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Posts Tagged: tequila

International Margarita Day at El Camion with support from Tequila Calle 23 and Mezcal Del Maguey

 

In celebration of International Margarita Day, a whole day dedicated to honour the classic Margarita cocktail, we have decided to make our own rendition with a slight twist… why mess with a classic! Our version is called the Smoky Margarita and you can get it for £5 ALL DAY on Thursday 22nd February. It’s made using Tequila Calle 23 Blanco, triple sec, freshly squeezed lime juice, with just a hint of Del Maguey Mezcal Vida.

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The main ingredient in Margaritas is tequila, a Mexican spirit made from the agave plant. If you’re not familiar, agave plants are a type of succulent that can only be used when it nears the end of its life, which is usually 5 to 10 years after being planted. To be legally called a tequila it must be made in Mexico; after harvesting, the agave plants have to be cooked, then crushed to extract the sugar rich juices, the juices are then fermented and it must be double distilled. Tequila comes in blanco (unaged), reposado (rested), añejo (aged) and extra añejo (you get the drift)…

Tequila Calle 23 is the brainchild of French born Sophie Decobecq; all her tequilas are 100% agave, which means all the sugars used in the production of the tequila comes from the agave plants. Out of the Calle 23 range we have chosen the blanco as it makes a great Margarita, with a spicy, citrusy, fresh agave flavour. This highland tequila is made in the town of San Pancho, using blue agaves grown in the region. At 40% abv, it’s a Margaritas best friend.

Mezcal Del Maguey Vida, is a rediscovery treasure, that Taos based artist Ron Cooper stumbled over nearly 27 years ago. It’s made in the small village of San Luis Del Rio by Paciano Cruz Nolasco and his son Marcos. Del Maguey Vida is made from Espadín agaves, the most common agave used in Oaxaca, using traditional practices: the agave is earth roasted, crushed by molinas and fermented naturally with airborne yeast before it is distilled in small copper stills. The flavour is much more complex, which a slight earthiness to it: it packs a mighty 42% abv, so we just use a little to give the Margarita that hint of smoke.

SO, JOIN US THIS THURSDAY FOR £5 SMOKY MARGARITAS TO CELEBRATE THE COCKTAIL THAT HAS BROUGHT SO MUCH HAPPINESS TO US ALL. 

The Fancy Boiler Maker: An introduction

First off, what the H is a Boilermaker?

If you’ve ever been to the States, you might be familiar with the old shot and a chaser – typically a whisky and a beer. Well, that, friends, is actually called a Boilermaker.

Our one, however, is Fancy. That’s because it’s a gorgeous shot of Olmeca Altos Blanco Tequila served with a Michelada (more info on one of those here) made with the famous Mexican beer, Pacifico.

Down the shot, chase it with the Michelada for a punchy kickstart to the eve, or sip on both alternately for the perfect summer refresher.

You’ll find the Fancy Boiler Maker in the Wanky Bartender Drinks section of our new menu and it’s just £5 throughout July.

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Fancy a Quickie? El Camion can help with that…

Introducing the El Camion Quickie – a perfect opportunity to fuel up with a traditional Mexican snack, quench your thirst with a Sol, and add a spring in your step courtesy of Altos Tequila.

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Available weekdays from between 3 and 6pm, this deal is perfect for those industry bods that find themselves about to start work and, although they don’t want a full meal, would’t mind something speedy and satisfying. Or maybe you’ve just finished a shift and want to pop by to your favourite Baja Californian Cantina. For only that crumpled fiver in your pocket – or five shiny coins that you picked up as a tip – you can enjoy a freshly cooked Empanada, a chilled bottle of Sol, and a revitalising shot of Altos.

A truly fulfilling quickie for a fiver in Soho? Now that’s value!

Our Sexy New Tequila: FORTALEZA

Our tequila cabinet has a sexy new addition that has seduced our bar team already. It might be £9 a shot, but boy, is this something special.

Say ‘Hola’ to Fortaleza. Yep, it’s even enjoyable to say. But with a soft and sweet flavour, a creamy mouth-feel and a clean finish, it’s even more enjoyable to drink.

Fortaleza Tequila is crafted in the stone-milled estate of ‘Destileria La Fortaleza’ in Tequila, Jalisco. Made from 100% mature Blue Agave, Fortaleza is a family-produced artisanal tequila that is born out of heritage and passion, using old-style techniques. The outcome has blown tequila fans away – it tastes like pure class in a glass.

