Tequila has long been a mainstay on the U.S. side of the border. And with the advent of higher-quality brands making their mark on the scene, tequila is slowly moving away from the days of $2 shots while wearing sombreros — that’s not to say this still isn’t reality. Similar to many of Mexico’s cultural exports, Tequila is a complex and intricate libation that was once looked at as lowbrow but now takes its rightful place among the fine whiskeys and cognacs of the world.
One of Mexico’s best-kept secrets is coming for the boozy brunch culture and hardened liquor connoisseurs alike. And with the world slowly reopening and many of us returning to some semblance of everyday life (brunch crowd, we’re still looking at you), rosa tequila is here to make a statement.
But what is rosa tequila — and why is it pink? Well, traditionally, American oak whiskey barrels — which are less expensive than wine barrels — are used to age the tequilas we’ve come to know and love. But aging the prized agave nectar in more costly California wine barrels creates an aromatic and singular beverage with a pink hue that is sure to turn heads and make you forget about that old bottle of rosé you’ve been stocking on over the summer.
To many, this may sound like a concept cooked up by some savvy marketing geniuses, but the origins of this unique blend go way back — to 1942, to be exact. And the tradition is deeply steeped in family, the way a good tequila should be.
Don Roberto and Don Fernando Real of Amatitan, Jalisco, the two patriarchs of the Real family of tequilas, have been making rosa tequila and other prized tequilas for over 80 years. They’ve dedicated their entire lives to producing small-batch tequilas, while their master distiller, Luis Trejo Rodriguez (a third-generation tequila maker), has spent 30 years perfecting his craft.
Their newest venture Calirosa Tequila is here to flip the idea of how the sacred agave concoction can look and taste. With their melding of two time-honored beverage-making processes: classic Jalisco tequila craftsmanship and California winemaking, Calirosa Tequila is the boozy concoction we never knew we always needed.
Their rosa tequila has garnered praise and support from notable celebrity power players, including Adam Levine (Maroon 5) and his wife, Behati Prinsloo. They fell in love with the unique concoction while traveling. Now, it appears the two are partners in this new venture with the Real brothers. Though we are generally wary of any non-Mexican tequila endorsements, the fact that the brand stays rooted in this family and their Mexican origins makes it one worth supporting.
With its cultural roots and history, there’s much to look forward to when it comes to this beverage. There are also many ways to turn this pink libation into many cocktail recipes — but even “Calirosa on the rocks” looks refreshing and simple. So, as your summer plans unfold and Calirosa now becomes widely available, let’s raise a pink glass to a family tradition we can all finally be a part of.
Learn more about Calirosa at calirosatequila.com.