Tequila

29 October, 2012

Agave (copyright Shutterstock)

Cohen adds: “Within the 100% agave segment, silver tequilas are becoming very popular because of their versatility and mixability.

“For instance, pretty much any cocktail you can make with a white spirit such as vodka, rum or gin, you can also make with Patrón Silver tequila.”

In the Pernod Ricard camp, mixability is the name of the game. Next month will see the final of its Tahona Society cocktail competition.

UK brand ambassador Matthias Lataille says: “Over the past three years Olmeca Altos and the Tahona Society have trained more than 1,000 bartenders from all over the world in cross-category quality tequila. The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition by Olmeca started with nine bartender finalists from six countries in 2010, and has grown to 19 bartenders from 11 countries this year. This year, the Tahona Society will change from a Margarita contest to a cocktail competition, which will allow bartenders to fully express their creativity.”

Innovation

Last month, Olmeca announced that it was rolling out its Fusión Dark Chocolate tequila liqueur to Spain. This follows the product’s launch in South Africa, Greece and Austria.

Olivier Fages, international vice-president for Olmeca, says recruiting new tequila fans is a big part of the appeal of these products. He says: “While bartenders across the globe are really embracing tequila with innovative and exciting cocktails, there is still huge scope to grow the other side of the category, by recruiting young, adventurous consumers.”

The Fusion range also includes Olmeca Fusión Hibiscus (20% abv), which is available in Greece and Austria.

Variations on a theme

Patrón is attracting new drinkers with its tequila-based coffee liqueur, Patrón XO Café. The drink uses Patrón Silver tequila as the base spirit and Cohen says international growth of the product is up 38% for the year to date.

Cohen adds: “Not only is it unique and highly versatile in cocktails and cooking recipes, it has also proven to be an effective entry point into tequila for some consumers who are curious about the category but may still be a bit wary of tequila.”

Earlier this year, Tomas Estes launched Ocho Curado in the UK – a blanco tequila with a maceration of cooked agave.

Following the success of the launch, Ocho is set for further innovation.

Estes is planning a ‘late harvest edition’, which is made “exclusively from agaves harvested just before the rainy season so the raw agaves have concentrated sugars, acids and minerals”.

Estes is starting to sound like he’s describing a vintage. Could this be the next stage for tequila? After all, it seems to be working for the scotch whisky industry. As for parting shots, there’s not one in sight.





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