Spirited Saturday: Partida Tequila Neat

I have decided to start a new column on this blog, Spirited Saturday. I rarely write about spirits and there are many who are more qualified than I perhaps but I think I should use my certified spirits education qualification fron the Society of Wine Educators for something.

My first post is aboout Partida tequila. Here I must add a disclosure. I often collaborate with Colangelo & Partners Public Relations which represents Partida. That said, I never work on the account and in no way benefit from their work with Partida.

Moreover and more to the point,it is truly a spirit to write home about. Yesterday, I tried three types of the tequila: blanco, reposado and anejo. The first isn’t aged in oak at all. The blanco was minerally and earthy with great citrus notes. I was told that this is the classic one used in a Partida Margarita. The second was a reposado that spent 6 months in oak barrels that had been used to age Jack Daniels. This was spicier and richer with great notes of smoke and vanilla. It was much like drinking a Scotch although tasting it reminded me of tasting wine rather than other spirits.The third bottle, the Anejo, ages for 18 months in old Jack barrels. This one was actually a tad too smoky for me and did have aromas and flavors of Jack on the nose and palate.

The fourth category that they have is called Elegante. I didn’t get to taste that one which ages in wood for 36 months.

I found that tasting these spirits made me want to go to Mexico and watch the blue agave plants used to make tequila be cut down and made into this spirit. I would like to see the whole process from plant to table, although it might not be so interesting to watch the ovens where the pinas are cooked for 12 hours. The majestic agaves ares between 7-10 years old. I discovered yesterday that they are members of the lily family and not cactus, which surprised me.

This very natural spirit reminded me of the numerous places that I have yet to visit. Yes, I have never been to Mexico, except to Tijuana when I was 16. My parents went to Mexico on their honeymoon, almost 53 years ago…I grew up with posters by Diego Riviera in my home and bowls, silver and ceramics all around my house, but still have not made the trip myself. I would love to visit the five regions that are famous for their tequila.

I’m don’t think I will be going in the near term but in the meantime I can taste more tequila in my own neighborhood at Mama Mexico and Gabriela’s. I wrote a long article about spirits bars some years ago and discovered Gabriela’s.

It has since become a favorite but Mamma Mexico is at a truly great price point for all and should not be overlooked. Their frozen margaritas got me through my first New York winter when I moved back from Italy and for that I am eternally grateful.

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