Rosé Tequila Exists and Happy Hour Just Got a Little Happier
Come virtual happy hour o'clock, you have a few choices: Stir together a pantry cocktail. Pop a bottle of wine. Crack open a can of beer. Mix up a mocktail. For the sake of balance, we like a healthy mix of all of the above (not on one night, of course!). And we're excited to learn about an option that's tailor-made for those nights when we just can't choose one.
Rosé wine (which Nielsen reports is one of the fastest-growing vino categories in the last decade) is teaming up with tequila (which has seen 30% increases in stateside sales since 2014, according to the market analysis firm IWSR) for one super-powered and sure-to-be-popular spirit. Introducing: rosé tequila.
Not to be confused with Tequila Rose, a Mexican strawberry cream liqueur, this drink includes blanco tequila aged in red wine barrels for about one month to infuse them with the wine's flavor and a hint of color—resulting in a pink hue. As wine ages in the barrels prior to bottling, it sinks into the barrel itself a few millimeters. The high alcohol content of tequila, around 80 proof or 40% ABV, draws out some of the color and flavor remaining after the wine has been packaged and sold.
For the uninitiated, using red grapes to make rosé wine is not odd or a new concept—that's actually how regular rosé wine comes to life, too. The most traditional method for rosé wine production, skin contact, involves allowing the grape juice to age with skins for a portion of the aging time. The skins are then removed before fermentation and bottling. That means everything from pinot noir to grenache can be transformed into a red or rosé wine.
Back to that rosé tequila ... Codigo 1530 Rosa (available for delivery via Drizly) is a fairly recent addition to the market, and is made in cabernet barrels. It joins Bordeaux-aged Caramba Pink Silver Tequila and Asombroso La Rosa Reposado. Other tequilas are simply tinted pink to try to hop on the trend. To that and the unnecessary additives involved, we're saying "no way faux rosé."
For our first bottle of real rosé tequila, we have big plans. First up: Mixing with fresh lime juice and La Croix for an ultra-easy cocktail.