A few weeks ago, I attended a DesMaDre Tequila Dinner ($55/person) at Sol Agave in San Juan Capistrano. The restaurant is located in the old Harlow space, and was borne out of the Sol Agave food truck by Jesus Galvez, affectionately known as “Jesse”. The brick and mortar is a collaboration between Jesse and the now defunct Savannah Chophouse alum Manny Velasco.
I first encountered DesMaDre Tequila through a friend of mine last year, when I attended the brand’s launch party where I was able to taste the Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo. On this evening begins with a cocktail…
… followed by fresh tortilla chips, salsa, and bean dip, followed by with an introduction by DesMaDre owner Marcos Higareda, who guides us through the tequilas beginning with the brand’s Reposado.
Jalapeno Lobster Bisque, our first course of the evening, is paired with the golden amber-hued Reposado – my favorite of the three. I take a spoonful of the grass-hued potage, then a sip of the Repo, repeat, then repeat again. I am always amused when a pairing works to such perfection. The flavors of the soup is greatly highlighted on my tongue after a swish of tequila. The Reposado rests eight months in Bourbon barrels, which explains the heady mix of vanilla and nutty overtones with a mild and sweet bouquet, creating a perfectly balanced finish.
Shrimp Taquitos is our next course, also paired with DesMaDre’s Reposado.
Next, we are presented with the un-aged Blanco, an un-aged clear tequila which blossoms in my mouth from its prominent ripe pear aroma and hints of floral notes. It is smooth possessing no harshness as it travels down my throat with ease. It is paired with my entrée choice – Chilean Seabass with villa rica sauce and white rice.
Since the other entrée choice of Filet Mignon is paired with Anejo, we are poured this dark golden amber after our fish course. Aged 15 months in Bourbon barrels, and finished for three months in Sauterne casks, there are hints of vanilla and chocolate with mild toffee notes in varying sips.
The Anejo works well with the Rompope Flan dessert as it is rich and creamy in texture and mouth-feel. The spirit is reminiscent of Bourbon, which should appeal to whisky and Bourbon aficionados across the board.
For me, the Reposado is my favorite regardless of brand because it possesses bold flavors, but won’t overwhelm palates unaccustomed to the punchy finish in their mouths, which will happen with Anejo. Of course, Blanco is the best for first time tequila drinkers as it is extremely smooth, with a delightful floral finish.