Many tequila aficionados turn their noses up at any example of their favorite alcoholic beverage that is not 100 percent made from the blue agave plant. But Agavero, which bills itself as “El Original Licor de Tequila” uses an old recipe to add a new twist. It is 100 percent blue agave tequila infused with the natural essence of the Damiana flower. The result is a fine-sipping liqueur that is quite similar to tequila, but lighter and more palatable neat or on the rocks.
Lazaro Gallardo, the founder of Los Camichines Distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, created the recipe for Agavero in 1857. He is also credited with the invention of "Seleccion Suave," the process of selecting only the smoothest, best quality tequilas, blending them together in oak and resting them for an extra-long period of time. Agavero blends 100 percent blue agave añejo and reposado tequilas, each aged separately in white oak casks, then adds the essence of the Damiana flower. The result is an extremely smooth drink with a caramel color and aroma that is perfect for sipping. At just 64 proof, it is much less harsh than regular tequila, which tends to be at least 76 proof, with none of the alcohol bite. Named for the agave, with a bottle shaped like the spiky plant, Agavero is sweet, but not cloyingly so.
Warning: The Damiana flower, indigenous to the mountains of Jalisco, is reputed to be an aphrodisiac in Mexico. That is one aspect of Agavero you’ll have to test for yourself.
Because of the sweetness, some recipes such as the Mexican Cosmopolitan that call for tequila need to be adjusted when Agavero is used in its place.