Stelios Papadopoulos is the tequila daddy, and he immediately dismisses the meme “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor!”
“That’s a total misunderstanding on how Mexicans drink tequila,” he said.
The Jose Cuervo brand ambassador recently conducted the World of Tequila master class at The Island in Bonifacio Global City, reminding us that too much of any liquor is sure to leave one sloshed.
For him, “tequila should be enjoyed neat in a tasting glass, like a fine spirit such as whiskey.” Flavored tequila is fine, especially on occasions such as Father’s Day. (Recipe below.)
He gave tips to fellow dads on how to enjoy tequila slowly, and not as a mindless shot.
“The tasting experience starts with the aromas. Smell, and taste it gently with the mouth slightly open. Go easy since it has high alcohol content, and never swirl.”
Tequila is actually a place in Mexico, where the drink was discovered in 1795. After receiving the first official charter from the King of Spain to produce tequila commercially, Jose María Guadalupe de Cuervo sold the very first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo.
Legit tequila is made of blue agave, a kind of lily that is often mistaken for a cactus. Sugar is extracted from the plant’s piña or “heart,” but harvesting it is a one-time thing so Cuervo has to keep on planting.
“If a drink is not produced in the five states of Mexico it cannot be considered tequila,” Papadopoulos said.
Jose Cuervo has several variants. Aniversario ultra-aged tequila is the rarest one. The limited-edition tequila is aged in French, American and sherry barrels, and comes in a fancy 250th anniversary bottle.
Reserva de la Familia is an Extra Añejo (aged) tequila, made of blue agave harvested at its peak maturity.
Especial Silver is a “budget” tequila with notes of caramel and fresh herbs, while Especial Gold is the Cuervo that we know—best for shots and margarita.
Can tequila be paired with food?
The short answer is yes, but first, know the tequila’s “expressions,” and there are many: “Blancos, Reposados, Añejos, Extra Añejos.”
Papadopoulos said that “Blanco Tequila can be served as a cocktail and goes well with oysters, seafood and barbecue.”
“Reposado has spicy notes so it’s amazing with steak. Añejo has herbal, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and dried fruits flavors making it fantastic with dessert,” he added.
Papadopoulos respects tequila as a personal drink. “Depending on your palate and tasting profile,” one can take it chilled, with salt and lime, even as a Jell-O snack.
His Father’s Day tip: “Drink responsibly, and always with style.”
• 1 part Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver
• 1 part grapefruit juice
• 1 part soda water
• 1 tsp superfine sugar
• Salt and lime for garnish
Combine ice, tequila, grapefruit juice and sugar, stir. Add soda. Pour into lime-and-salt-rimmed glass; garnish with a fresh lime wheel.