There was a creative campaign by Belvedere a few years back that states “Maceration is Perfectly Natural”. While clever, provocative, and catchy; it is also true. This is the essence of making the macerates that make Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila- we put tequila and peppers together and let nature do the work. As I mentioned in the last post, getting the right peppers to the distillery is very important in creating the final product, as quality ingredients make quality tequila.
However, our work is not done when the peppers get to the distillery. After they arrive, they are greeted by many of the great workers at our distillery to process for maceration. Here is a picture from 2010 after we created the 3rd batch of Tanteo Jalapeño (sorry, I am not in the picture)
To process the jalapeño’s we bring big stainless steel tables outside to ensure proper ventilation and grab a bunch of rubber gloves, masks, goggles, knives, and spoons. In a normal shift we process 700 KG of Jalapenos, and if we are really busy we can do up to 1100 KG for a double shift.
As discussed in the last post, we chop the jalapeño’s two ways: either the disks of the Jalapeño’s with all the pith and seeds, or the shells of the jalapenos without the pith and seeds
After processing the peppers, we drop them in our maceration tank and add a bunch of 55% alcohol tequila to start the maceration process. We use the below 3000 lt Maceration tank, and the tank rotates slowly to fully immerse the peppers without bruising them. The exact amount of time we infuse and the proportion of peppers to tequila are trade secrets here at Tanteo, but I can write that when the macerates come out and are filtered through a multiple step filtration process, they are very green, almost green juice like.
So that is how we make the Tanteo Jalapeño Macerates. We store the macerates in 1,000 lt containers, and the flavor does change over time. Next week I will write about how we turn these macerates into our finished product.
Para la Buena Vida,