PaQui Silver Tequila Review

PaQui Blanco Tequila

Pacqui is produced in small batches in the town of Tequila in Mexico. In the Aztec tongue paQui means “to be happy” and indeed drinking this small batch tequila is a pleasant experience.

On the nose the sweet and sugary agave aromas waft up to your nose. This is quickly followed by fruity aromas with fresh green grass and subtle minty notes dancing in harmony. There is nary a trace of burn.

On the palate it is smooth and velvety with rich agave notes. The grassy and slight herbal notes make their presence known on the mid palate followed by a light peppery note with a hint of palate cleansing citrus.

PaQui retails for about $35 for 750/ml.

While PaQui can easily be sipped neat it makes a wonderful addition to cocktails.
The first cocktail is one created by me.

Bright Lights at Night
2 oz Blanco Tequila (PaQui)
1 oz Lillet Blanc
Rinse of St. Germain
2 Dashes of Grapefruit Bitters
Rinse the cocktail glass with St. Germain. Add the tequila, Lillet, and bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice, stir for approx 25 seconds, and strain into the prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

For a slight variation on the Margarita try this drink from the Jones Complete Bar Guide.
1.5 oz of Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 Egg White
1/2 Maraschino Liqueur
Combine all ingredients and dry shake to emulsify the egg white. Add ice and shake for another 10 seconds then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Note: Maraschino Liqueur is not the juice from a Maraschino cherry jar.

Or for your dessert fix try the Frostbite cocktail a mix of tequila, cream, and creme de cacao.

Tequila Revolucion (Silver y Reposado) Review and the Oaxaca Old Fashioned

20120729-202316.jpg

Tequila Revolucion was established in 1994 by Juan Carlos Arav as a range of super-premium 100% Agave tequilas. The bottles are emblazoned with 2 pistols as a tribute to the Mexican revolution that began in 1910.

There are a full range of expressions available but I only received samples of the Silver and the Reposado. Up first for review is the Silver.

20120729-165553.jpg

Tequila Revolucion Silver
On the nose there are strong aromas of agave and light floral notes, backed up by subtle hint of citrus. Upon tasting, agave is present throughout with hints of vanilla, a light floral touch, and a hint of pepper in the background. The silver retails for approximately $40/750ml.

20120729-200454.jpg
Tequila Revolucion Reposado
The Reposado is aged for 10 months. On the nose there are still strong floral notes of agave. The agave is complemented by aromas of almonds, honey, vanilla, and oak. On the palate there is an oaky agave taste with a touch of herb and peppery spice. The Reposado retails for approximately $50/750ml.

And now some cocktails for your drinking pleasure:
The first drink is a wonderful take on the old fashioned offered at Mayheul in NYC. This is my reversed engineered version.
Oaxaca Old Fashioned #2
1.75 ozs Reposado Tequila (Tequila Revolucion Reposado)
.25 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey)
1 tsp Agave Nectar
3 Dashes of Peach Bitters
1 Dash of Orange Bitters
Shake all ingredients with the ice and strain into an ice filled low ball glass.
Notes:
It is smooth, a touch fruity because of the bitters, and a hint of sweetness from the agave to make the cocktail extremely easy sipping. The Mezcal lingers in the background adding it’s trademarked smokiness.

My inspiration for this next drink was the Kama Sutra created by Ronalldo Colli which appeared in an article on Sfgate.com.
Unbridled Fury
1.75 ozs Reposado Tequila
.25 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey)
.5 oz Green Chartreuse
Dash of creme de cacao
2 dashes of chocolate bitters
flamed orange peel for garnish
stir all ingredients with ice and garnish with flamed orange peel
Notes:
Green Chartreuse and chocolate are a proven combination. For that reason I decided to take the original recipe and add touches of chocolate and replaced the flamed lemon peel with a flamed orange peel which I feel works better with the chartreuse and chocolate combo. The flamed orange peel is essential in opening and lightening this drink up.

The next drink is a take on the margarita created by me, in which the simple syrup is replaced with 2 liqueurs and a touch of egg white is added to create a silky smooth mouth feel. I named it the Slight Detour because it deviates from the classic margarita.
A Slight Detour
1.5 ozs Silver Tequila
.75 oz lime juice
.5 oz Domaine De Canton
1 bar-spoon of St. Germaine
.5 oz egg white
Notes:
It’s a smooth, florally and spicy cocktail. The egg white smooths over and harmonizes all the flavors.

The last drink was created by Robert Rowland that I came across in the book Left Coast Libations.
St. Magnus
8 mint leaves
2 slices of Meyer Lemon
1.5 ox Silver Tequila
.5 oz Ginger Juice
.5 oz Agave Nectar Syrup (1:1)
.25 oz Lemon Juice
.25 Aperol
Ginger Beer
Very gently muddle the mint and the Meyer Lemon slices in the bottom of a double rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the ginger beer. Stir and top with ginger beer.
Notes:
Agave nectar syrup is a simple mix of a 1 part Agave nectar with 1 part water. A complex, refreshing, and spicy short drink. It is essential to get a high quality ginger beer, such as that offered by Fever Tree.

