Curating Our Tequila Collection – What is a NOM?

At the Inn on the Alameda, we take tequila very seriously. We’re passionate about the spirit and love to share our love of it with our customers. We want to educate you about tequila and help you find the right tequila for you.

To that end, we curate our collection by NOM so you can see which distilleries made each of the tequilas we feature. Today, we want to teach you about NOM and why it is essential for tequila drinkers.

What is a NOM?

NOM stands for Norma Oficial Mexicana. The NOM is the official Mexican standard of tequila. That number represents the distillery where that tequila was produced and certifies that that distillery meets the legal standards tequila producers must adhere to when making tequila. It is a four-digit number you can find on the back of every bottle of tequila.

What can you learn from a NOM?

You can use the NOM to learn more about the distillery where that tequila was made. It can be used to help you evaluate the quality of the tequila you are drinking.

There are more than 1,400 registered brands of tequila but only about 140 licensed tequila distilleries in Mexico. Each licensed distillery has its own unique NOM, and any tequila produced at that distillery will carry that number. This means that each of those distilleries is associated with a number of tequila brands that, while distinct brands, share the same NOM.

Will tequilas with the same NOM taste the same?

Not necessarily. They’re all made at the same distillery using the same equipment. The different brands with the same NOM can taste similar but with different profiles based on a variety of factors, including where the agave that was used came from. If you find a tequila you like, you may enjoy other brands with the same NOM.

At Joe’s Tequila Bar, we offer a wide variety of tequilas to satisfy both the conservative and the adventurous. Stop by and sample tequilas from the same or different NOMs. We even offer flights to allow you to explore and learn more about tequila.

Santa Fe’s Margarita Trail

Santa Fe can rightly claim the title of margarita capital of the country. Tequila made its debut in the United States in Santa Fe as an import carried along a 1,200-mile stretch from Mexico City.
Today, visitors to Santa Fe can enjoy participating in the Margarita Trail, stopping off at different locations around Santa Fe to sample different takes on the margarita.

Tourism Santa Fe launched the Margarita Trail as part of the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in 2016. The trail featured 31 local restaurants and bars offering various margarita versions. Since then, 16 more establishments have joined the Margarita Trail. Participants receive a stamp from each establishment that they stop at to sample a margarita. You can pick up your Margarita Trail Passports from the Santa Fe Visitor Centers. Old Passports can be exchanged for the current Passport at no charge, and stamps transfer to the new version. The passport allows users to collect stamps, earn prizes, and get a $1 discount on each signature margarita. Smartphone users can also download an interactive Margarita Trail app to help them explore the trail.

The Margarita Trail features a rewards program as an incentive for collecting stamps. Collecting five stamps earns a Margarita Trail T-Shirt. Participants who collect ten stamps earn provisional membership in the Margarita Society. 15 stamps give a participant full membership. Margarita Society members attend invitation-only social gatherings and lectures and receive the quarterly newsletter, Margarita Insider. Individuals who earn 20 stamps receive an autographed copy of The Great Margarita Book by former Maria’s owner Al Lucero. Individuals collecting 30 stamps received a branded bartender’s kit. Everyone who completes the Margarita Trail receives a VIP Margarita Package.

Joe’s Tequila Bar at the Inn on the Alameda is one of the can’t-miss stops along the Margarita Trail. As one of the Margarita Trail’s original establishments, Joe’s Tequila Bar offers a wide variety of tequilas designed to satisfy tequila purists and adventurous connoisseurs. Joe’s Tequila Bar serves more than tequila. We also offer wine, beer, and other spirits. Our menu includes delicious Southwestern-inspired appetizers and entrees, including vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, on the menu. Come and enjoy a drink and a bite today!

A GUIDE TO TEQUILA AŃEJO

Thanks to the margarita, tequila is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the country. But what many people don’t know is that there are three major types of tequila: Tequila Blanco, Tequila Reposado, and Tequila Ańejo, each with its own unique characteristics.

Each of the three types of tequila is distilled from the juice of the Blue Weber Agave plant. The distinction lies in how each is handled after the distillation process is completed. Tequila Blanco is not aged before being bottled, while Tequila Reposado and Tequila Ańejo are aged in oak barrels. Some producers opt to age Tequila Reposado and Tequila Ańejo in barrels that have previously stored other spirits such as bourbon, cognac, or wine, which adds distinctive elements to the agave notes.

Tequila Ańejo is aged for at least a full year which lends distinctive flavors and creates a distinct dark amber color to the tequila. Barrels previously used to store bourbon add rich, smoky vanilla notes to the spirit while storing tequila in French oak barrels produces a sweeter, fruity tequila with prominent vanilla and caramel notes. Coffee and honey notes are also frequently present with Tequila Ańejo.

