Mother's Day advice for retailers: champion tequila
Mother’s Day is coming but don’t worry because we’ve got an idea. And it’s a good one. Instead of doing a deal on Pink Champagne, building a pyramid of Bailey’s bottles and offering a BOGOF on yet another pretty looking bottle of ‘craft’ gin, you should be honouring the Old Dears with an agave spirit.
That’s right, the best way to thank her for years of sleepless nights, wiping your botty and, of course, the small issue of childbirth is to give her a bottle of tequila - and here’s why. Firstly, agave spirits are terribly “on-trend” with sales of both mezcal and tequila soaring in the UK and if Bacardi are willing to pay an eye-watering $5.1bn for Patron Tequila then, chances are, it’s not a fad.
In fact, all the big boys are at it - Diageo recently snapped-up Casa Amigos, a tequila brand created by jobbing actor George Clooney who is famous for being the husband of the internationally-acclaimed barrister, Human Rights campaigner and, most important of all, mother of twins Amal Clooney.
But the most important reason for championing tequila this Mother’s Day is Mayaheul, the divine goddess of the agave plant. You may not know much about Mayaheul but she was a wonderful woman, she really was.
Worshipped by the 13th century Aztecs, she was loving and kind, she proffered pubescence, watched over wombs, reared rabbits and - this last bit is important – she had 400 breasts. Four. Hundred. Breasts.
As anyone’s Mum will tell you, that many breasts is quite the burden - especially as her mammary glands were used to feed her 400 children. Rather than milk, Mayaheul’s greedy sucklings gorged on pulque, the fermented alcoholic sap of the agave plant, and, tasty as this sounds, it meant Mayaheul was forever filled to feed.
Now, any woman who has been through breast feeding will be acutely aware of the discomfort Mayahuel endured - from lactating to latching, engorgement to expressing, breastfeeding is tough. But multiply it by 200 and you’ve got more than some hectic skin-to-skin to think about.
Anyway, the breasts are only part of the story. Following an ill-advised amorous adventure with the god of medicine Patecatl (one that we frankly haven’t got time to go into here) and a resurrection, Mayahuel’s 400 offspring turned into rabbits. These rabbits, who still suckled on Mayaheul’s breasts, were adopted by the Aztec people as different gods of intoxication – which is why tequila is said to put hares on one’s chest. Probably.
Anyway, the point is, Mayaheul was a magnificent mum and someone we should celebrate this Mother’s Day with Tequila. But it must be 100% Agave, none of that Mixto nonsense that tends to be cut with sugars from cane sugar and the like.
You can’t go wrong with Ocho Tequila, an acutely traditional and artisan tequila made the way it should be at the La Alteña distillery in Jalisco. The agave plants are harvested by hand, crushed using a molino, baked in traditional steam-heated brick ovens and fermented using wild yeast.
Also, Ocho is special because a single estate tequila, which means that each batch is sourced from a particular field and harvested at a specific time to create distinct and differing characteristics in each expression.
The aim is to demonstrate that tequila, like wine, has terroir. And it does. The differences between Ocho’s different blanco expressions is quite astonishing. For example, the Ocho blanco “Las Presas” made with agave harvested at a higher elevation is crisp and clean with citrus and spice while those taken from the “Las Aguilas” field created a tequila that is more robust and earthy.
Soft, sweet, floral, these tequilas are designed to be sipped and savoured rather than shot (a daft way to drink) and are perfect for the finely-tuned female palate. What’s more, given the painstaking process it takes to create them, not to mention the fact that agave plants take seven years to reach maturity, they are absurdly good value compared to other spirits.
The well-documented agave shortage, however, is set to increase the cost of premium tequilas. So we’d recommend you order on some right now – and make sure you don’t tell anyone else about any of this.
Mum’s the Word.