Tasting notes:

‘The blanco (silver) tequila is stored in stainless steel tanks and never touches wood, giving it a crystal clear appearance. It is smooth and floral with a creamy and delicate feel in the mouth. Fortazela Reposado (rested) is aged for six to nine months in charred oak barrels to give it a distinctive soft gold colour, and exudes warm nutty aromas with a lingering residual spice on the tongue. The Añejo (aged) tequila is aged for years in the charred barrels, giving a deep caramel colour, vanilla aroma and exceptionally smooth and velvety feel on the palate and throat.’

Enjoy like a fine wine and sip slowly. Tequila heaven.

 

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Weird places to drink great tequila

Who knew that in Disney World’s educational Epcot Theme Park in Orlando Florida lies one of America’s best tequila bars? Hmm, shooting tequila in a theme park for kids… is that wrong??

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Wrong or not (definitely not) La Cava Del Tequila in the Mexican Pavillion, as crass as it might sound, has been deemed as a fantastic tequila haunt by agave fans the world over! It has over 100 tequilas on offer and a pretty decent selection of mezcals too.

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Decorated with original Mexican artifacts, you can pretend you’re in a traditional hacienda whilst snacking on salsa, queso, and guacamole eats and working your way through the impressive speciality margarita menu. We don’t know about you but we’re pretty curious about the Avocado Margarita…

So, the moral of the story is – wherever you are in the world, there’s got to be some great tequila nearby. And what a find this is – especially if you’re ever stuck on a trip with kids at Disney World. ‘Go and play, kids… Uncle Tom will be waiting right here. All day.’

God bless you, Walt, for having a penchant for tequila.

 

Spotlight On: Don Fulano Tequila

With its sleek bottle and contemporary logo design, Don Fulano Tequila stands out on any back bar. But is definitely not just a pretty face. Don Fulano is classy stuff – pure, 100% agave, 100% natural tequila with no additives or chemicals added.

 

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There is a whole range of Don Fulano tequilas – from Blanco right through to Imperial, but what they do exquisitely well is ageing – so if you can try the Anejo, do! Ageing is one of their greatest passions and they know everything about the barrels before selecting them. Don Fulano uses a combination of new and used French limousine oak barrels to rest in – and the used ones are a selection of ex-cognac, armagnac and sherry, so rather than a wood-heavy taste, the aged tequilas have notes of maple, black cherry, roasted coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, cloves and nuts, among many others.

It would be such a waste to shoot Don Fulano tequila. Yes, be that person that sits at the bar and smells it and swirls it around the glass like a fine wine! You’ll notice that the Anejo, rather than being woody and sweet, is present, spicy with a fudgy chocolate depth to it. Nectar from the gods!

Like the strange, greedy girl in the Galaxy advert, enjoy with closed eyes and a secret.

Now stocking Tequila Cabeza!

We are extremely happy campers to welcome a new fantastic tequila on board – say hola to Tequila Cabeza!

Since launching in 2012 with The 86 Co., Cabeza has had an awesome response from the industry. The Ultimate Spirits Challenge awarded it 93 points and deemed it ‘excellent, highly recommended’, Diffords Guide gave it 5 out of 5 stars, Spirits Review judged it 9 out of 10 and Beverage Tasting Institute presented it with a Gold Award, with an ‘exceptional’ 93 points. Cabeza is definitely something to be excited about!

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What’s the background?

The making of Tequila Cabeza is a real family-run operation. The Vivanco family have been cultivating agave in the Los Altos region of Jalisco for five generations and have been making tequila now for three. All the agave used in Tequila Cabeza comes from their land and they handle every part of production, which is still overseen by Falicio Vivanco, the head of the family, who is now in his eighties.

What does it taste like?

The 86 Co. were searching for a tequila that truly tasted of agave and worked with the Vivanco family to craft the ideal taste that they were after.

Tequila Cabeza tasting notes:

‘On the nose there is a bouquet of highland agave that captures both the earthiness and the honey of the agave while adding complex layers of green vegetables and a nice dose of minerality. More of the green vegetables, earthiness and some green pepper enter softly on the palate at the start before you are hit with a robust and earthy agave bomb on the mid-palate that comes with a dash of light citrus on the sides of the palate. It is medium to full- bodied with a velvety mouth feel and finishes with a light bitter citrus, more cooked agave flavours and black pepper. This Tequila is all about earthy cooked & raw agave flavours.’