Tequila Extra Ańejo was designated as a separate category by Mexico’s Consejo Regulador del Tequila in 2006. Tequila Extra Ańejo has been aged for at least three years, a process that lends a darker amber color to the tequila and also creates taste notes of peat. Tequila Extra Ańejo needs to be cut with water, which lends an even smoother flavor in addition to tempering the proof. Cognac lovers will likely enjoy drinking Tequila Extra Ańejo with its rich, full flavor.

Both Tequila Ańejo and Tequila Extra Ańejo are sipping spirits. They can be paired with food but are better suited to being enjoyed on their own. We often have guests come in and say they haven’t found a tequila they enjoy but really want to try. We always ask, “Are you a bourbon or whiskey drinker?” If the answer is “yes”, Añejo tequila, especially an Extra Añejo, is going to pull you right into the tequila world.

After being aged in used oak barrels the tequila starts to reflect characteristics and flavors of whatever was aged in the barrel before. One of the fun facts is that tequila can be aged in any used oak barrel. So, you can find some very different and unique Añjeo tequilas, most from whiskey and bourbon. But some producers are starting to age their tequila in sherry, cognac, and even wine barrels. Like we said before Añejo is a sipping tequila, but if you want to try it in a cocktail, try it in a Manhattan or an Old Fashion.

Joe’s Tequila Bar at the Inn on the Alameda offers a wide variety of tequilas aimed to satisfy the most discriminating drinkers and accommodate both traditional and more adventurous palates. Tequila isn’t the only drink on the menu. Beer, wine, and other spirits are also on offer. Joe’s Tequila Bar also featured tasty Southwestern-influenced appetizers and entrees. Come, relax, and enjoy a drink or a meal!

A Guide to Tequila Reposado and An Exclusive Drink Recipe from Joe’s Tequila Bar

Tequila is the product of distilling the Blue Agave plant – a succulent that grows throughout Mexico. To be legally sold as tequila, spirits must be derived from the Blue Weber Agave and contain no less than 51% agave juice. Tequila containing up to 49% sugars from other spirits is called Mixto. Tequila is only legally produced and distilled in five Mexican states (Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas).

There are three major types of tequila: Tequila Blanco, Tequila Reposado, and Tequila Ańejo. Each of these three types of tequila has its own unique characteristics that determine the best ways to enjoy the drink.

Tequila Reposado is the result of storing freshly distilled tequila in French or American oak barrels for periods ranging from two months to one year. During this time, the tequila obtains a golden cast. Tequila Reposado retains some of its original agave flavors and the same citrus notes associated with Tequila Blanco. However, Tequila Reposado also has caramel, honey, chiles, dry chocolate, spices, vanilla, and cinnamon notes. Some producers age Tequila Reposado and Tequila Ańejo in barrels that previously held bourbon, cognac, or wine, which add their own flavor elements to each batch.

More robust variations of Tequila Reposado can be mixed in cocktails. However, Tequila Reposado versions with subtle agave notes are better drunk neat or over ice. The smoother composition of Tequila Reposado compared with Tequila Blanco also makes it more palatable to some drinkers. It also generally pairs well with food.

When it comes to Reposado tequilas, our bar staff can introduce you to some amazing tequilas. From vanilla and caramel sweet notes to smoky, chile, pepper, and spice notes. Come in and let us design a flight for you.

We serve all our tequilas with salt and lime. But when trying Reposados, cinnamon and orange find a way of opening your palate to discover notes in the tequila that you didn’t even know were there. You might even find a new way of drinking tequila.

For one of our newest cocktails is a Berry Margarita, we use a reposado that falls right in line with the vanilla and caramel notes: Asombroso Tequila (our head bar tender’s favorite) shaken with Chambord (black raspberry brandy), a splash of lime, and agave syrup.

Berry Margarita
2 oz Reposado Tequila
1 oz Chambord
1 oz lime juice (here at Joe’s we only use freshly squeezed lime juice NO MIXES)
1 tsp of Agave syrup

Add ice and ingredients to a shaker. Shake it all up and pour into a sugar rim glass. Enjoy!

Joe’s Tequila Bar at the Inn on the Alameda offers a wide variety of tequilas aimed to satisfy the most discriminating drinkers – possessing both traditional preferences and more adventurous palates. There is more than Tequila on the menu. Beer, wine, and other spirits are also available for drinking alone – or paired with one of our delicious Southwestern-influenced appetizers and entrees. If you’re exploring the Margarita Trail, come and enjoy a drink– and add a stamp from Joe’s Tequila Bar to your collection!

A Guide to Tequila Blanco and An Exclusive Drink Recipe from Joe’s Tequila Bar

It’s well known that tequila is distilled from the juice of the Blue Weber Agave plant. What is less well known is that there are actually three major types of tequila: Tequila Blanco, Tequila Reposado, and Tequila Ańejo. Each type has unique characteristics that determine when and how it’s best enjoyed.

