Not aged: #1: Partida Blanco, Corzo Silver, Tezon Blanco, Fina
Estampa Blanco, Patron Silver, #2: El Tesoro Platinum, Chinaco Blanco, Herradura Silver
Slightly aged: #1: Don Eduardo Reposado or Partida Reposado, #2: Los Arango Reposado, #3: Gran
Centenario Reposado or Herradura Reposado
Our favorite tequila for a smooth Perfect Margarita (see our recipe
below) is Don Eduardo Reposado. It is extremely smooth and mixes well.
Another excellent smooth Margarita can be made with Gran Centenario Reposado.
For a Perfect Margarita with a stronger tequila flavor, we
prefer Partida Blanco, Partida Reposado, or Los Arango Reposado. The Partida
tequilas are very impressive with an extremely long finish or tequila
after-taste (which is very agreeable). The strong agave flavors of Partida
Blanco and Partida Reposado have made them our current favorites. Corzo Silver is also impressive. The 5/22/06 issue of Forbes had an
excellent article titled
on some of the new super premium tequilas.
Where to Buy Tequila in Florida
If you are interested in acquiring high-end (super premium) tequilas
in Central Florida, options had been somewhat limited but have improved
significantly with the opening of Total Wine & More.
Total Wine & More
has a surprisingly large selection of tequila including a number of excellent
tequilas (many of which are not shown on their web site) such as Corzo, Don
Eduardo, El Tesoro, Fina Estampa, Partida, Patron, and Tezon. According to their
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
carries Gran Centenario and Patron as well as Herradura (Reposado only) although
an visit to two of their stores also found Corzo Silver ($44.99) and the full line of Partida (Blanco, $49.99; Reposado, $54.99; Anejo, $61.99), but
no El Tesoro, Chinaco, Distinguido, El Diamante del Cielo, Fina Estampa,
Frida Kahlo, or Tezon. Some of the independent
liquor stores in Orlando do carry El Tesoro, Frida Kahlo, and Partida.
Knightly Spirits has one of the better selections in Central
Florida although prices are on the high side. In addition to the items
shown in the table below, Knightly Spirits also
carries Corzo Silver ($45.99), La Certeza Blanco ($44.99), La Certeza Reposado
($49.99) and La Certeza Anejo ($59.99). Knightly
Spirits does not carry Partida or Frida Kahlo.
If you have a Florida address, you can order super premium
tequilas from B-21 Wine
Company (which is located near Tampa) or from
Northlake Wine & Liquor Store (which is in Weston in south Florida).
B-21 carries El Tesoro, Frida Kahlo, and sometimes has Partida. However, Northlake
carries many more super premium products including El Tesoro, El Diamante del
Cielo, Frida Kahlo, Partida, and Tezon as well as the usual Gran Centenario,
Herradura and Patron products.
In theory, you can order from
Northlake Wine & Liquor Store for delivery in the Orlando area although
we found that they are totally incapable of of managing the shipping process. If you are ordering from the Orlando area,
you will find that their web site will not process the order. However, you
can call them and order ground delivery which should arrive in one or two days to
Orlando if properly shipped by DHL, UPS or FedEx (ground shipping for 4 bottles would be about $15).
Our attempted shipping experience with Northlake was not successful.
First, they told us they
were shipping by DHL and then they shipped by USPS and the order was returned to
them by USPS after a week with a broken bottle. Then they said they would
ship again, this time with UPS. Instead they then shipped by DHL using a
drop box! Despite two calls to verify the address to Northlake, they still
managed to use the wrong zip code and the order went elsewhere in Florida before
arriving in Orlando two days late. When the order arrived, there was major
leakage and was returned. Northlake did not properly package the order:
it was not not marked fragile; there was no indication of which side was up; the
bottles were apparently shipped lying on their side (which can result in leakage
by itself); and there did not seem to be sufficient insulation. We cannot
recommend trying to have anything shipped by Northlake as they are clearly
clueless about how to do so properly.
