Food & Beverage

The Secret to Premium Tequila? Maestros Tequileros

Tequila’s reputation is changing. In America, it was typically consumed as a shot drink with a lick of salt and a bite of lime to hide its sharp taste. However, in Mexico, tequila has always been appreciated as a high-end product, enjoyed slowly and sipped delicately like a good spirit. Fortunately, the US market is now starting to realize just how promising this spirit can be. In 2021, tequila surpassed whiskey, becoming the second-highest selling spirit in the nation behind vodka.

As sales of tequila skyrocket, consumers are becoming more sophisticated. The Distilled Spirits Council reports a 706% increase in sales of super-premium tequila. What does that mean for operators? It means the era of mass-market tequilas is over.

With over 3,000 unique tequila brands on the market, savvy operators can stand out by offering ultra-premium tequilas from Mexican family-crafted brands, like Casa Aceves. When you carry brands like this, you’re not selling a product. You’re selling a story, a history, and a passion.

Now run by the third generation of Maestros Tequileros (master tequila makers) Casa Aceves weaves ancestral knowledge, modern innovation and market expertise to craft Mexican tequilas for today’s informed consumer.

Maestros Tequileros are masters of their craft. Like expert winemakers, they know the terroir and the plants, and they’re responsible for the flavor profile of each tequila. The Aceves brothers participate in every element of creation, from the agave harvesting to the distillation process. While Mexican universities now offer degrees, most Maestro Tequileros, including the Aceves brothers, also come from a lineage of tequila experts. Their knowledge goes beyond the science, and into the art.

To have a renowned Maestro Tequilero behind your brand is a sign of a premium product. It means their name, and their reputation, is behind each bottle. It’s a sign that what you’re about to drink is a world apart from the basic mass-market tequilas that have flooded the industry.

To be legally considered tequila, a spirit must contain at least 51% Blue Weber Agave, and it must be made using methods approved by the Tequila Regulatory Council (TRC). To cut costs, large scale producers will often harvest young agave plants that haven’t had time to develop deep flavors. Then, they’ll fill out their products with corn syrup, cane sugar, coloring and additives. These mass-produced spirits are called mixtos.

On the other hand, premium tequilas are made with 100% Blue Weber Agave, with no fillers, additives, or short cuts. They’re designed and produced by Maestros Tequileros to deliver superior quality. The Aceves brothers allow their agave to mature for six years before harvesting, and they walk the fields with the jimadores to select the finest plants. They use traditional methods, to roast and press the piña. But they also use cutting-edge technology and market research to inform the flavor profiles of their premium tequilas.

It’s a process that takes time. For José Aceves, the magic of tequila is in that process. “High quality tequila implies special care throughout its production, such as the selection of the raw material so that it is at its optimum point of maturation, unhurried cooking and fermentation and a very careful distillation that recovers those aromas that the master distiller wants to highlight. Its production is limited by the capacity [the Maestro Tequilero] has.”

True premium tequila is the culmination of painstaking attention to detail, passion, and pride of craft. And it deserves to be savored. “A premium tequila should not be drunk in shot glasses,” explains Álvaro Aceves. Instead, it should only be served in a fluted glass. That will allow the flavors and the bouquet to truly develop, like a fine wine. “It is wonderful to be able to appreciate in a glass the flavor of a sweet agave and feel the notes of the soil in which it grew. Tequila should be drunk in a state of complete awareness.”

Trust the Maestros Tequileros of Casa Aceves to give your customers at your bar or restaurant what they want: luxury sipping tequilas made with heart. If your venue is new to premium tequilas, here’s a quick guide on how to serve them:

  • Tequilas blancos aren’t aged, so they have the purest agave flavor. Use it in your basic cocktails, with high profits and reasonable price.
     
  • If you want to add more complexity to your cocktails, go for the reposado profile. Its barrel-aged notes will add depth to your drinks, although it will be worth increasing its price tag.
     
  • For a truly elevated cocktail experience, go for the añejo profiles which can replace whiskey or aged rum and offer sweeter flavors.
     
  • If you really want to impress your customers, offer the extra añejo profiles which can be enjoyed on the rocks, in an outstanding bottle will elevate the look of your bar and make it look finer.
     


Want to learn the secrets behind traditional Mexican distillation? Follow Casa Aceves to find out what makes it so valuable for business owners. Visit casaaceves.com or follow us on Instagram @casa.aceves  

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.