An alternative for ringing in the New Year

Xuvia Lounge’s guide to tequila and mezcal

The terrace at Xuvia Lounge for gatherings al fresco.

The terrace at Xuvia Lounge for gatherings al fresco.

Champagne is the libation of choice for end-of-year celebrations, but why not try a different spirit for this New Year? Nick Polit, owner of Xuvia Lounge & World Cuisine in Costa del Este, specializes in tequilas and mezcales. Keen on expanding the concept of sophisticated cocktails, Nick offers readers of The Visitor his own personal guide for exploring the national drink of Mexico.

“At Xuvia we make all our cocktails by hand, individually without using any pre-mixers,” he explains. “All the fruit ingredients are fresh and we use only top-shelf liquors, such as Don Julio tequila.” Don Julio is one of Mexico’s most respected “tequileros.” Tradition and expertise is apparent in every sip. Their tequila is double distilled and bottled using the “heart” of the distillation. The result is particularly fresh tasting with hints of citrus.

Xuvia’s collection of tequilas and mezcales is the largest in Central America with over 150 different brands available. The collection includes the 2008 Agave Spirits Challenge gold medal winner, Don Abraham. Aged 14 months and craft distilled, Don Abraham tequila starts soft and has a long sweet finish that is very enjoyable. Don Abraham is no longer in production so bottles are very rare. “Many of our available tequilas are signed and numbered limited editions,” says Nick.

Don Abraham Añejo.

Don Abraham Añejo.

Most of Xuvia’s tequila lines feature different levels of aging. These traditionally include Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo. Tastings are offered where customers can enjoy the full range of flavors of each bottler. Such is the case with Chinaco, the first-ever tequila manufacturer to produce a certified bottle outside of Jalisco. Chinaco features an incredibly fresh and smooth Blanco. Their Reposado is barrel-aged for eight months with a mellow flavor, smooth finish and woody undertone. The Añejo is aged for three years in French and English oak and used Bourbon barrels, producing a velvety and smooth result with intense aromas of pepper, citrus, chamomile, caramel, and smoke.

Highlights of Xuvia’s mezcal collection include the recently-added Alipus complete line. Sourced from five distinct regions in Oaxaca, Mexico, Alipus utilizes a variety of agaves using traditional craft techniques with very limited production.

Tequila Chinaco Reposado, Blanco & Añejo.

Tequila Chinaco Reposado, Blanco & Añejo.

Adding to the enjoyment of their specialty drinks is a unique open terrace perfect for intimate evenings or for corporate events. The restaurant also offers a variety of live music presentations on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, including the Arturo Villarreal Jazz Trio every Friday night.

For hours and contact information, visit Xuvia Lounge online at Xuvialounge.com.

Tequila is a regionally specific name for a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 km northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands of the north western Mexican state of Jalisco. Genuine tequila is made exclusively of blue agave and in this specific region.

Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant, a form of agave native to Mexico. Mezcal generally has a strong smoky flavor. Tequila is a mezcal made specifically from the blue agave in select regions of the country. So while all tequilas are mezcals, not all mezcals are tequilas.

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