The world of tequila has blossomed over the last eight years. A shot of jet fuel no more, this Mexican liquor has developed into one of the most expressive distilled spirits, crafted for enjoying its sweet, layered flavors. “Sipping tequila” is another name for good-quality distillations of 100 percent blue Weber agave. The best tequilas are created by cooking the agave hearts—known as piñas—in traditional brick or clay ovens with steam, which breaks down the sugars, creating a distinctive sweet-potato aroma, and round, smooth flavor profiles.
Fairfield County is home to some restaurants that take tequila seriously. Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwestern Grill in Fairfield, and Tequila Mockingbird in New Canaan, are two of only forty in the U.S. to be certified by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT), the Mexican tequila governing body. (Geronimo’s Tim Scott is also certified.) Bartaco in Stamford and Westport is also a great source for sipping tequilas, with a staff that can guide you, says Gretchen Thomas, Barteca’s wine and spirits director. Talk to the bartenders, tell them what you like to drink, and they can suggest a flight that will start you on your sipping journey.
Tequila aged from one to three years
Aged for up to forty-five days in oak barrels
Aged up to one year
Ultra (or Extra) Añejo
Aged more than three years. There’s no limit on aging.
A succulent that grows in semi-arid land
Blue Weber Agave
The species of agave that tequila is made from, also known as agave azul.
An agave distillation that can have up to 49 percent sugars from sources other than agave.
In Good Taste
Not sure where to begin? We asked two experts to suggest what flavor profiles to look for and what to order next
Wine and Spirits Director, Barteca Restaurant Group
123 ORGANIC TEQUILA TRES AÑEJO
yam, baked apple, cedar, vanilla, dried flowers, volcanic earth
CASA NOBLE REPOSADO
Yam, vanilla, dried flowers, baking spices
Yam, aloe, citrus peel, grassy, volcanic earth
Yam, citrus peel, jasmine, dried roses, baking spices
Yam, vanilla, chai spices, baked apple
Co-owner, Geronimo Tequila Bar and Southwestern Grill
Light caramel taste with a hint of vanilla
CASA NOBLE AÑEJO
Aged nose, elegant balance from French oak
CASA NOBLE BLANCO
Fresh agave nose with a natural sweetness
CLASE AZUL REPOSADO
Sweet, rich on the tongue, with background notes of the sherry barrel
DON JULIO 1942
Butterscotch and vanilla, rich caramel and roasted agave
Caramel, butterscotch and vanilla, cooked agave aroma
Matching Tequila with Food
Tequila can be sipped before, during or after a meal. Tequila’s natural sweetness pairs well with spicy foods. Try BLANCOS and REPOSADOS before or with food. AÑEJOS can be enjoyed after dinner, or with dessert.