Review: Gran Centenario Rosangel Hibiscus Tequila
We’ve gone through flavored vodka and flavored rum. Now you can start adding flavored tequilas — hitting the market in earnest now — to the mix.
Unlike, say, Agave Loco, Centenario’s Rosangel is a much more subtle product. The only similarity is the original base spirit: Reposado tequila, rested for two months (in Port barrels in the case of Rosangel). Centenario then infuses the tequila with hibiscus flowers (not roses, mind you),and once it’s taken on a pink hue, it’s bottled and sold for you to sample.
The experience is quite unique. Though quite flowery on the nose, the initial taste is vanilla-packed tequila with a decent amount of agave flavor in it. The finish brings on, however, not tequila’s frequent astringency but a hefty flower power that lingers a bit, quite pleasantly. It actually does taste more rose-like than hibiscus (perhaps an instructive in how it was named), but in any case it’s definitively flowery in character.
As intriguing as Rosangel is, it is more curious as a cocktail ingredient than on its own, and I’ve spent the last two weeks tinkering with it while sipping it straight. Sub it in for regular tequila in any recipe to spin your cocktail in a different direction. The best thing I’ve created, though, is a spin on the company’s own margarita recipe. Mine — recipe below — is simplified a bit from Centenario’s, and it lets the Rosangel shine a bit more clearly. Oh, and trust me, you don’t need salt.
A- / $35 / rosangel.com
The Drinkhacker Rosangel Margarita
1 1/2 oz. Rosangel tequila
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe glass.