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Kylie Keogh on Tequila

Kylie Keogh on Tequila

Mexican dancers by roger ce and unsplash

Herradura Legend, a first-of-its-kind Anejo tequila

Tequila by format arw and unsplash
Tequila by format arw and unsplash

Herradura Legend, a first-of-its-kind Anejo tequila

My early concept, and experience, of tequila was far from a high-brow one. It belonged to the late 1980s, when a bottle of red sombrero-capped El Toro tequila was cracked open at a friend’s house as we got ready for a night – illegally – at some terrible nightclub, wearing heels we couldn’t walk in and teased, lacquered fringes that gave us extra few inches of height.

Herradura by Kylie Keogh
Herradura by Kylie Keogh

Why we chose tequila as our “pre’s” poison I have no idea. But I do remember the pleasure of the Friday night ritual of lick (salt), sip (tequila) and suck (lemon) before heading out to drink White Russians (vodka and milk – not a lie) bought for us by “older” men… who were 19.

But it must have had an indelible (and not a good) effect on me because I didn’t go near tequila for decades, choosing to hide if someone stupidly ordered a round of tequila shots late in the evening when we’d clearly had enough.

Tequila by iam os and unsplash
Tequila by iam os and unsplash

Tequila in Tribeca

In 2018 I thankfully summoned the courage to revisit tequila when in New York City a friend and I were taken to an exquisite Tribeca bar lined with gold-lit shelves along each wall that held rare liquor. The Brandy Library, which happily still exists, is for connoisseurs of all spirits, not just brandy, and as our local host hailed from Mexico, it was the tequila flight we ordered.

Mexican dancers by roger ce and unsplash
Mexican dancers by roger ce and unsplash

This, and a trip to Mexico in 2020 where I visited blue agave farms and sampled some of the best tequila, meant I was “cured” of my previous, let’s call it, “shyness” of the Mexican spirit. So, by the time I was invited to a Herradura Legend Tequila tasting at Cirq bar in the Crown building at Barangaroo recently (to which I brought my friend who did the tequila flight with me in New York), I felt ready, and deserving, of some really posh tequila that is way too classy to wear a plastic red sombrero.

Margaritas with Kylie Keogh

Proceedings commenced with a margarita, which has been my cocktail of choice since travelling to Mexico, and I find it is one cocktail bartenders anywhere can’t muck up (though I get quite testy when only half the glass rim is encrusted with rock salt – what is that about?). Things then got very Millennial for this Gen X’er, and we did the intro and tasting wearing headphones so we could hear the passionate host Grant Shearon take us through the history of Herradura and guide us through the tasting. It did kind of feel like being in a silent disco, which, to be honest, I’ve actually never been to.

Kylie Keogh enjoying Herradura
Kylie Keogh enjoying Herradura

The first tasting was more of your classic tequila, clear and easy to drink. Called Plata (silver in English) it’s the entry level to the range and very drinkable with “subtle oak”. The second tasting was Reposado; slightly amber coloured from the oak ageing, with a much richer, spicy taste. And the third was why we were there – the Herradura Legend which has been introduced to the Australian market.

Tequila by ahtziri lagarde and unsplash
Tequila by ahtziri lagarde and unsplash

Plata tequila is crisp

This didn’t even taste – or look – like tequila. It left me with a warm glow like an Irish whiskey. Based on the wordless nods of the other headphoned guests, this seemed to be the pick and at $300 a bottle, is in the “special occasion” category. Though any of these are top shelf tequila. Apart from the Legend, which really is a category of its own, I really liked the Plata for its crispness, and this Christmas when my bartender Gen Z son is making classic margaritas, my request will be to use this tequila.

Herradura by Kylie Keogh
Herradura by Kylie Keogh

The night continued – sans headphones – with more margaritas with our very hospitable guests and whether it’s cheap tequila of yesteryear, or the posh Herradura kind, it was reminder that tequila always makes me want to dance. So, while waiting for the lift to arrive at the 26th floor, my friend and I had an impromptu boogie. TEQUILA!

Herradura Legend tequila

Herradura Legend, a first-of-its-kind Anejo tequila, is now available in major retailers including Dan Murphy’s.


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