In good spirits

Circulo Tequila

You can’t rush a good thing, and Circulo Tequila’s exquisite blend is testament to this – it’s even fermented to the sound of classical music

The romantic essence of tequila is at the heart of the Circulo Tequila experience. It’s there in the use of the agave, that extraordinary plant that gives its life for a drink. “The agave is the soul of the plant in a bottle,” says Circulo Tequila founder Joel Estrada. It’s there, too, in the design of the bottle, strikingly decorated by Mexican artists with a distinctive shape that pays homage to the circular-based pyramids of an ancient culture named Guachimontones in nearby Teuchitlán. And it’s there in the remarkable, time-intensive manufacturing process, which includes the use of classical music as an essential step in the long and thoughtful journey from plant to bottle.

“During the fermentation process you need to think of the tequila master as a chef preparing a delicious dish,” explains Joel. “How he is feeling and what he chooses to listen to while working will affect the yeast. It could be Bach or another baroque composer, but the rhythm and the melody will cause the yeast to react in different ways. The yeast is a living being and we want them to be happy during the process. You can see the bubbles responding to the sound of the tequila master’s voice – it is an amazing and romantic thing.”

Tequila is the gift of the agave plant, and Joel and his team have plans to produce other food and drink from this astonishing succulent. “One shared characteristic of all the products will be that they are high-premium products, meant to be enjoyed by connoisseurs,” says Joel. The company’s tequila is currently produced in a number of varieties. There is the Tequila Blanco, with strong body and silky complexion; the sophisticated Tequila Joven blend, which fuses Blanco with Extra Anejo, and the elegant Reposado, which is aged in American white oak barrels. All are available for export in the US as well as in the domestic Mexican market.

Much like Bach or any great composer, it has taken time for Circulo Tequila to achieve such exceptional notes of character and refinement. It took three years to finesse the design for the exquisite bottle, and time is also taken in the distillation process. The tequila master slowly walks the agave fields, using his experience and expertise to identify plants that are ready for harvesting. He selects only those that have achieved a perfect balance of herbal and sweet flavours, something that can be discerned by peeling the plant to see which are at optimum ripeness.

The agave is then slowly cooked in a traditional masonry oven with walls made of soil, which adds minerals and rich flavours, a stage that in this case takes 48 hours rather than the usual 24 hours. The plant is then squeezed and left to ferment for at least seven days rather than the usual three, using yeast imported from Champagne, France. Next comes double distillation. Finally, the body of the alcohol is allowed to mature, evolving in the barrel into a complex and rewarding brew. The result is a drink that contains floral and herbal notes with a smooth complexion.

“We always want to take our time,” says Joel. “We have the perfect bottle, the perfect concept, the perfect drink and the perfect package. Perfection isn’t always possible but we always try to achieve it.”