Culture

Our Summer Will Be Ending On A Sparkling Note Thanks To The Release Of This New Brand Of Sparkling Tequila

Summer 2019 is officially the summer carbonation took over the hearts and minds of the adult beverage industry. Natty Light, PBR, Four Loko, the internet favorite, White Claw, and practically any alcohol company with a pulse who can make and bottle boozy seltzer jumped on a train that continues to bubble out of control.

The next phase of the sparkling beverage boom: sparkling tequila.

LA-based Pure Azul just announced that it will be rolling out Azulana sparkling tequila this week in California, producing the first and only beverage on the market made with 100% blue agave tequila and sparkling soda.

Crafted in Jalisco, Mexico, it comes canned in three flavors: Original (tequila-flavored sparkling soda), Lime, and Pineapple Rosemary. Azulana sparkling tequila will be released in 12-oz. cans, containing 4.3% ABV with 145 calories.

In other words, the legit perfect drink for summer. You just may want to break out some sal y limón to fully enjoy it. 

The three flavors are each unique and, not gonna lie, sound straight up tasty.

Credit: @AzulanoTequila / Twitter

According to the company’s website, the “Original” flavor goes down smooth with a “lightly sweet” and “slightly tart” taste.

The “Pineapple Rosemary,” meanwhile, boasts a fruity, herbal flavor somewhat reminiscent of flowers, while the “Lime” option is zesty and tropical.

Sparkling tequila is the latest in a total takeover of the alcoholic beverage industry by sparkly, bubbly bebidas. 

Clearly, Azulana looks to capitalize on two glaring beverage industry trends: the proliferation of sparkling hard seltzer and the continued success of tequila, which Azulana notes “continues to thrive.” In 2017, for example, the US saw an 8.5% increase in tequila liter sales over the previous year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

In a press release, Katie Pittman, Head of Sales and Marketing at Pure Azul notes, “Our goal is to help others understand that tequila isn’t just enjoyed during a wild night out – with Azulana, it can truly be enjoyed during all occasions – anywhere, anytime.”

It’s also good timing — tequila sales are up, up, up, across the US. 

It may not seem like it to those of us who regularly order the Patron or Cuervo when having a party, but it’s true. Tequila sales are booming in the US. In 2017, for example, tequila sales were up 8.5% from the year before. 

So if there was ever a time to enter the tequila business, it would be now. Make them coins. 

The grand unveiling was August 22nd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

And, of course, it made its debut at a Rolling Stones concert. Because I guess tequila and Stones go together like…sal y limón? 

But don’t worry if you didn’t make it to that concert. You won’t have to wait long. The sparking tequila beverage will be available at Bristol Farms supermarkets in Southern California from August 28th before expanding to other markets and regions from then. 

While some seem to at least be open to the idea…

I mean, it all really depends on your feelings toward sparkling drinks to begin with. If you’re already a fan, then sparkling tequila isn’t too much of a stretch. 

Mexicans are openly skeptical.

But let’s note, many on Latino Twitter basically said they were simultaneously fascinated and disgusted by the idea of sparkling tequila.

And a few people pointed out that summer is nearly over. 

But if you have sparking tequila at your house…is summer ever really over?

There’s A Women-Led Tequila Brand Inspired By Día De Muertos And You Need To Try It

Culture

There’s A Women-Led Tequila Brand Inspired By Día De Muertos And You Need To Try It

Satryna/ Instagram

A women-led company has made Satryna a new premium tequila inspired by Día de Muertos. The brand which boasts a 60-year-old family recipe passed down three generations have made the tequila with The Day of the Dead in mind. Using luxurious and premium ingredients, Satryna is only available in small batches and will cost you a pretty penny. 

Owner Nitzan Marrun, an heir to the legendary Tequilera Newton and Maestra Tequilera Mireida Cortes from Tequilera Newton have joined forces to launch Satryna Blanco, a triple distilled version and Satryna Cristalino, an Añejo Claro versio. 

During Día de Muertos, a Mexican celebration of remembering and honoring the dead, it is not uncommon to use a bottle or shot of tequila as an ofrenda. Enter: Satryna. 

