When asked if anyone ever mixed anything with her tequila, Bertha Gonzalez Nieves responded with a straight face, “Not in front of me."
And immediately upon sipping Casa Dragones tequila, I knew why.
Gonzalez Nieves is not only the co-founder and CEO of Casa Dragones--creator of one of the most delicate, handcrafted Blue Agave Joven tequilas on the market--she's the first woman to be certified as Maestra Tequilera or a Master of Tequila by the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila.
Casa Dragones is not what you’d use in your margarita. At $275 a bottle, it’s labeled as a sipping tequila, and it’s precisely that. The extremely smooth, floral, and almost creamy finish was something I did not expect. New flavors were present with each sip--coming from the Agave plant and from a hint of extra-aged tequila that is added to the blend which elongates the finish.
With 5 categories or types of tequila (Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo) choosing to focus all of her energy on one type was seen by some as a risky move. Gonzalez Nieves felt it was exactly the opposite. She was now able to put all of her efforts and attention to create a Joven tequila many have not experienced before.
The color itself is unique. We were served Casa Dragones in a crystal flute, and it was explained to us that crystal would show any imperfections, flaws, or color in the spirit. We saw none.
“We are obsessed with our clarity and our color,” Gonzalez Nieves said.
Unlike many other Joven-style tequilas, which may have a yellow-gold hue, this one is crystal clear because all color is removed during a modern filtration process. It’s even bottled in a handcrafted crystal vessel with detailed etching along the top and bottom to show it off.
Their website also offers endless food pairing ideas. Since this tequila might be too good to pair with that burrito or just any salsa and chips, it is suggested to sip with sushi, oysters or even fine cheeses.
You certainly don’t want to hastily shoot this tequila, or hide it amongst juice mixers. You should, however, hide it from your friends. Sip slowly, enjoy, and splurge a little this Cinco de Mayo.