Margaritas make refreshing summer drinks, but they aren't the only cool, tequila-fired game in town (bloody Maria's anyone?). If you're looking for something to spice up an often under-appreciated spirit, or need some rocket fuel to mix with all those fresh ingredients from your garden, check out Artá Tequila.
Yes, I'm aware that many of you may try to avoid tequila, on account of what happened during your freshman-year trip to Juarez, or because you still remember the loamy taste in your mouth after the weekend following the big layoff. But hear me out: tequila can actually be good! Even subtle and delicious!
I hadn't heard of Artá, but since I'm a big fan of green drinks (both socially and swallowingly), I said I would give it a try, after a PR rep called and offered a free sample bottle. It arrived a few days later, and did not disappoint.
I should say that I do like tequila, having lived with a guy in college who was rarely without his "Cup O' Tea," and made a convincing case for everyone to do a shot at the slightest provocation. Flunk a test? "Boy, get your Cup O' Tea on!" Get a phone number of a cute girl? "Boy, get your Cup O' Tea on!" Perhaps needles to say, Artá goes down a bit easier than the old Montezuma bottom shelf. Lime is more of a garnish than a necessity. Artá does also make good margaritas, which were a hit at a party I recently attended.
What's green about Artá? According to the maker it is 100% organic, and is currently in the process of seeking certification. Artá is made with 100% pure blue agave (many cheaper brands mix in cane sugar and other fillers to thin out the good stuff). It is aged in 100% oak barrels and is said to be harvested, distilled and bottled with the Earth in mind. This means small, handcrafted batches and estate-grown agave, tended by 11th generation ranchers and 3rd generation distillers, the Gonzalez family, who use traditional methods and their own unique recipe. In fact, Artá is produced in the town of Arenal, which some call the birthplace of tequila. (The brand also has a "tequila visitor's center" and "tourist distillery" on the beach in the Cabo San Lucas area.)
Artá's bottles are made with recycled glass and refurbished metal details, sustainably produced cork, and recycled paper. The triangular look and bold graphics are a mix of contemporary and historic aesthetics, like the drink.
Perhaps taking a cue from 1% for the Planet, Artá pledged to donate 1% of profits toward charitable causes.
Artá comes in three varieties, like many tequilas: Silver ($39.99), Reposado (aged 11 months, $49.99) and Anejo (aged 2 years, $59.99).
Artá isn't the only organic tequila around; check out 4Copas, Casa Noble and Republic Tequila to get you started. I haven't had the pleasure yet, but if you've tried any of these, let us know in the comments. And although Rapper's Delight Patron isn't organic, owner Paul Mitchell (yes, the guy from the hair commercials) commissioned Russel Gehrke to build him a biofuel motorcycle that can actually run on tequila.
I wonder if tequila would work in a Guayabera? Muddled avocado anyone?
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