This Cristalino rides the wave of new premium agave gems.  (photo courtesy of the brand)

Just try not to channel Hollywood-heyday romance and Mexican mysticism when you heft a bottle of Dahlia cristalino tequila across the counter to pour it ceremoniously into an appropriate chalice. As silky in the mouth as a negligee to the touch, the elegant spirit, released last month by Mezcal El Silencio’s founders—Fausto Zapata and Vicente Cisneros—perfectly mirrors (in mood) its vintage-inspired perfume bottle-like container.

Named for Mexico’s national flower, which symbolises creativity, elegance, and dignity, according to local folklore, the reposado tequila is crafted from 100% matured blue weber agave in Jalisco’s Tequila Valley. It ages for six months in White American Oak before being charcoal filtered to remove any residual color. That’s where the “cristalino” comes in; a buzzy trend in Mexico City, cristalino tequilas must be filtered with activated charcoal to remove any color from the aging process. Thus a reposado looks like a blanco.

A sipping tequila, this clean, subtly floral, tongue-full of fennel with snippets of vanilla-intoned spirit stands out among its competitors. And makes a dynamite cocktail.

Death in the Afternoon

Hemingway left terse instructions for a simpler version than this one. Try both.

2 oz. tequila

2 oz. sparkling white wine

.5 oz. orgeat liqueur

Dash of absinthe

.75 oz. fresh lemon juice

Lemon twist and basil leaf for garnish