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    Salt and lime is not the only way to enjoy Tequila. Milton Alatorre of Patrón tells us more

    Tequila has always been the go-to drink for quick highs. But that’s because we tend to forget the good stuff on the top shelf. Milton Alatorre, regional director of marketing and commercial strategy Asia Pacific – Patrón Spirits International, who was in town this week, gives us a glimpse into the ways the spirit can be enjoyed, and that ageing Tequila brings out a bouquet of aromas you never thought possible.

    Tequila has been considered the bad boy of alcohol over the years. Is that perception changing?
    It is true that Tequila is misconceived as a bad quality drink, only to be consumed in the form of shots for the sake of getting drunk. There is a large difference between the two categories of Tequila — mixtos (using only 51 per cent agave and adding in other sugars) and 100 per cent agave, which is a premium product. As youngsters, mixtos make more economic sense. Shooting it with lime and salt was devised to cover up the strong smell of low quality Tequila, something you will not have to do with premium products. But, an increasing number of people are turning to 100 per cent agave, understanding that a quality product does not give you a hangover and appreciating the flavours that the drink can provide.

    For most of the world, Tequila is had from shot glasses. There must be more to it than that?
    In 2004, the Tequila industry worked with Reidel to come out with the Tequila glass, which is similar to champagne glasses, but shorter. The slightly pear-shaped glasses allow for better aromas to emanate from premium Tequila, giving you a better range of flavours. It gives you a chance to sip on your drink, just like you would a single malt or a cognac. Of course, world over, Tequila is also used in cocktails like the American Margarita. This makes premium Tequila an adaptable drink that can be consumed in multiple ways based on your taste profiles. Personally, I would like to sip on Tequila at room temperature or chilled.

    What are the tequila drinking trends you are seeing across the world?
    I find that people who enjoy aged whiskey prefer slightly aged Tequila with an oak flavour; those who like cognac prefer the one that is oak-aged for little over a year. In Australia today, people have begun sipping their Tequila mixed with tonic water or ginger beer. Internationally, there is still a preference for Tequila in cocktails.

    How does ageing of Tequila enhance a drinking experience?
    The more time Tequila spends in a barrel, the more aromas it imbues from the wood. So you get additional aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, some coffee and chocolate too. This will change the profile of the drink to a large extent, lending to the drinking experience.

    What are the varietals of Patrón available in India?
    In India, we have the Silver Patrón, Gran Patrón, and a mix of varietals that include The Reposado and the Anejo in varying categories. Each of these has different ageing parameters and time frames that lend to the drinking experience. While some are aged in single barrels, others are done in a mixed range of barrels, adding to their taste profile and layering.
    Rs 13,950 upwards.
    At multiple outlets.
    Details: patrontequila.com
    —Ruth D’Souza

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