A tequila inspired by the owner’s Mexican heritage.

The handcrafted glass bottle makes an intricate display of Mexican iconography. The focal image is a modern mockup of La Catrina. Mostcommonly depicted as a female skeleton in European style clothing to symbolize she is ashamed of her indigenous ancestry. La Catrina is an icon of Día de Muertos thanks to Jose Guadalupe’s Posada’s original satirical illustration in the early 1900s. 

“[Día de Muertos]is not only a very powerful and mystic celebration that brings together all Mexicans, but also great care is taken with every aspect of the celebration to honor our ancestors,” Marrun told Forbes. “Likewise my Satryna tequila is mystic, powerful and great care has been taken into every aspect in order to honor my ancestors and their legacy.” 

Each bottle is handcrafted and etched with ancient Aztec sketching, the metal topper is a sugar school, but more than that Marrun believes is a key part of Día de Muertos celebrations. 

“Tequila is part of the ofrenda,” says Marrun. “It’s an offering to the dead, which is an essential part of this day’s celebration…It is a way of honoring our family and friends who have past away with the food and drinks that they liked the most when they were alive. When we set an offering for my ancestors, we always place our favorite drink, Satryna tequila.”

A 60-year-old family secret finally comes to light in Satryna. 

A descendant of the Newton family Tequilera, Marrun says she spent years honing her craft and learning the family’s traditional methods. It took time but she was able to convince her family to release the 60-year-old family recipe that has been tweaked with Marrun’s learnings. 

“Growing up in Mexico, Nitzan developed a passion for tequila and spent considerable time honing the craft and dreamt one day her tequila would be admired and sold all over the world,” the company website reads. “After many years of convincing her family, they have now decided to release this legendary tequila so that true aficionados around the world can savor this special gift of Mexico.” 

The process of making Satryna is pretty intense.

Satryna is made from 100 percent blue weber agave curated from the “Tequila Valley of Mexico” in Jalisco. The agave is derived from the rich volcanic soil in the area and grown for eight to 12 years. When it is perfect, the agave liquid is extracted, then fermented and distilled three times. Lastly, it’s aged in oak barrels from California and Cognac. 

“The semi-arid and semi-humid soil in the rich agricultural lands of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt is ideal for the harvest of our sweet agave plants. Each hand-selected and harvested is ripened to perfection only after being nurtured for eight to 12 long years,” according to the website. 

Satryna claims their Maestro Tequilero utilizes a tequila making process that is centuries old combined with a modern distillation process to ensure purity and smoothness. 

Each bottle of the spirit is numbered and signed by Carlos Newton, one of  Tequilera Newton founder Enrique Newton’s descendants. Satryna Blanco pricing starts at $90 and Satryna Cristalino starts at $169. It is quite the investment but the laborious process and the owner’s attention to detail explain the costly price tag. Moreover, the stunning bottle, with it’s intricate and historical artwork, wouldn’t make a bad centerpiece a once the contents are gone.

What Is Pulque And Why Do People Either Love It Or Hate It?

Culture

What Is Pulque And Why Do People Either Love It Or Hate It?

Oscarlemuss / Instagram

Along with tequila and mezcal, pulque is the one of the most iconic Mexican alcoholic beverages. Its origins ago deep in history and speak of the indigenous past and present of the country.  This is what you need to know about this mythical drink that is making a comeback as a mainstream road to indulgence. 

So what exactly is pulque anyway?

 Pulque is beautiful in its simplicity. The drink is the fermented sap of the maguey or agave plant. It has a thick, gooey consistency that takes some time getting used to. It has a milky color in its pure state, but many pulquerias add fruit juices and honey to make it a curado or flavored pulque. This is how journalist Emily Sargent described pulque in The Times: “sweet, thick, syrupy agave juice served inexplicably in pint-jug portions”.

It was known as octli by the Aztecs and is surrounded by fascinating myths.