For more drinks I’ve written about using tequila see my posts on the Mexican Squirrel, the El Diablo, and the Frostbite.

Disclosure: These were review samples that I received.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.

White Pike Whiskey Review and the Idlewild Cocktail

20120614-213738.jpg

For full disclosure I did receive this bottle as a free sample from the fine folks at White Pike. I would also like to thank Asst. Brand Manager Mr. Steven Ljubicic for an engaging and informative meeting. Clearly the folks behind this product are passionate about good spirits and it shows.

White Pike Whiskey is a relatively new product, in the trendy category of white whiskey. The problem with trends is that they do not always translate into successful and sustainable projects over the long haul. Despite this, I believe that White Pike has the correct formula for creating a lasting quality spirit.

I rarely speak on the branding/packaging of a spirit, however, White Pike has created a design that will stand out on the back bar. Its black top is contrasted by the clear bottom, reminiscent of a tuxedo. This black and white theme extends through all of their branding. Black and white is a bold and classy choice and sets itself apart in an industry where the majority of label and bottle designs follow a predictable format.

White Pike is farmed, distilled, and bottled in and around Schuyler County, NY. Finger Lakes Distillery is the brain child of Brian McKenzie and Thomas McKenzie (no relation). Master Distiller Thomas McKenzie created White Pike from a recipe of corn (59%), spelt (28%) and malted wheat (13%). Mr. McKenzie has an extensive background in distillation, making him well suited to creating a White Whiskey. After distilling, the spirit is then aged for 18 minutes. Steven mentioned that this was a play on how Scotches take their age statements seriously and proudly display them on their bottles. White Pike decided to take this idea, and has instead placed their age statement on the side of the bottle. The subtle dig/inside joke is a cool idea. These 18 minutes (give or take) in no way imparts any oaky notes to the end product.

On the nose it smells of buttered toast with a hint of creamed corn and subtle alcohol.
The spirit is rich and silky in the mouth with a subtle corn note. It finishes clean and smooth with no trace of burn. This is clearly a well crafted spirit.

Idelwild
1 oz White Pike Whiskey
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 dash of Orange Bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Notes:
This is a nice take on a Negroni. The Aperol is a good choice because I think that the Campari would have overpowered the White Pike. Its a bittersweet take on the classic

The next drink is my own creation. I wanted to do something that was clear and silky smooth with a hint of spice.
Clear as Day
1.5 oz White Pike Whiskey
.5 oz St. Germain
.25oz Velvet Falernum
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Notes:
One of the coolest things about this drink is its color, or rather lack there of. Rarely do you come across a drink that is as crystal clear as water. The floral and spicy notes smoothly dance across the tongue with the whiskey serving to support the drink.

Lastly is a simple yet flavorful drink created by me.
The Forgotten Path
1.5 oz White Pike Whiskey
1 oz Averna
.25 oz lime juice
5 oz Ginger Ale (Fresh Ginger)
Shake first 3 ingredients over ice. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with Ginger Ale
Notes:
It is important to use a high quality ginger ale with some bite. I like Fresh Ginger as it is unfiltered and contains real ginger. Its sweet and spicy and was the perfect complement to the whiskey and averna. A simple and easy cocktail to construct that does not lack for flavor.
Whiskey and Averna

The Fior di Sicily

Looking for a drink can be a daunting task at times. Often I find myself flipping through recipes looking for something that calls out to me. I picked up a copy of Left Coast Libations which has a range of interesting and exciting cocktails from some of the best bartenders on the West Coast. One cocktail that immediately caught my eye was the Fior di Sicily, created by Chris Ojeda.

Unlike most cocktails, the Fior di Sicily does not contain a base spirit; there is no gin, rum, whiskey, vodka, etc. Secondly all of the ingredients are in equal proportions which is just as rare. It combines an interesting amaro, an orangey aperitif, one of my favorite sweet vermouth’s, and an elderflower liqueur.

Fior di Sicily
.75 oz Averna Amaro
.75 oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
.75 oz Aperol
.75 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Stir all the ingredients with ice for 30 seconds (wet ice) or 50 seconds (large ice). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame the orange peel over the cocktail then drop in the peel.
Notes:
The color is rich and alluring. The orange oils float on the surface of the drink and its scent draws you in closer daring you to take a sip. The sweet notes of floral combine with the bitter and herbal notes to create a harmonious spirit. It has all the qualities of a fine wine that has been enriched and enhanced. This drink truly is greater than the sum of its parts.

20120513-233046.jpg