I was recently talking to some drinks trade professionals about tequila and mezcal. Two own a bar and the other works in a shop selling a wide range of spirits, wine and beer. The Mexican agave spirits have been feted by the spirits trade for many years now. However, I was interested to know if this passion has really transferred over to the spirits-buying public or remains niche or a difficult hand-sell.
They all told me that interest has really grown, especially during the pandemic. Customers are buying more tequila and mezcal and awareness of the more premium expressions has increased too. This is backed up by market research. According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, "Agave-based spirits have trebled in volume in the prestige-and-above segments in the past five years and we forecast them to grow at a CAGR of close to +40% over the next five years."
Lockdown saw many people experiment at home with cocktails. The well-loved Margarita, for example, is a simple one to recreate with just a few easy-to-find ingredients. However, both tequila and mezcal are not just for cocktails. Good quality spirits are for sipping on their own as well, with or without ice. Yet the sheer theatre and satisfaction of making your own cocktail is something special and tequila is great for that. So, is there something new and interesting in this category to let your creative juices, quite literally, flow from the bottle?
The small-batch Rooster Rojo Smoked Pineapple Infused Añejo Tequila is now available in the UK and complements three other classic tequilas in the Rooster Rojo range: Rooster Rojo Blanco, Reposado and Añejo.
Their tall wine-style bottles carry bold vintage graphics and the bold image of a red rooster, which is proudly a symbol of Mexico. The new Smoked Pineapple expression features cut-away spiked pineapple leaves on the bottle label to stand out against the dark amber tequila.
Finos is know as the 'green' distillery. Around 80% of the energy used to produce Rooster Rojo tequila comes from solar power, with the aim to eventually achieve 100% in the near future.
Rooster Rojo is produced using 100% Blue Weber agave in the heart of the UNESCO-protected Tequila region, right next to the Volcán de Tequila. Master Distiller Arturo Fuentes Cortes uses the distillery's own proprietary yeast strain to ensure a distinct and consistent flavour profile. Pristine pure water is sourced from the distillery's own deep artesian well on the slopes of the nearby volcano. The Mexican silver used in the distillery's innovative water filtration gives it more softness and roundness, delivering an exceptionally smooth flavour. The Reposado is aged for two to six months in ex-Cognac casks, while the Añejo is aged 12-18 months in American white oak, formerly used for ageing bourbon.
Rooster Rojo Smoked Pineapple Infused Añejo Tequila is first aged for at least 12 months in ex- Bourbon barrels. Then it's infused with essence from Red Spanish pineapples which are smoked to give an extra layer of complexity.
Notes of caramelised baked banana 🍌 and pineapple chunks 🍍 come through immediately on the nose. These carry on to the palate with light smoke and hints of spice, while the fruit lingers on the long, refreshingly dry finish.
Sarah Gandy, Marketing Manager at Amber Beverages UK, says: "Rooster Rojo Smoked Pineapple Infused Añejo Tequila is a crafted tequila with its own personality. It's for spirits drinkers who want to enjoy new expressions and explore how a quality tequila can carry flavours. We will support the launch with a trial amongst fans of tequila, as well as sociable, adventurous drinkers who are open-minded to discovering innovative spirits. Bartenders can experiment in classic tequila cocktails with a new kind of sour and smoked with rich fruity notes."
You can serve it simply with tonic water and garnish with an orange slice. Alternatively, here are a few cocktail suggestions:-
You can buy Rooster Rojo Smoked Pineapple Añejo Tequila in the UK from selected retailers, including Drambusters, priced £29.30 per bottle. Other retail stockists for the Rooster Rojo range include Master of Malt, Amazon and Ocado.