Bar Cart Essential # 2 - Casamigos Tequila

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Perhaps you drink tequila because it's low in calories. That seems to be why a lot of celebrities got onto it. Or maybe it's because Meredith Grey and Christina Yang of "Grey's Anatomy" favoured  relied on it to get through their messy lives.

Or maybe it's not your thing at all. Most people I know can't stand the stuff.

Boy are they missing out.

Especially when you have an outstanding beauty like Casamigos Tequila in hand.

And it's not just because George Clooney is a co-owner, I assure you (though it certainly doesn't hurt).

I first tried this captivating spirit it in the form of a popsicle. That's right - a frozen treat to beat the heat. It couldn't have arrived at a better time. The margarita popsicle made with this stunning tequila was procured on one of the hottest days not just of the summer, but my life. Sweat dripping from my body, the best remedy I could think of was big blocks of ice. And here was the ultimate choice - a frozen cocktail on a stick.

I was one of the sexiest, booziest delights I've ever experienced. A kick of lime with a hint of boozy spice encase in a glaze of ice. I knew then that if it tasted that mind-blowing in a iced lolly, imagine how epic it would be in a glass, just on its own.

After all, not all tequilas are created equal, I assure you. There is a popular one that is a go-to for many and imbues a peppery heat without any flavour. You want a slow heat not burn, warmth with a slight agave sweetness, not fire down the hole.

A good tequila can relax me from head to toe. Like sake, it's the kind of spirit that eases the tension in my shoulders and neck better than most masseuses. In fact, it's one of the few times I get loose and limber, so much so that I often do a little shimmy and shake along to the music right at the restaurant/bar table. Just ask my BFF Zoe. She often can barely contain me.

Casamigos Tequila, created by George Clooney, Rande Gerber, & Mike Meldman, is the fastest growing ultra-premium tequila. In fact, it's sold so much, so well, so quickly, that George was quoted in a recent magazine article that he's made more moulah from this booze alone than everything else he's done to date combined. That's a ton.

So it is worth the hype or this just another celebrities attempt to make money?

It's one of the best I've ever tried and I've tried virtually all of them.

The founders say their idea "was to make the best-tasting, smoothest tequila whose taste didn’t have to be covered up with salt or lime. So we did."

There are three varieties: Blanco (aged for 2 mths), Reposado (aged for 7 mths), and Añejo (aged for 14 mths).

I tried the Reposado.

Swoon.

Indeed smooth and velvety, but not without verve, and a luscious nose (I hope someday soon it gets replicated in a candle and perfume).

I get notes of caramel, a little anise and a creaminess that is absolutely divine. The on-its-way to long finish is steady and debonair.

There is much in the process that makes it stand out from the crowd: 100% Blue Weber agaves that lend a subtle sweetness that never overpowers;  agave piñas (centers) are slow roasted in traditional brick ovens for three days; and fermentation that takes just over three days.

The result is one beautiful, sophisticated spirit on its own, by the shot, on the rocks, or if you must, straight outta the bottle.

This is not the tequila of your youth, to be knocked back with abandon. This is a cultivated tequila meant to be sipped and savoured, not douse yourself in.

And of course as delicious as it is on its own, you're going to want to see how it shines in a cocktail:

- Margaritas

I love margaritas, but often I find Triple Sec and other liqueurs mask the nuances of the tequila. So I've come to enjoy mine simply over ice - I was unaware this was a thing, apparently called Real Man's Margarita. If I want something a little more involved I do homemade simple syrup, a little water, fresh lime juice, shaken with ice, and erved on the rocks. With Casamigos, the saltiness comes through thanks the citrus, so I find it doesn't even need additional salt. However, their Margerita recipe manages to be outstanding as well, however you'll want the Blanco for this one. To feel the sun on your back no matter how much snow is piling up around you, get in on the vivaciousness of my new favourite Pineapple Cilantro Margarita.

If margaritas aren't your thing, don't worry - there's much more excitement to come:

- I am all over the Reposado New Fashioned, Casa Backflip and Friends with Benefits.

- Get into the holiday spirit with sippers including The Handsome Tiger (roar!), Casa Toddy,  Maple Drop, and Chocolate Caliente.

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Casamigos Tequila is a refined, polished tequila that deserves a reserved spot in your home bar.

Should you live in the U.S., you can find out where to pick up a bottle or order online. In Ontario Canada, you can get Blanco and Respado in-store at the LCBO or have it delivered.

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