Sponsored Post: We were provided product and admission to the dinner to provide an honest review. All opinions and recipes are 100% our own.
We were recently invited to a tequila tasting and dinner by the folks at El Mayor Tequila and Hy-Vee to introduce El Mayor’s small batch tequila to the Midwest market, with Hy-Vee featuring the full range of their offerings. The dinner featured a four course dinner prepared by the staff at Hy-Vee with each course featuring a custom cocktail featuring El Mayor’s tequilas and a tasting sample of the full range of offerings. Getting a chance to experience the full El Mayor product line definitely made us appreciate how fantastic a small batch carefully crafted tequila can taste! Combined with the great cuisine provided by the folks at the Linden Market Hy-Vee, El Mayor quickly erased those memories of college tequila nights and really brought a sense of how tequila can be paired up with food almost like wine. A great example is this wonderful dish of chorizo and clams that was paired up with a blanco based Clamato Bloody Mary.
El Mayor is a family owned small batch tequila distiller being run by the fourth generation of the Gonzalez family in the Mexican state of Jalisco that has been crafting tequilas on family owned estates for over 150 years. The El Mayor estate consists of nearly 3 million blue agave plants that are tended by jimadors who work for El Mayor, many of who have worked for the Gonzalez family for generations as well. El Mayor’s estates are all tended in the traditional manner, and the agave plants harvested by hand. Distilled in traditional copper pot stills using the same family recipe that the Gonzalez family has had for over 100 years. The tequila goes thru two distillations before being bottled or placed in barrels for aging. El Mayor’s dedication to only using their own agave plants also keeps their batch sizes much smaller, with only 300,000 cases made each year!
El Mayor let us sample their four tequilas, all of which were exceptionally flavorful and well crafted. We started with the blanco, an un-aged 100% blue agave tequila that was crisp and clean with a hint of pepper and a sweet, fruity agave flavor. The blanco is often considered the true test of a distillery as the blanco shows the true flavors of the tequila. El Mayor’s blanco was delicious, and much more flavorful than the mainstream tequila makers.
We also had a chance to try out their aged tequilas, a golden reposado, a caramel anejo and a rich amber extra anejo. El Mayor ages all of their tequilas in white oak barrels for longer than other distilleries, ensuring that the aging process imparts plenty of flavor to the aging tequilas. The reposado was very smooth, hints of spice and fruit with just a hint of oak that resulted in a slightly dry finish. The Añejo and the Extra Añejo were real stars, both would delight aged whiskey drinkers with their complex caramel flavors, smooth finish and rich notes of oak. These aged tequilas are perfect for sipping like a whiskey, but could also be excellent in a boozy style cocktail like a tequila old fashioned. The Añejo were super smooth and very refined feeling and were extremely enjoyable to drink.
El Mayor provided us a couple of samples to use as we saw fit, and with such an excellent blanco in hand, we felt it would be an excellent candidate for our Spiced Pear cocktail. The fruity sweetness of the agave compliments the sweetness of the pear while the cinnamon lends a hint of warmth and spice that brought out the pepper notes of the blanco. This would be excellent with the reposado as well.
- 1.75 oz Blanco Tequila
- 3 oz pear nectar
- .75 oz lemon juice
- dash of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of honey
- dash of vanilla extract
- 3 drops citrus bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker and stir. Serve over ice.
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