Rosangel Hibiscus-Flavored Tequila, A Cinco de Mayo Treat
Sipping a margarita made with the hibiscus-infused Gran Centenario's Rosangel's Tequila took me back several decades to when I tasted my first flavored spirit. It was a Buffalo vodka and appropriately enough, it was served to me in the former USSR on the eve of May Day.
So here on the eve of celebrating Cinco de Mayo, it seemed only appropriate to try the fanciful combination of an hibiscus-infused tequila that debuted to market about a year ago. While not a frequent tequila drinker, I was curious about the hibiscus, which as a tea drink is consumed hot or cold all over the world. In Mexico, the hibiscus is known for its mild flavor, tanginess and color.
Rosangel is made of the "finest, sweetest, highest quality" 100% Highland blue agave, and only harvested after a decade or more. The hearts of the agave are baked for up to 72 hours in traditional clay ovens to "guarantee that even the subtlest flavors of the agave remain." After the resulting spirit is fermented and distilled, it rests in new French Limousin white oak barrels for a minimum of 10 months, then blended with a small amount of older tequila reserves for balance and character and then set to rest for another two months in port barrels.
In preparation for my own celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I road-tested Rosangel's recipe for Margaritas.
Bottom line: The Buffalos in my liquor cabinet may just have to move over for the hibiscus. It's a kinder, gentler drink.
1 1/2 ounce Gran Centenario Rosangel
1/2 ounce premium orange liqueur
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Juice of one lime
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon cranberry juice
Splash of ginger ale
1 1/2 cups of ice
Pour all ingredients into an iced shaker. Shake with ice and serve. Sprinkle with dried Mexican hibiscus flowers or other edible flower petals.