate
Tequila originates in the tequila region of the State of Jalisco, just outside of Guadalajara. While many bars and restaurants today carry tequila, we're particularly proud to be able to offer one of Tucson's most diverse selections of tequila. Why? Precisely because of we genuinely strive to make the experience of dining at Guadalajara Grill a mini visit to Guadalajara, and that's where tequila's origins are.
But there's another reason: we want our customers to learn more about tequila and learn to appreciate and enjoy it (responsibly and in moderation, of course!) as part of an authentic Mexican dining experience. That's why we're committed to sharing what we know, and even researching what we don't know, to share with you. We hope you will try all of our tequilas, separately as a sipping drink, or in one of our original margarita recipes.
So here is the intro to Tequila, with information taken from various sources including Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tequila).
"There are two basic categories of tequila: mixtos and 100% agave. Mixtos use no less than 51% agave, with other sugars making up the remainder. Mixtos use both glucose and fructose sugars. With 100% agave tequila, blanco or plata is harsher with the bold flavors of the distilled agave up front, while reposado and añejo are smoother, subtler, and more complex.
As with other spirits that are aged in casks, Anejo and Reposado tequilas take on the color and flavors of the wood, and the flavors left behind in the wood by the spirit that was aged in the barrel previously, usually American or Canadian whiskeys such as Jack Daniels. Time in the barrel polishes and mellows the tequila, and mellows the bright, fruity, crisp or sometimes even hot or harsh edge of the pure white distallate that finds its way into Blanco or Silver blends. In comparison to other distilled spirit beverages you may be familiar with, such as the many kinds of vodka commercially available and distilled from everything from corn to grapes, to potato, the major flavor distinction with 100% agave tequila is the base ingredient, which has a more vegetal taste than spirits distilled from grain, and therefore often more complex.
Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:
- Blanco ("white") or plata ("silver"): white spirit, un-aged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels;
- Joven ("young") or oro ("gold"): is the result of blending Silver Tequila with Reposado and/or Añejo and/or extra Añejo Tequila;
- Reposado ("rested"): aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels;
- Añejo ("aged" or "vintage"): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in oak barrels;
- Extra Añejo ("extra aged" or "ultra aged"): aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels. This category was established in March 2006.
So....the next time you visit us at Guadalajara Grill, you'll have a better idea where you may want to begin experimenting. We already have an excellent selection of tequilas, and we keep expanding it all the time.
We're working on developing a program to let the tequila aficionados of Tucson track their progress in tasting and learning about our tequilas, and sharing their comments with other fans of this uniquely Mexican, uniquely Guadalajaran spirit distilled from agave. We'll keep you posted. Or sign up to our eClub to be sure to get the latest news about this and other developments at Tucson's Guadalajara Grill.
Viva Mexico y que viva el Tequila!
Guadalajara Grill is proud to have the best Tequila selection in Tucson. That's not just because tequila and Mexican food go so well together, but because tequila is from the state of Jalisco, from the region of Tequila, just outside of Guadalajara.
Just like a sparkling wine cannot be called "champagne" unless it is from Champagne region of France, a distilled spirit made from agave may not be rightfully called tequila unless it is produced in the Tequila region of the State of Jalisco
No other liquid is surrounded by as many stories, myths, legends and lore as tequila and its sister beverage mezcal. As wine and whisky have taken their place in modernized western culture, so too has tequila. Once only a drink for bandidos and rancheros, tequila is as much at home in the fist of today’s business yuppie as a cup of Starbuck’s coffee. While plenty have sampled various breeds of this zesty spirit in the form of a margarita, many more are discovering that good tequila is a drink to be enjoyed like a fine cognac or scotch. Many have put away the salt shakers and sliced limes—they sit down, relax and savor the taste of liquid fire…sip by sip!
As North America’s first distilled drink, and its first commercially produced alcohol, the history of tequila is long and rich. Its roots reach back into pre-Hispanic times when the natives fermented sap from the local maguey plants into a drink called pulque. The history of tequila’s development from the traditional beverage to the modern spirit parallels the often turbulent, chaotic growth of Mexico herself, and is equally obscure to outsiders.
Mezcal wine, tequila’s grandparent, was first produced only a few decades after the Conquest that brought the Spaniards to the New World in 1521. It was variously called mezcal brandy, agave wine, mezcal tequila and finally simply tequila—appropriately named after Tequila, a small town in a valley in Jalisco state, México.
The word tequila itself is a mystery. It is said to be an ancient Nahuatl term. The Nahuatl were the original people who lived in the area. The word means “the place of harvesting plants.”
Keep reading our Guadalajara Grill Blog, to learn more about Mexican food, Mexican culture, and the reasons why we do the things we do to bring the "flavor of Guadalajara" into the dining experience at Guadalajara Grill.
Portions of this post are taken from an article in Los Cabos Magazine - Issue #8 - October 2002 by Ryan Thomas -http://www.loscabosguide.com/tequila/tequila-history.htm