Cocktail of the Month: Tequila-based

Although the Tequila category remains extremely small due to its having heretofore been limited to shots and the occasional cocktail, in the US Tequila is growing faster than the overall spirits market. But it’s also becoming a growing part of the on-trade cocktail culture in Ireland.

As a spirits category, Tequila has come to enjoy growth on a global scale of late. Worldwide, Tequila growth hit over 5% in 2016 and around 5% again in 2017 and some even mark it as the next big thing after gin.

Certainly it seems to be growing faster than the overall spirits market in the US, its biggest market along with Mexico.

This global growth has been accompanied by premiumisation of the Tequila category. Alongside this move, its use in cocktails here is becoming increasingly popular.

For those who prefer to slam it back, the traditional lick of salt is frequently now being replaced by a more daring chili as a partner to the lime.

Tequila comprises three distinct types:

*       unaged white: Blanco

*       ‘rested’: Reposado

*       aged: Anejo


The Anejo, ‘aged’, means that it has remained in an Oak barrel for at least a year but less than three. As it ages thus, the Vanilla tones begin to emerge and it’s a careful balancing act to ensure that these do not overwhelm the distinctive Agave flavour.

Those seeking Tequilas for cocktail-making tend to prefer the younger varieties and the purer the Tequila the better.

In times past, the lack of controls on Tequila production tended to result in an unreliable cocktail that only damaged the category’s reputation but this market has become much more sophisticated today. These days, to merit the name Tequila, Agave – a lily, by the way, not a cactus plant – must comprise at least 51% of the product mix.

Of course using 100% Agave in a Tequila will give a cleaner drink and take your customers even farther away from that ‘hangover’ formerly frequently associated with Tequilas.


Tequila in Ireland

IWSR figures put sales of Tequila here at 16,000 nine litre cases last year, with Premium white Tequilas showing growth of 15.8% over the year before, 2016, to 1,100 cases while Premium gold Tequilas grew 5.3% to 1,000 cases, not huge by gin standards – yet.


Jose Cuervo – Tequila, Tacos & Tales

Jose Cuervo presented an evening of contemporary Mexican food and drinks where cocktail lovers got to experience a night of tasting and toasting to the world’s leading Tequila brand recently. The night, which took place in September, consisted of signature cocktails all made with Jose Cuervo Tradicional 100% Agave Tequila.

The Tequila that founded the category, Jose Cuervo Tradicional, celebrates a family tradition started more than 200 years ago.

Guests gathered at Medley in the old Irish Times building and enjoyed a Cuervo Squeeze on arrival ahead of a masterclass with Tequila Educator Oli Pergl. He took them on a Tequila journey from the Agave fields of Mexico to the Jose Cuervo distillery, La Rojeña, Latin America’s oldest active distillery.

The crowd savoured a tasting of Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver and Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado followed by Margaritas and Palomas. Tequila-lovers also sampled the Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia, the Cuervo family’s award-winning 100% Agave extra-Añejo Tequila.




Create your own Cuervo Squeeze, Tommy’s Margarita and Cuervo Paloma with Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver.

Cuervo Squeeze


  • 40ml Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver Tequila
  • Sparkling Lemon
  • Lime



  • Add ice in the glass
  • Add Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver
  • Top up with sparkling Lemon
  • Squeeze and drop a Lime wedge in the glass
  • Garnish with Lime wedge


Tommy’s Margarita


  • 50ml Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver
  • 30ml fresh Lime juice
  • 15ml organic Agave syrup
  • Ice
  • Lime for garnish
  • Salt for rim



  • Rub rim of a chilled Margarita glass with half a Lime
  • Dip into salt to coat half of the glass
  • In a shaker with ice, add Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver, fresh Lime juice and organic Agave syrup
  • Shake vigorously
  • Strain into the Margarita glass
  • Garnish with Lime wedge


Cuervo Paloma


  • 35.5ml Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver
  • 35.5ml Grapefruit juice
  • 35.5ml soda water
  • Wedge of Lime to serve



  • In a sugar-rimmed Collins glass, combine Cuervo, Grapefruit juice and soda water over ice
  • Garnish with Lime



Sauza Tequila

Sauza Tequila is the perfect complement to a night out, allowing any moment to become a celebration. Each bottle of Sauza Tequila, the Margarita’s favourite Tequila, is carefully crafted using the finest Agave from the renowned Sauza distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.

Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam, Sauza offers a full line of Tequila including the popular Sauza Tequila Gold and Sauza Tequila Silver.

The soul of any Tequila can be found in its Agave flavour.

Sauza Tequila is a 100% Agave Tequila complemented by an added herbal dimension for a consistently smooth flavour. All the Sauza Tequilas are double-distilled in copper pot stills. Within 48 hours of being harvested, the Agave plants used for Sauza begin the process of turning into Tequila. Consumed as a shot or a mixer in popular cocktails such as a Margarita, this Tequila is a firm favourite in the bartending world.

The Original Margarita was the result of a chic socialite, Margarita Sames, mixing her favourite spirits together until she made the perfect drink while entertaining at home.  In 1948 in Acalpuco, Mexico, the Margarita was born, made with two of her favourites: Tequila & Cointreau.





Ingredients for the Original Margarita:

5 cl Tequila Sauza Blanco Silver

3 cl Cointreau

2 cl fresh Lime juice


How to mix the Original Margarita

Step 1: Garnish a Margarita glass with a salt rim

Step 2: In a shaker, pour the Sauza Tequila Blanco Silver, Cointreau and

then fresh Lime juice

Step 3: Add ice and shake

Step 4: Strain into your glass

Step 5: Garnish your glass with a Lime wheel.




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