Back before we Returned to Garda, I’d been pricing up brands of tequila, and had settled for one I wanted to buy at a price I wanted to pay. The only problem was that it was out of stock at the retailer that had it at that price. So I decided to wait. I came back from Italy one pay day richer, and ready to have another quick peruse before deciding one way or another. Arette Blanco was still out of stock at Drink Supermarket, but at Amazon, they had this on offer. It’s like tequila apparently, but it’s made from a different plant (Desert Spoon or sotol instead of agave) and is from the Chihuahua region of Mexico.So this was £26.91 (including delivery) for 70cl and it’s 38% alcohol. It comes in an impressive (but ugly) mottled and [I don’t know] tombstone shaped bottle, with clear labelling and some nice silver text on the side. There’s a label around the neck and a large stopper that is sealed with a kind of string-wax arrangement. It looks a bit like one of those water containers that you see cowboys drinking out of in old western films.
I saved the moment of fulfilment for a games night with Pablo and Veronica, breaking it out after a couple of beers. That string-wax arrangement I mentioned looks nice enough, but it proved a devilishly difficult obstacle for me to overcome. Seriously; it shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to open a new bottle.
I have to admit, I was disappointed at first, as the Hacienda de Chihuahua sotol doesn’t deliver any of the qualities I look forward to in enjoying tequila. No rough edges, no agave sting, no sharpness. If anything there was something creamy about it. In its favour was that it didn’t just taste like cheap alcohol – but on the flipside of that, it just didn’t really taste like much.Whether or not these are characteristics of sotol in general I couldn't say, but I can't see any harm in finding out by trying another brand one day.
Fortunately the Chihuahua (a frustratingly difficult word to type on this laptop) proved to be easy drinking and provide a safe option for when I couldn’t decide what to start an evening’s drinking with. I’d still prefer something a bit more bold and demanding of my attention, but this has turned out to be decent value and a worthwhile investment. In the end even Mrs Cake enjoyed drinking it neat, and it was nice to try something a bit different, and look all cultured when friends came round.
I think I will go back to tequila next time – perhaps something of the anejo variety - but if you have more than a passing interest in the wide world of spirits, it’s worthwhile completing a Mexican trilogy that starts with tequila, moves on to mezcal, and finishes with this. I wonder if there are any more to try…