El Tesoro’s blanco offering has enough depth to shine through even in a fruity drink. (Photo courtesy of Beam Suntory)

El Tesoro tequila is produced at the La Altena distillery in Arandas, a village in the Jalisco Highlands. As with any spirit source, the growing location of the blue agave used to make tequila can create a range of flavor differences, even in unbarreled blanco form. While the official strain of agave required to call tequila, tequila, thrives in many environments, some say that highland-harvested blue agave is the best possible source.

El Tesoro’s agave plants are 100% estate-grown, traditionally tahona-crushed, and once fermented, are double distilled. The founding family is still involved in the meticulous production. Currently, Master Distiller Carlos Camarena, the founder’s grandson, runs the show. And, all this pedigree is apparent when you taste their wares.

The El Tesoro Blanco ($50) is remarkably unique: deeply complex, creamy, even a little smokey. And that level of sophistication means that while it should be appreciated at least once neat or with a rock, it can stand up to pretty strong counter flavors and still ring true. Even in so-called “fruity” drinks.

Here is a recommend for a fairly involved cocktail that is truly worth the effort. Remember the first time you tried strawberries with pepper and were amazed by the unlikely combination? Don’t blanch at the ingredients: This strawberry-tinged cocktail is as far away from a chain restaurant strawberry margarita as you can get.



Cocktail Shaker


Coupe glass

Juicer or reamer

Food processor or blender


2 x 1.5 oz. shots of El Tesoro Blanco

1/2 1.5 oz. shot of elderflower liqueur, like St. Germain 

1 x 1.5 oz. of fresh lemon juice

1/2 1.5 oz. shot of passion fruit puree (a single passion fruit will give you more than enough to work with)

1 x 1.5 oz. shot of strawberry syrup (go for good quality stuff, like Torani, so you don’t get something too sugary)

Edible flower (like a nasturtium, if desired, to garnish)


–  Juice a lemon until you have enough to fill a shot glass; set aside

–  Slice a passion fruit, place in a blender, and pulse on puree until nearly liquified; set aside enough for half a shot

– Add all ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker

–  Give it a nice long, brisk one; at least 30 seconds

–  Pour through shaker strainer, and through an additional net strainer, into the coupe glass

–  Garnish with an edible flower and serve