Tequila—No Longer for Hombres Only
The idea that women make up over 40% of Tequila drinkers may come as a bit of a surprise-until you consider the fact today’s tequilas are made with a sophisticated palate in mind.
By Diana Barrera
Sure, women have been drinking Margaritas for years…but straight Tequila? Surely you jest, right? However, the spirit’s rise in popularity among women is something tequila producers across the board are taking seriously.
According to research conducted by Marketing Daily and other trade organizations, the annual overall growth of tequila over the last dozen years can be traced to the fact that women are purchasing the magical spirit in record numbers. Back in the real world, with the passion we usually put into things we love, we are embracing Tequila with unabashed enthusiasm. From celebrities like Oprah and Queen Latifah who openly profess their love of fine Tequila, to renowned Chef Joanne Weir (whose passion for Tequila led her to write TEQUILA: A Guide to Types, Flights, Cocktails and Bites) to international female aficionado groups such as The Agave Girls, appreciation of Mexico’s gift to the world is no longer a guy thing.
Consequently, distilleries are increasingly open to our dynamic demographic, especially as we make most household purchasing decisions. Because many brands now market directly to us, keep your eyes peeled, as the publicity will help you spot and capture the latest tequila trends. Some brands, for example, use color while others use flavor. MEJOR Tequila produces “PINK” Tequila, while Gran Centenario offers its “Rosaado,” delicately flavored with hibiscus (or “jamaica” as it is known in Mexico). Other tequila purveyors have rethought their bottle design, knowing how much we like to entertain and show off.
As I stage Tequila 101 seminars, dinners and special events, I have observed women are fascinated with tequila’s history and lore, and ask a lot of questions about how to buy, serve and enjoy tequila. All told, however, what every woman should know about fine tequila is pretty much what everybody should know:
- The best tequila is made from one exquisite plant, the Blue Weber Agave.
- The agave is NOT a cactus, but part of the lily family.
- Real tequila is made in only one small area in Mexico, the state of Jalisco and limited areas in the states of Michoacán, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Guanajuato.
- Tequila is protected internationally by the denomination of origin and is closely regulated for compliance by a regulatory agency the CRT (Consejo Regulador Del Tequila).
- Tequila comes in two categories: Tequila Mixto, which is 51% Tequila and 49% sugars from other sources and Tequila 100% Agave, made only from the fermented juices of the Blue Weber Agave.
- Blue Weber Agave takes from 5-12 years to be ready for harvest, and the difference in flavor and quality is very obvious.
Finally, you should know tequila, in its purest state is a magical sprit with a noble history that reads like a historical or romantic novel. With nearly 1,000 brands now available, you now have the power to make some history of your own!
These drinks, based on “women’s favorites.” can be much improved using 100% Agave Tequila
Lemon Drop a La Mexicana
Madonna’s favorite drink, if she only knew how Tequila could take it to a new level.
1 ½-2 oz 100% Agave Tequila Blanco
2-3 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon juice
2-3 oz Lemon-seeped Simple Syrup*
Crushed old-fashioned lemon drop candies.
Prepare the lemon simple syrup* by mixing 1 c sugar, 1 c water and rinds of a full lemon. Heat almost to boil, and let seep for at least an hour. It tastes better the longer it sits, and made my simple syrup with Agave nectar using this same process.
To make the drink, put tequila, lemon simple syrup and crushed ice in shaker, and shake. Rub preferred glass with lemon and dip in crushed lemon drop candy. Pour cocktail and garnish with a slice of lemon.
Cosmo “Sexto en la Ciudad”
The drink made famous by the Sex in the City gang, con mas sabor
1½-2 oz 100% Agave Tequila –Blanco or Reposado
1-2 oz pure Cranberry or pomegranate juice. (I prefer pomegranate)
½ oz Cointreau (Ladies, you are worth using Cointreau)
1-2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice. Garnish with a Lemon Drop candy in the glass