Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Catching the Wave of Flavored Tequilas

Producers and restaurants alike are finding value in flavor-infused tequila

Catching the Wave of Flavored Tequilas

Producers and restaurants alike are finding value in flavor-infused tequila

By Rob Corliss
March 21, 2024

By Rob Corliss
March 21, 2024

Tequila continues its dominance as a base spirit, propelled by drivers like the rise in aged sipping tequila, celebrity endorsements and innovation around the classic margarita. Infused flavor is the natural next step for this spirit’s growth and popularity. A number of tequila brands have rolled out high-quality flavored tequilas, with infusions like jalapeño, mango-habanero, coconut, pineapple, grapefruit and espresso.

Progressive restaurant brands and also on board, making in-house infusions for a super-premium sensibility. For example, at Castaway in Burbank, Calif., the Shiso Vain cocktail features shiso-infused Patrón silver tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, organic agave nectar, Grand Marnier foam and Hawaiian red salt. And not too far away at Calaca Mamas Cantina in Anaheim, flavored tequila stars in the Spice Up My Life. House-infused chile de árbol Astral blanco tequila is combined with melon cordial, cucumber juice and lime, and garnished with a cucumber wrap and chile-dusted melons.

TRY THIS

  1. Cherry Añejo Old Fashioned — Roasted cherry-infused añejo tequila + agave + Angostura bitters + orange peel + ice
  2. Spicy Tequila Coconut Crush (slushy) — Coconut blanco tequila + triple sec + pineapple juice + vanilla syrup + ice + fresh Serrano slices
  3. Prickly Hard Lemonade — Spicy cucumber-infused blanco tequila + prickly pear lemonade + lime slice + ice
  4. Aloha-Spiked Agua Fresca — Li hing mui–infused joven tequila + mango agua fresca + ice
  5. Tequila Cold Toddy — Valencia orange–infused reposado tequila + chai syrup + ice + salted maple syrup

Tequila continues its dominance as a base spirit, propelled by drivers like the rise in aged sipping tequila, celebrity endorsements and innovation around the classic margarita. Infused flavor is the natural next step for this spirit’s growth and popularity. A number of tequila brands have rolled out high-quality flavored tequilas, with infusions like jalapeño, mango-habanero, coconut, pineapple, grapefruit and espresso.

Progressive restaurant brands and also on board, making in-house infusions for a super-premium sensibility. For example, at Castaway in Burbank, Calif., the Shiso Vain cocktail features shiso-infused Patrón silver tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, organic agave nectar, Grand Marnier foam and Hawaiian red salt. And not too far away at Calaca Mamas Cantina in Anaheim, flavored tequila stars in the Spice Up My Life. House-infused chile de árbol Astral blanco tequila is combined with melon cordial, cucumber juice and lime, and garnished with a cucumber wrap and chile-dusted melons.

TRY THIS

  1. Cherry Añejo Old Fashioned — Roasted cherry-infused añejo tequila + agave + Angostura bitters + orange peel + ice
  2. Spicy Tequila Coconut Crush (slushy) — Coconut blanco tequila + triple sec + pineapple juice + vanilla syrup + ice + fresh Serrano slices
  3. Prickly Hard Lemonade — Spicy cucumber-infused blanco tequila + prickly pear lemonade + lime slice + ice
  4. Aloha-Spiked Agua Fresca — Li hing mui–infused joven tequila + mango agua fresca + ice
  5. Tequila Cold Toddy — Valencia orange–infused reposado tequila + chai syrup + ice + salted maple syrup

About the Author

mmROB CORLISS is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu.

About The Author

Rob Corliss

ROB CORLISS is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu.