Blog: Olly WehringDon Julio - slamming the door on Tequila slammers?

Olly Wehring | 15 March 2007

I won’t lie. I was actually quite scared yesterday evening, as I headed to the Tequila tasting. Previous experience had told me never to go near the stuff again, hence the trepidation.

Four hours and five courses of Mexican cuisine later, however, and Diageo’s Reserve Brands Group team had very nearly managed to persuade me of the merits of social Tequila.

The focus of the evening was Don Julio Tequila, made from 100% mature blue agave from the Los Altos area of Mexico. The ultra premium spirit’s production technique is designed to take away bitterness and make the tequila ‘sippable’.

The first surprise was the menu, prepared by Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera. With no sign of fajitas of burritos, Olvera served up a host of intriguing dishes ranging from Chicharron – a bit like gourmet pork scratchings – to shrimp cappuccino.

Each course was matched with a tequila from the Don Julio range of Blanco, Reposado, Anejo, 1942 and Real. The Reposada, with a taste of chocolate and cinnamon, was my hands down favourite.

The idea of table Tequila is certainly a new one to me, but worked as a gentle reintroduction to the drink since our last run-in 15 years ago at university (I lost).

Having established José Cuervo in the UK market, Diageo is now billing Don Julio as “the new Mexican Wave”. The drinks giant can draw strength from Don Julio’s success with Tequila connoisseurs in Mexico and the US and could succeed in introducing the brand through trendsetters at exclusive venues in cosmopolitan cities like London.

However, its marketing team may need to throw a little salt over their proverbial shoulder before the wider consumer is prepared to ditch a slammer for glamour.


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