Ultimate Spirits Challenge described the tasting notes as:

‘Toasted seeds and spices such as coriander seeds, with a lovely fruity temperament. An easy, soft and fruit driven tequila that is light in body and character.’

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Sounds DELISH.

Enjoy this exceptional tequila now at El Camion and way, way into the night downstairs in The Pink Chihuahua bar.

Spotlight On: Tequila Herradura

Tequila Herradura is pretty special. It’s an ultra premium 100% agave tequila from Casa Herradura, which is one of Mexico’s oldest and most renowned tequila producers. Made in a traditional 19th century Hacienda in Amatitán, Jalisco, everything about Herradura encompasses the historical craftsmanship of tequila, from using the most mature blue agave to being fermented naturally with wild yeast.

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There are three main tequilas in the Herradura range – Silver, Reposado and Añejo – as well as a few more super duper deluxe tequilas that would be perfect to bring out on a big occasion, like you might do with a fine wine. THAT’S how to be impressive.

But the ones that we are most likely to be drinking are the three aforementioned.

Herradura Silver is the youngest, being aged for a total of 45 days in American White Oak barrels. Its light straw colour and smooth taste has gained Herradura a reputation for being one of the finest tequilas in the world.

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Not only do Herradura do a spankingly good Reposado; they actually created the Reposado category in 1974. BOOM. Reposado tequilas are required by law to be aged for two months, but Herradura Reposado ages in the barrels for eleven months, giving the tequila a beautiful deep copper colour. Lovely jubbly.

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Herradura Añejo, introduced by Casa Herradura in 1962, matures in the barrel for 25 months. 25!! This is more than double the one-year ageing requirement for a tequila to be considered an Añejo by Mexico law. This ageing gives it a lovely deep amber colour and a complex, spicy taste.

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We hope you are lucky enough to try Tequila Herradura – it really is for the tequila aficionado.

Spotlight On: Calle 23 Tequila

Calle 23’s slogan is ‘Tequila makes us smarter. So, drink smart.’ We couldn’t agree more, Calle 23!

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Calle 23 is one of the fine tequilas in our tequila cabinet and it’s a great one at that. Created by French-born Sophie Decobecq through a passion for Mexico and 100% agave spirits, Calle 23 took three years to perfect and at that eureka moment, Sophie pointed to the street sign across from them and named the tequila after it. Thence, Calle 23 was born!

Sophie specifically picked the Highlands region of Jalisco to harvest the agaves due to the fruity and spicy character of them, which lends itself beautifully to the spirit. By combining a high altitude with a hot climate and some heavy rains, the plant expresses great level of sugars, which are definitely present in the finished product.

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For the purists among us, the Tequila Blanco should hit the spot, providing a true taste of the 100% agave flavour. It is herbaceous and citrusy, with hints of Granny Smith apples in the lingering finish. But for those who prefer an aged tequila, try the Reposado or Anejo, which are aged in old American Whiskey bottles for 8 and 16 months respectively. More about Calle 23 Reposado in an earlier blog of ours here.

Enjoy, tequila lovers!

Spotlight On: Tequila Ocho

With Tequila and Mezcal Fest just around the corner, you might have guessed that we’d have tequila on the brain. The festival has received great support from several high-profile figures in the drinks industry, and one of its ambassadors is Tomas Estes, the co-creator of Tequila Ocho.

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Tomas Estes loves tequila. And he is the kind of guy you want co-creating a tequila because you know it’s going to be good. Estes knows everything about tequila – where it’s from, how it’s made, how the agave is grown, who the farmers are – and his passion has done a lot to raise awareness of the exploitation in commercial tequila production.

So, as you would probably imagine, his love and passion for tequila has pretty much been bottled in Tequila Ocho. His partnership with Carlos Camarena, a third generation Tequilero, has combined tradition and heritage with innovation and modern thinking.

Tequila Ocho is made slowly in an artisanal way. The result is an agave-rich, earthy, complex spirit that has its own distinct aroma and character. It is definitely NOT for shooting – in fact, it opens up in the glass, the same way a fine wine does.

So, why Ocho? Well, you may or may not know that ‘ocho’ is ‘eight’ in Spanish – and with the amount of times this number came up in the process of its production is pretty spooky.

Taken from the Tequila Ocho website:

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Naturally, we serve Ocho at El Camion, so give it a go next time you’re in!