As of 4/30/06, we
haven't found anyone in Florida who carries
Distinguido (apparently available in 14 states including Florida although we
haven't seen it yet), Jaime Rosales (not available anywhere in the USA yet, apparently), and
(available in Pennsylvania). (Note:
For checking Tequila availability, you can use Wine-Searcher at
http://www.wine-searcher.com.) Los Arango tequila does not seem to be
available anymore in Florida (although we have since found it at Pat's Liquor Leaf & Wine)
and is hard-to-find elsewhere as well. As of December 2007, only B-21
carried the new Jose Cuervo Platino although ABC also had it in stock in early
Tequila Prices for some favorite tequilas
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
Total Wine &
Crown Wine & Spirits
|Cabo Wabo Reposado
|Don Eduardo Reposado
|El Tesoro Platinum
|Gran Centenario Reposado
Lowest price shown in bold.
Prices taken from company web sites in July 2006 except for Knightly Spirits
with prices noted from a personal visit.
Total Wine & More prices are from their Orlando catalog for March 2007 through
June 24, 2007.
Crown Wine & Spirits is a South Florida chain with competitive prices.
Products shown as not available sometimes available by special order.
*In-store price often shows a sale price, generally at $3 or so less.
Special orders. B-21 will take special orders, but requires a
case order (a case being six bottles). ABC takes special orders (which
take 2 to 3 weeks to fill) for single bottles, but prices bottles at $10 to $20
higher than you would find elsewhere in Florida. Albertson's also
encourages special orders, but we have no experience with them as of yet.
New tequila brands are constantly being
released. Newer premium products include Corzo, El Diamante del Cielo, Fina Estampa,
Frida Kahlo, Jaime Rosales, Partida, and Tezon. Partida has had particularly good
early reviews and may be found in various independent liquor stores throughout
Orlando as well as at some ABC stores. The Fina Estampa
tequilas can sometimes be found at Total Wine & More; we haven't seen them anywhere
Orlando Spirits Perfect Margarita recipe:
1½ ounces 100% de Agave tequila
(either a Reposado or a Blanco/Silver/Platinum)
1 ounce Cointreau
Juice of one Mexican key lime or
ounce key lime juice
½ ounce agave nectar (such as
Madhava Agave Nectar
10 small distilled water ice cubes
Optional: two dashes of
Regans' Orange Bitters No. 6
Add ingredients to stainless steel shaker and shake for about 5 seconds. Pour
contents (including the ice) into
glass (salted rim optional).
Key limes or Persian limes (which are somewhat larger than key limes) really do
taste better than full size limes in this recipe.
Useful Tools and Equipment:
Mini Ice-Cube Trays Ice cube trays for small cubes are harder-to-find
than you might think.
Lime Press Makes squeezing the juice out of limes effortless.
You cut the lime in half and place the cut side down over the holes.
Kershaw citrus knife A special citrus knife may seem like overkill,
but it does work wonderfully.
Cook's Illustrated gave it a good review.
We prefer the cobbler cocktail shaker (in stainless steel). Although we
have bought these online, it makes sense to buy a cocktail shaker in person
since you want one where the three pieces stick together firmly. Loose
fitting pieces may give you a shaker that leaks.
Glassware We prefer a 10-ounce red wine (round bowl) glass or the
inexpensive, but functional, 12-ounce
Libbey Cactus Margarita glass. We find the common shallow margarita
glasses to be too unstable.
Mexican key limes and low-priced distilled water can be found in Orlando at
Walmart Neighborhood Markets.
Madhava Agave Nectar Light can sometimes be found at Chamberlain's in Orlando or
online through eBay or online at
Favorite Tequila Sites:
excellent site for the latest information
In search of the blue agave A very detailed site on tequila and its
PocoTequila.com An interesting
site with some good drink recipes and many links
Tequila Aficionado.com A
good site for some information
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