No truer love has existed than the one between millennials and their agave spirits. Between artisanal tequila, mezcal, and alternative agave spirits like Sotol and Bacanora, we’re hooked. Lucky for us, this movement is far from over. If you haven’t heard of Cristalino Tequila, than pull up a (bar) stool and have a listen.
What Is Cristalino Tequila?
Like the name suggests, it’s a crystal clear tequila but—surprise—one that has also been aged. As a Tequila Cazadores Ambassador I got the first peek at their fifth and newest expression and I am blown away.
At first glance you think it will have that agave-forward flavor of a Tequila Blanco but the aroma alone gives away it’s complexity. Tequila Cazadores Añejo Cristalino is created through the harmonious process of fermentation and distillation, a modern technique unique to Tequila Cazadores. Here’s how they do it:
- Similar to Cazadores Tequila Añejo the Tequila Cristalino is aged for 2 years in American white oak barrels.
- Activated charcoal is then added to extract all the color and tannins from barrel aging.
- The tequila is then sent through a filtration system to capture the charcoal.
- Resulting in super smooth, clear Añejo Cristalino Tequila.
Flavor Profile of Cazadores Cristalino
Tequila Cazadores Añejo Cristalino comes from 100% blue agave harvested exclusively in Jalisco, one of the five states in Mexico allowed to produce tequila and home to Tequila Cazadores.
You know what surprised me the most about this tequila? It is so smooth and sweet. Not in a cloying way but like a caramel apple-soaked-in-lime juice kind of way. Critics say that the charcoal filtration process extracts too much of the barrel-aged flavor, but I disagree. I think this new method creates a unique tequila that is light and smooth with natural sweet agave notes masked by a traditional aged tequila. It is very well balanced. Other flavors represented too, such as:
- vanilla bean
How To Enjoy the Best Cristalino Tequila
Like an aged whiskey or scotch, aged tequila is best served neat. I like to use a glass with a lot of room for the tequila to move around like a large wine glass or snifter. Making cocktails from this tequila is not recommended, you won’t taste all the nuances of the spirit when mixed with other flavors. A Blanco or Reposado tequila are best for margaritas and other mixed drinks.
What To Pair With Cristalino Tequila
Excellent on its own and also great with food, the liquor is subtle enough that it doesn’t overpower the other flavors at the table. It highlights grilled meats, chile sauces, and other rich dishes. A few of my favorite food pairings for Tequila Cristalino are:
Other Favorites From The Cazadores Family
I’ve been sipping on Cazadores fine tequilas as their Ambassador for a year now. Like the Añejo Cristalino Tequila, the Añejo and Extra Añejo Tequilas are best served neat so you can really enjoy all the subtleties while you sip. Their Tequila Reposado and Blanco however, are excellent mixed into cocktails. Here’s some highlights from the past year:
Taste and Tell
I hope you pick up a bottle of Cristalino and give it a try. Let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno on Instagram. I can’t wait to hear your tasting notes. ¡Salúd!
This post is written in partnership with Tequila Cazadores. Thank you for supporting the brands that make ¡Hola! Jalapeño possible.
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