Credit: Instagram. @neomexicanismos

Pulque has been drunk for at least 1,000 years. The Aztecs believed that the liquid collected at the center of the succulent known as maguey was actually the blood of Mayahuel, the goddess of the maguey. It was also believed that if you got drunk on octli a rabbit would possess you. There were 400 rabbits known as Centzon Totochtin, and they were the children of Mayahuel.  Up to this day, some pulque drinkers spill some of their drink to the floor as an offering to Mother Earth. The word pulque is Mexican Spanish, dating in print to 1877. 

Pulque is a key element of Mexican popular culture.

Credit: Instagram. @celsotours

In particular, pulque is a constant in visual memories of the Mexican Revolution. Salud

There are even B-movies that honor pulque culture!

Credit: La Pulqueria / Videocine

In the 1970s and 1980s, low-quality films known as sexy-comedias-mexicanas showcased pulque culture in various films. The most famous is La Pulqueria, directed by Victor Manuel Castro and featuring la creme de la creme of Mexican comedians and the most famous boxer in Mexico’s history, Ruben Olivares. 

Pulque is now being consumed by Mexicans of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Credit: Instagram. @neomexicanismos

For decades, pulque was associated with the lower classes, which speaks of the sad but inherent racism that permeates Mexican mestizo culture. For example, it was common to see homeless men drunk on pulque featured in Mexican cinema. The drink has made a huge comeback in the past 15 years, and pulquerias, traditional dens where people meet to drink pulque, are popular amongst city dwellers of all socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Pulque production is mostly artisanal and “organic.”

Credit: Instagram. @estampas_de_mexico1

Rather than being distilled as with tequila and mezcal, the elixir that emanates from the maguey is left to be fermented. First, the sap is extracted from the center of the maguey and then placed in 50-liter barrels called tinas. After than, mature pulque, known as seed pulque, is added to jump start the fermentation, which takes from one to two weeks. The pulque maker needs to consider factors such as the weather and the quality of the sap to determine the exact fermentation period that stops the pulque from turning sour and undrinkable. It is more art than science. 

Pulque is the product of a long, natural process.

Credit: Instagram. @cocinafacil

Pulque is a labor of love. Each maguey plants needs to mature for at least 12 years before the sap can be extracted. After that, it produces sap for only one year at the most. That is a long wait, but the benefits are worth it. 

And hey, it brings some health benefits too!

Credit: Instagram. @bandita_chilanga

Of course you need to drink it in moderation, but pulque does bring important nutritional benefits. An academic paper states that for some Mexicans “pulque was the third most important source of iron (non-heme form), ascorbic acid, riboflavin, and other B-vitamins”.  Carnales, it’s science! 

Pulquerias usually have creative names.

Credit: Instagram. @semahernandez

Great names include “My Office”, “Memories of the Future”, “Drink and Go”, “I’m Waiting for You Here at the Corner”, and  “The Recreation Center of Those Across the Street”. A true testament of Mexican everyday creativity and knack for humor.

The state of Hidalgo is pulque heaven.

Credit: Instagram. @mexico_desdeadentro

Even though pulque is produced across the country, particularly the areas surrounding Mexico City, the state of Hidalgo takes the crown as the most prolific. There are about 250 pulque haciendas in the state. 

In Tlaxcala, the state government has organized a tour called “la ruta del pulque.”

Credit: Instagram. @enriquenoriega

You can visit different production sites… and perhaps be possessed by a rabbit if you drink a bit too much!

There is no right or wrong way when it comes to pulque-drinking receptacles!

Credit: Instagram. @nilsbernstein

You know how people get snobbish when you drink white wine with a red wine glass? Well, that is not the case with pulque, which you can enjoy in basically anything that holds the nectar from the gods. Each pulqueria has its own style when it comes to serving methods. 

You can even drink it directly from the plant when it has been naturally fermented.

Credit: Instagram. @neomexicanismos

Yes, even a used Coke bottle will do! Just look at this pulque master!

Or you can also drink it straight from a maguey leaf.

Credit: Instagram. @oscarlemuss

Can you think of a more Instagrammable way of doing this? We can’t!