Picture yourself standing in the middle of a vast, sun-drenched field in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The air is filled with the sweet, earthy scent of the blue agave plant, which has been growing here for years, reaching towards the sun, gathering nutrients from the rich soil, and slowly maturing into the key ingredient of the world's most beloved spirit - Tequila.
THE PERFECT PIÑA
The blue agave plant is at the heart of everything that makes Tequila so special, and at it’s core the "piña" is the holy grail. Dully named due to its resemblance to a pineapple, the piña is shrouded in mystery and untold secrets with only the truest artisans’ possessing the knowledge and skill to unlock its full potential. Just as the piña needs time to develop its sweet nectar, so too does true mastery require patience, persistence, and dedication.
As the sharp leaves are cut away from a mature agave plant, the dense piña is revealed. Weighing an average of 80-100 pounds, the piña’s are taken to the distillery where it is slowly roasted to break down the complex sugars inside. This slow roasting process not only unlocks its sweetest nectar, but also unleashes a mystical transformation that amplifies its flavor tenfold. It's as if the agave plant's essence transcends into the elixir, casting a spell on the palate with every sip. The sugar extraction process may be scientific, but the alchemy that occurs is pure magic.
NOM 1108 – El Tequileño
At Anejo Restaurant, we understand the importance of harvesting the piña once it has matured to its highest sugar content. And there are few Tequilas that perfectly embody this process—El Tequileño is one. Sourced only from the finest ingredients and distilled in copper pot stills at the family-owned distillery located in the town of Tequila, Jalisco, El Tequileño is named in honour of the people of Tequila and is a celebration of passion and heritage.
There are approximately 2,000 different brands of Tequila but El Tequileño is one of less than ten brands of Tequila that are exclusively produced at its own distillery. Focussing 100% on the craft and quality throughout its production process, El Tequileño has never produced another Tequila at their distillery. With approximately 130 active Tequila distilleries each are assigned a 4-digit number called the Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM) by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT). This federal governing body regulates and governs the Tequila industry standards by performing verification and certification activities. Assignment of a NOM number protects the integrity of the industry.
No Piña, No Party!
Come try El Tequileño featured at our Calgary and Banff locations and experience the magic of the piña for yourself. Let us guide you on a journey through the heart of Tequila production and discover the authentic flavors and traditions of Jalisco and Central Mexico.
*Thank you to El Tequileño for sharing their story and photos.