We are Nashville's established tequila bar. Going on our 13th year, Rosepepper is not only a great neighborhood restaurant, but also a mecca for tequila lovers. Our select staff is welled versed in our over eighty varieties of tequila and would love to share their knowledge with you. Whether it is one our award-winning margaritas, food pairing, or simply sipping, we are well equipped to meet all of your drinking needs and can help you find a tequila or margarita you love. We believe that tequila and happiness go hand in hand. Examiner.com published an article about a study at the University of Guadalajara, which determined that tequila, consumed in moderation of course, has therapeutic properties. The same website says about Rosepepper, "Pair a margarita with a great outdoor deck and a beautiful day... nirvana!" So Whether it's a beautiful day or not, come in and let our tequila and award winning margaritas warm your soul.
According to Mexican law, tequila can only be made from the blue agave plant. It is made primarily in Tequila, a town in the western Mexican state of Jalisco. Tequila is a distant cousin of an Aztec drink called pulque, which was used in Mexican medicine and ritual for hundreds of years. In 1521 the Conquistadors, once running out of their own brandy, distilled this agave drink into something stronger, and thus tequila, North America's first indigenous spirit, was born. And there was much rejoicing! There are certain regulations made by the Mexican government regarding the production of tequila. For instance tequila must be produced in specific Mexican regions, and anything claiming to be "aged tequila" or "100% agave" must be bottled in Mexico.
Contrary to popular belief, agave plants are not cactuses; they are a member of the lily family. These plants have a life span of eight to fourteen years and will be harvested after eight to ten year in the field. The part of the plant used for tequila is the root of the plant, or pina, which looks like a large pineapple. The Agaves are then roasted, distilled, aged or bottled in small batches using years of traditional methods. All Tequila must be at least 51% blue agave and most quality distillers use 100%.
All tequila is mezcal but not all mezcal is tequila. Mezcal is a general term for any spirit made from the agave plant. While they are both of agave derivatives, tequila is made only from 100% blue agave, where as mezcal can be made from many different types of the agave plant. Tequila is distilled two , sometimes three times. Mezcal is only distilled once. When making tequila, the agave is steam baked in ovens or autoclaves (basically oversized pressure cookers). For Mezcal, they are baked in underground ovens covered with layers of palm-fiber mats and earth, which are heated with charcoal. This gives Mezcal its strong smoky taste. Unlike Tequila, some Mezcal brands have a worm inside their bottles. (No thanks.)
The two basic categories of tequila are 100% blue agave and mixtos. All premium and high quality tequilas fall into the 100% blue agave category. Mixtos tequilas can contain up to 49% of other sugars in the fermentation process other than agave, raising the alcohol level. It is the mixtos variety that will make some people cringe at the mere mention of tequila. it is usually responsible for the killer hangovers and the dreaded "what did I do last night?" syndrome.
Blanco (white) or Plata (silver) - Usually un-aged, but can be legally aged for up to two months. It is clear because it is bottled or stored immediately after distillation and hasn't spend time in oak barrels.
Oro (gold) - Un-aged blanco tequila blended with aged tequilas, often with caramel coloring to resemble age tequila.
Reposado (rested) - Tequilas that are aged in oak barrels from two to twelve months.
Anejo (aged) - Aged in oak barrels for one to three years. Deeply hued with a variety of complex textures and flavors.
Extra Anejo (extra aged) - A new category of tequila established in 2003. Requires more than three years of aging.
Please feel free to throw any of these works around at the bar to impress your friends!