It used to be the stuff of body shots and bludgeoning hangovers, possessing a Wild West sex appeal and characterized as a prelude to mayhem. How does that old country song go? “Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine….”
Modern tequilas are a whole new type of conquistador, as anyone who has sipped Patron is aware. Patron started the sagebrush rebellion that brought tequila into the mainstream with the wonders of the cactus juice done right, smashing tequila’s reputation as an evil twin of agave-based mescal (“Eat the worm!”).
The appeal remains, but premium tequilas are a whole lot more attractive than they used to be—more subdued and tasteful (Scarlett Johansson) than in your face (Kardashians). While the cheap tequilas were great in the backroom of an “interpretive dance center” (brass pole and all), the new ones are a nice complement to a gentleman’s trophy room.
Whether you like your agave juice as a more robust blanco or user-friendly anejo (aged in whisky barrels) or reposado (aged in oak), these premiums are much less likely to leave you battered, weeping, and slightly embarrassed in the morning. Even if you’re still searching for your pants.