My experiences with tequila is mixed from downing shots to making cocktails. I was excited to meet and hear the latest from Sophie Decobecq. Sophie is originally from Lille in France and learnt her craft initially in the world of brandy. After falling in love with life in Mexico ten years ago Sophie is now producing tequila and honing her skills in Central America. I kept getting up too late when I was in Tequila to visit the Jose Cuervo factory due to hangovers we ended up buying some moonshine for $5.00 and carried it around for two days. I was young! Now I can finally learn in Soho.
Confit agave (above)
Surrounded by some of London’s best talented bar staff it was nice to hear the secrets and tricks of producing Calle 23. We sampled confit agave which was bought over from Guadalajara Mexico and made by a french lady. Well travelled! It reminded of quince with a strong kick of crystalised ginger. OK this is the first time I tasted agave and thought so this is the stuff that makes tequila. I need loads of this to cook, press, fermentation, distill and now I have tequila. I will need eight kilos of agave for a litre of tequila. Let’s get a factory! Anyone that wanna try this let’s give it a go.
Calle 23 blanco (above)
The first tequila sampled was a Blanco. This was sweet on the palate and mild citrus on the nose. I was surprised how sweet this was. London was mild and hey I am enjoying this sweet Tequila. It now brings back memories of watching the middle aged men sipping tequila in immense heat from my travels across Mexico. That may be me one day! We later sampled the blanco in the classic Tommy’s Margarita and it goes well with the fresh lime juice and agave syrup. Another great cocktail to make with this blanco is the La Batanga. This classis was created by Don Javier Delgado Corona.
The second tequila samples was the Reposado. This has been rested for eight months in old bourbon barrels. This on the nose had a hint of spice and dried fruits. This was later sampled in the classic cocktail Alejandro. I am not a fan of the cocktail however thoroughly enjoyed the tequila.
The last sample was the Anejo. The Anejo has spent sixteen months in old bourbon barrels. This was smooth and has inherited a lot of the oak flavours. On the nose I was getting a lot of coffee and good taste of oak on the tongue. This was deeper in flavour and yes can be sipped happily all year round. The Anejo was used to make the L’Aperitif and is a revised Sazerac. The ingredients were the Anejo, Calvados, Noilly Prat dry vermouth, agave syrup and a drop of Angostura bitters. It was refreshing.
The final recommendation to drink the tequila was to sip it with a beer. I’ve not tried this yet.
With Sophie (above) and her team at helm of Calle 23 I am sure there will be exciting times ahead in the tequila world.
Good luck to Sophie and her team and family in Guadalajara and looking forward to anything else you produce.