Well, as I mentioned in my first post, we got a lot of catching up to share all the things we have done over the years to make Tanteo the leader in 100% Agave Infused Tequilas. I thought I would start today by writing about the sourcing of Jalapeños we use to make Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila. For this, I want to introduce you to Ernesto de Alba, my right-hand man down in Tequila, Mexico. Below is a photo of Ernesto and me at a bullfight in Guadalajara a few years ago (sorry for the guy’s bum in the background).
Ernesto is the man responsible to ensure all of our Jalapeños are of excellent quality to make the perfect Jalapeño Tequila. Ernesto selects our Jalapeños from two farms, depending on the time of year. In the summer, we go to the state of San Luis Potosì, in the mountains to the North East of Jalisco, in a little town called Villa de Artista. In the winter, we source closer to the coast, outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Controlling the farms and time of year we harvest is very important to controlling the heat intensity and Jalapeño flavor of the finished product. However, we take it one step further and sort all our Jalapeños after harvest to create the different macerates (Tequila + Jalapeños), that go into the final Tequila. It is really easy to get very spicy peppers, but since we are making Tequila to drink, not hot sauce, we need to get a whole lot more flavor than heat. For older Jalapeños, with more pith, seeds, and heat intensity; we divide to create a macerate called M1.
Younger, more flavorful jalapeños, however, are the secret to great flavorful Jalapeño Tequila. For our M2 macerate, we source young, fresh jalapeños and hollow out the pith and seeds to create a fresh, vegetal macerate.
We also use a third macerate called M3, which contains peppers that we ripen on the vine until they start to turn red. These are the most heat intense, but they also provide a richness that rounds out the final flavor.
I can’t give away all our trade secrets, but hope this post illustrates that creating great infused tequila starts with great ingredients, and we take great pride in making sure the right ingredients are used to make Tanteo. Next week I hope to talk a little more about the macerating process, and what happens when we bring peppers to the distillery.
Para la buena vida,