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Robb Report Vices

Prepare Ye for the Fifth of May

From the Publisher

Ahh, Cinco de Mayo. It’s this country’s favorite time to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage, and it provides a great opportunity to discover amazing crafts courtesy of the passionate artisans south of our border. In the coming weeks, as Cinco de Mayo approaches, we will be devoting plenty of attention to the things we love from Mexico. In fact, we’re starting right now. Consider this your first step to proper Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Awaken your senses with mezcal

We admit, mezcal is not for everyone. For some, sipping the spirit—which is produced from agave that has been smoked underground—is as enjoyable as sucking on the bottom of a well-worn boot. But for the bold, mezcal’s varied flavors and earthy sour notes are a dream come true. If you’re a mezcal lover or are merely intrigued by juice, we recommend El Buho, which is made from espadín agave in the city of Oaxaca. Slowly roasted in underground pits with mesquite wood, El Buho offers a sweetness, a subtle tang, and hints of smoke all at once. Should you be looking for something more rock-and-roll than a traditional vodka Bloody Mary, this spirit is a killer substitute.

Savor the splendor of a fine Mexican wine

That’s right; we wrote “fine” and “Mexican wine” in the same sentence. If you’re skeptical (and we suspect that many of you are), you need only get your hands on one bottle from Baja—Unico Gran Reserva by Santo Tomas. The 2007 vintage offers rich, dark fruit flavors with a spice that stands up to the local cuisine, while the wine’s bright tannins are balanced by its silky texture. Best of all, this wine sells for less than $50 and compares to Californian wines with price tags twice as high.

Finish the night with a luxurious reposado

Reposado is often the attention-deprived middle child, stuck squarely between blanco tequilas and the deep añejos. On one side, blancos deliver an untarnished aroma and the sweet flavors of fresh agave. On the other, añejos take on the rich, bourbon-like characteristics derived from the wood casks in which they are matured.

Reposados, by contrast, are often criticized for their lack of blanco-like freshness, not to mention their shallow depth when compared to añejos. There are, however, certain reposados that strike the perfect balance. Casa Noble ages its reposado for 364 days in new, French oak casks, which injects just the right amount of vanilla to the fruit of the agave.  This tequila delivers the best of all worlds—as a truly wonderful reposado should. This is a spirit worthy of a snifter and a toast to the end of a good day.

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