Let me come clean about one thing, right here at the bell: I was always a big fan of Oscar de la Hoya. I saw him fight on television innumerable times, and once in person, and to my mind, at his height in the mid- to late-90s, there was no one better. No one more beautiful and efficient in the ring. The best, pound-for-pound, as they say.
I could go on about that. On the other hand, the less we say about his potential re-entry to the ring at age 48, recently postponed when he got COVID, the better.
Let us consider instead another new chapter of his professional life, as a backer of Casa México tequila. He’s perfect for it, in many ways; though he’s a southern Californian, he always identified himself as part of the Mexican diaspora, and has held dual citizenship for nearly 20 years.
Casa México, to take a high-altitude look at it, is a welcome addition to the glorious moment we are in for agave-based spirits. There is a lot of good stuff out there, properly priced, much of it surpassing the bigger brands who have been traditional leaders in the category. Casa México is headquartered in Los Angeles; the three tequilas derive from 100% estate-grown blue agave from the Los Altos highlands region of Jalisco, Mexico—more specifically, from the Hacienda Capellanía, a farm boasting more than 100 years of jimador history. The water used for the distilling process is from a natural underground spring and gray water is repurposed to water the peaches, avocado, and other crops grown on the estate.
I’ve been impressed by the blanco, reposado and añejo, each playing its part in the trio. The straightforward blanco is a well-made bar standby. The añejo sees a minimum of 12 months in new American White Oak, and is a solid sipper, with a pleasantly bright profile.
For my money, the reposado, aged a minimum of six months in the same type of barrels, is the real star here. The tequila has bright heat, with a long and smooth grassy finish. There’s a kind of Halloween candy corn note—not quite the caramelization you’d get from charred barrels, but a roundness that has made it a go-to for me. At $37, it’s not so dear that you wouldn’t dare cocktail with it. In a Paloma, it punches above its weight class. Just delicious stuff.
The brand has not quite conquered the world yet, but can be found in most major markets, and continues to expand. They are doing some amusing, philanthropic things on Tik Tok, and have a lively social media presence—but the proof is in the bottle. If you’re ready to rumble, find some.