National Tequila Day with VIVA XXXII Tequila

National Tequila Day with VIVA XXXII Tequila

National Tequila Day was yesterday. Luckily, the summer is young, so it's OK if you missed it. Who needs to booze on a Monday after all?! My go-to tequila lately has been VIVA XXXII, so I wanted to share a bit about the brand as well as a few fantastic cocktails bartenders around the country have created with it. VIVA XXXII is a relatively new brand, but they're doing all of the right things.

Their Joven is an estate-grown 100% Blue Agave blanco mixed with a 3 year old extra anejo. If you're not familiar with jovens, they're essentially silver tequilas mixed with a reposado or anejo to provide more depth while maintaining the quality that comes along with the 100% agave classification. It retails for $40, putting in squarely in line with other top-shelf brands.

VIVA's Reposado is also an estate-grown 100% Blue Agave tequila, but it's rested on new American Oak barrels for 6 months. At $45, I would argue it's one of the most enjoyable and affordable sipping tequilas on the market. If you're a brown liquor fan, this sipper will be right up your alley. It's definitely meant to be enjoyed over ice, but if you want to mix it, I'm not gonna stop you.

The icing on the cake here is that VIVA XXXII also gives back. 10% of net proceeds are donated to animal abuse prevention charities. Now onto the cocktails.

VIVA Summer Solstice by Toca Madera (8450 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048)

VIVA Summer Solstice

-2 oz. of VIVA XXXII Reposado Tequila
-1 oz. of Citrus Mix (equal parts lemon and lime)
-¾ oz. of Aperol Spiked Agave Syrup (3:1 Agave Nectar to Aperol). You could also do 1/2 normal Agave -Syrup and 1/4 Aperol
-Tajin Rim

Directions: Place all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, and give a long hard shake. Take a coupe glass and rim with a salt/pepper/tajin mix. Double strain the cocktail (to remove ice chips) in the coupe and garnish will a rolled Grapefruit peel “flower".

Tasting Notes: The balance of summer in a glass: bright, refreshing and with just a bit of heat. This cocktail hits all of the major palate areas. It is tart, sweet, earthy, and just a bit spicy. It is perfect for sipping away the long nights of summer.

VIVA Rip Tide by Seamore’s (390 Broome St, New York, NY 10013)

VIVA Rip Tide

-2 oz. VIVA XXXII Reposado Tequila
-1 oz. Fresh Juiced Pineapple
-½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
-½ oz. Agave Syrup (3:1 Agave to Water)

Directions: Place all ingredients into a shaker and give a short “dry” shake. Then, add crushed ice to shaker. Pour ice and cocktail into a highball glass and top with a float of Angostura Bitters and Pineapple Frond.

Tasting Notes: TIKI Tequila! The freshness of the juices is what brings out the natural flavors of the tequila here. A slight bit on the sweet side, it won’t leave you with a tooth ache, but rather aching for another. The softer more rounded flavor notes of the Reposado Tequila dance in this cocktail.

VIVA Crisp made by Chris Kramer of The Larchmont (5750 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038)*

-2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
-3 fresh slices of Cucumber
-2-3 fresh slices of Jalapeno (deseed to control spice factor)
-¾ oz. Agave Syrup

Directions: Place all in a tin and lightly muddle. Do not crush ingredients just press to express oils and flavors. Add ice and give a short and soft shake. Pour all into a Double Old-Fashioned Glass. Garnish with some something fresh and fragrant. We use a lime peel and cucumber wheel. But a large basil sprig is also recommended.

Tasting Notes: This is a very fresh and big cocktail. The cucumber and Jalapeño serve as the stage for the bright notes of the tequila to shine through. The agave gives the cocktail balance. It’s a garden in a glass!

*not pictured

VIVA Tourist made by Chris Kramer of The Larchmont (5750 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038)

VIVA Tourist

-2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
-¼ oz. Mezcal
-¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
-½ oz. Fresh Pineapple
-¾ oz. Fresh Orgeat (Almond Syrup)
-2-3 fresh Jalapeño Slices

Directions: Place all in a tin and add ice. Give a long hard shake then double strain the cocktail into a single Old-Fashioned Glass. Garnish with a Jalapeño slice.

Tasting Notes: Like any good trip, this cocktail is an experience. It has big mouth presence and will linger in your mouth and memory like any good vacation. The lime, pineapple, and almond give a nice tropical vibe while the Joven and the Jalapeno jump in, keeping the drink from getting to sweet. The mezcal comes in right at the end for a lasting, smokey finish.

VIVA Las Peaches made by Blaine Adams of Barrel & Ashes (11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604)

VIVA Las Peaches

-2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
-¼ Fresh Ripe Yellow Peach
-1 Rosemary Sprig
-¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
-½ oz. Cinnamon Simple Syrup
-2 oz. Soda Water

Directions: Place all ingredients in a tin and muddle until the peaches have expressed a decent amount of juice. Next, add ice and give a medium strength, medium length shakes and add 2 oz. Soda Water. Double strain onto fresh ice into a Highball Glass and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.

Tasting notes: Peaches and tequila are quite a pair. The bright citrus notes in the Joven latch onto the fresh peach and take off running. The cinnamon and rosemary are there to help balance out the flavor profile adding some spice and bitter earthy qualities. It’s refreshing, different, and will leave you asking for another. It’s not as crazy as a Vegas shotgun wedding but it is as good of a time!

VIVA Cooler by Cocina Condesa (11616 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604)

VIVA Cooler

-2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
-2 Fresh Cucumber Slices
-Pinch of Mint Leaves
-Small pinch of cilantro leaves
-1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
-½ oz. Agave Syrup
-Tonic Water

Directions: Place all ingredients into a tin and lightly muddle. Next, add ice and give a short and soft shake. Take a Double Old-Fashioned Glass and rim with salt. Then, pour contents into the glass and top with a float of tonic water.

Tasting Notes: This drink is cool under pressure. The fresh herbs and citrus are bright and refreshing giving this drink an almost cooling sensation. The Joven stands as the backbone giving the drink just the right amount of heat. It’s familiar and different all at the same time. No peer pressure here but seriously be cool.

Cheers!

*I recently had the opportunity to do a tasting of VIVA XXXII. FYI, none of the links in this article are affiliate links.

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