Tequila Blanco is also known as white tequila. It’s a young spirit customarily bottled immediately after the distillation process and is crystal clear. Some producers elect to “rest” Tequila Blanco in steel tanks for a month to allow the flavors to settle somewhat before the spirit is bottled – which gives it a smoother taste without diluting the tequila with other elements. Some purists insist that Tequila Blanco is the only “true” tequila.

Because of how it is produced, Tequila Blanco reveals more of the flavor of the agave plant, providing a closer drinking experience to that of the Spaniards who first distilled agave juice centuries earlier. Other tasting notes commonly associated with Tequila Blanco include grassy herbals, black pepper, and citrus.

The taste of Tequila Blanco can be too harsh for some drinkers – especially when it is consumed straight in shots. However, Tequila Blanco is ideal for cocktails because it stands up well to other spirits and liqueurs. It also pairs well with fish, shrimp, and different types of seafood for meals and small bites.

Whether you have it neat, on the rocks, or a mixed drink, we believe that Blanco tequilas make the best margaritas because they have little to no rest time in a barrel. The agave taste can really present itself through the lime. So, it is not hard to see why our first drink recipe is going to be a “Silver Coin Margarita.”

Many people hear the words “Silver Coin” and assume it’s a top-shelf drink, but once you learn that the name “Silver Coin” refers to the ingredients in this timeless cocktail, “Silver” tequila (Blanco) and “Cointreau”. While you can make this with any kind of silver tequila, our bartender will let you know that the Avion makes it better. On our menu, you will find that some of our local amigos make this cocktail their signature drink by using Casamigos Tequila.

Silver Coin Margarita
2 oz Silver or Blanco Tequila
1 oz Cointreau
¾ oz lime juice (here at Joe’s we only use freshly squeezed lime juice NO MIXES)
1 tsp of Agave syrup, if you like it on the sweeter side

Add ice and ingredients to a shaker. Shake it all up and pour into a salted rim glass. Enjoy!

Joe’s Tequila Bar at the Inn on the Alameda offers a wide variety of tequilas aimed to satisfy the most discriminating tequila drinkers – both conservative and adventurous. Tequila isn’t the only item on the menu. Beer, wine, and other spirits are also available, along with delicious Southwestern-influenced appetizers and entrees. If you’re exploring the Margarita Trail – come and enjoy a drink from us – and add a stamp from Joe’s Tequila Bar to your collection!

The History of Tequila in Santa Fe

Margaritas have always been an essential part of Santa Fe’s gastronomical scene. Tequila made its way to the United States as an import from Mexico. It debuted in Santa Fe via the Camino Real, the colonial-era stretch of 1,200 miles between Santa Fe and Mexico City.

According to legend, tequila has its origins in the tale of the Aztec God, Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl was so overcome with grief over the death of Mayahuel (the Aztec goddess of fertility) that he drank pulque, fermented agave juice, from the plant that grew from her grave to drown his sorrows. Pulque was a popular pre-colonial drink. When the Spaniards arrived, they brought the process of distillation with them. They distilled pulque to create tequila.

The margarita has its own colorful origin stories. Fast forward 400 years, when a Mexican restaurant owner supposedly created the margarita in the 1940s for a showgirl named Marjorie King, who was allergic to every form of alcohol except tequila – but hated the taste.

A different Tijuana bartender is said to have invented the drink in the 1930s for Rita Hayworth, who entertained audiences as a teenager at the Agua Caliente Racetrack. Yet another version claims that Dallas socialite Margaret Sames invented the drink in 1948, with the recipe picked up by hotel baron Tommy Hilton and featured at his hotels.

An entirely different version claims that margarita evolved from “The Daisy” – a concoction of multiple types of alcohol, citrus juice, grenadine, and a splash of soda, all poured over shaved ice. Not coincidentally, margarita is Spanish for daisy.

What is not in dispute is that a traditional margarita follows a simple 3-2-1 formula: 3 parts tequila, 2 parts triple sec (orange liqueur), and 1 part fresh lime juice. Salted rims of the margarita glass are optional.

Tourism Santa Fe launched the Margarita Trail on Cinco de Mayo in 2016, in partnership with local restaurants and bars offering various versions of the margarita. TrailParticipants can enjoy a wide variety of margaritas and earn stamps for sampling margaritas at each stop.

The next time you enjoy a margarita, make a toast to New Mexico and Santa Fe. Better yet, put a stop at Joe’s Tequila Bar at the Inn on the Alameda on your agenda as part of any visit to the Land of Enchantment. Joe’s features an extensive selection of wine, beer, and spirits, including tequilas for both traditional and adventurous palates. Enjoy a drink with us.

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