Tequila is one of those products that most South Africans have a very healthy respect for. Whether the connotations associated with the spirit are positive or negative, we all have a story relating to a tequila shot. However, much like the beloved character of Severus Snape, this intricate spirit has been heinously misinterpreted, misjudged and underestimated. Luckily for the South African craft culture, an innovative brand has accepted the monumentus task of re-educating the masses on the matter of agave spirits.
Leonista, a name directly translated to ‘place of the lion’, is the first 100% Karoo agave spirit to reach the shelves of South Africa. The brand uses the same authentic distilling process as the legendary tequilas and mezcals of Mexico, which has yielded three unique products. The Blanco: an unaged spirit with a rich flavour of blue agave. The Reposado: a spirit that has been aged for 6 months in an American oak, old brandy barrel to give it a smooth, woody taste with sweet beginnings. The Honey Reposado: aged in old brandy barrels and infused with raw honey for a double energy boost. Regardless of your preference, these three spirits truly embody what I call the three S’s: strong, sultry and sophisticated. A product that has evolved from the shots we know from our university days.
The only problem I found with the product, was that I (in my uneducated glory) had no idea how to properly enjoy a glass of premium agave spirits. Luckily for me (and people like me), Leonista has thought of it all. Their websites offer a range of wonderful, colourful recipes that are sure to keep you busy this holiday season. My personal favourites involve orange juice and ginger ale, smoky Sangrita or (for the brave of heart) Blanco on the rocks.
In summary, if you are looking for something new, something that will impress your friends or simply something that will outdo the fancy wine your mother-in-law is bringing for Christmas lunch: I truly recommend exploring the wonderful, new world of agave spirits with Leonista.
"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one!"