Don Roberto is a tequila that’s been made in Mexico since 1840. Now it finally arrives in the U.S., and the company had master mixologist Junior Merino on hand to talk teq (did you know: There are only 128 tequila distilleries in Mexico but over 1,000 tequila brands?) and mix up some delicious tequila cocktails taking advantage of all three Don Roberto expressions.
Some thoughts on the experience and the three expressions (all are 80 proof and 100% agave, of course).
Don Roberto Blanco Tequila is a big tequila with lush agave and sweet potato notes, a touch of smoke from the soil, and big heat in the body. A little winter melon in there helps to round out a really rich spirit. A- / $45
Don Roberto Reposado Tequila was arguably my favorite of the trio, aged six months in new oak and complex with coconut, lemon, and hints of pepper and spice. The body is a little thin but not overly so, the finish a smooth and supple callback for continued quaffing. A- / $55
Don Roberto Anejo Tequila spends 18 months in oak and is surprisingly light in color, considering its age. Big baking spice and hefty coconut flavors are nice, but there’s way more heat in this one than in the Reposado, which makes it a tad less smooth. I like it just a touch less than the reposado, but it was perfect with Merino’s habanero-spiked homemade sangrita, heavy on grapefruit juice and light on the tomato. B+ / $60
Merino’s cocktails were universally good, running from the impressive to the elaborate — the Don Roberto Refresher has 11 ingredients, not including the salt rim — as were his bar snacks. Tequila-absinthe gummies, anyone?