Five Ways To Tell A Great Tequila Bar From a Mediocre One

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As Gustavo mentioned earlier, Mexican alcohol is on the upswing. Its time is here; it's one of the only alcohols distilled from a native plant rather than a neutral grain spirit, the number of producers is on the upswing, and people are finally realizing there's more to tequila than the swill they put in those pre-mixed jugs of margaritas.

As our taste for tequila evolves, it's only natural that people would open tequila-centric bars. There are several of them in our distribution area, from Long Beach to Laguna Beach, but are they serious tequila bars, or merely pretenders? Here are five ways to know if you're in a true den of tequila.


5. The only Cuervo on their shelf is Reserva de la Familia.

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It may surprise you to learn that Jose Cuervo makes some outstanding tequila; it's just not the stuff you can find at the corner liquor store. Cuervo Gold is 51 percent agave and 49 percent meados de gato (look it up), and 1800 is pretty sorry stuff too, but the Reserva de la Familia label is actually very good tequila.

4. The bartenders can talk knowledgeably about where the tequilas come from.

You wouldn't trust a sommelier who couldn't tell you which wines came from Napa and which ones came from Santa Barbara, so why would you take the recommendation of a bartender who tells you all the tequilas come from Mexico? There are many different growing regions, and a tequila from Tequila is as different from a tequila from Arandas as a Bordeaux is from a Burgundy.
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8 comments
20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

New, French oak barrel or GTFO.  American oak gives me asco.  Used, French oak doesn't taste like tequila e.g. Asombroso. 

 

It's the first question I ask when inquiring about tequila.  

CunningStunts
CunningStunts

Could you please name some of these bars in Orange County? Thanks

909Jeff
909Jeff

Wtf kind of Sally needs a chaser!

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

*anejo, of course.

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @CunningStunts There's a good selection at Sol Cocina, at Matador in Fullerton, and also at Gabbi's, but there isn't a bar that specializes in tequila. The bartender at the Surfin Cowboy in Capistrano Beach (opening soon) is a fan of tequila, so I'm holding out hope.

 

For an actual bar that's tequila- and mezcal-heavy, go up to LA and go to Las Perlas.

-paulc-
-paulc-

@Dave_Lieberman @CunningStunts Please dont hate me, or throw stones:  If you know what you're looking for, or just want to taste blindly, Tortilla Jo's in Downtown Disney has a bunch of really good Tequilas.  To be honest, most are pretty average, but there are some really good jems

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