Mixology 101: Patrón XO Cafe

Updated: 30 Jul 2012

Mexico’s posh answer to a boozy kopi o ais. By Rachel Jena

I like my tequila dark
Tequila – that typically amber or clear-coloured liquor – is as dark as night in this incarnation. A deep brown, don’t bother comparing Patrón XO Cafe with the commonplace coffee liqueurs out there. This one’s in a class of its own. Made from double-distilled Patrón Silver tequila and the finest Arabica coffee beans from Veracruz and Chiapas in Mexico, Patrón XO Cafe is a high-quality liqueur that is characterised by its dry taste. Plus, low sugar content ensures you won’t get any of that sickly saccharine sweetness that you get with other coffee liqueurs. And like its counterparts in the Gran Patrón family (Patrón Silver, Gran Patrón Platinum, Gran Patrón Burdeos and Patrón Añejo to name a few), Patrón XO Cafe is blended at a familyowned distillery in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico using only pure Weber blue agave plants.

She sure is versatile
Patrón XO Cafe’s vital stats are impressive: she’s Mexican, packs a 40 per cent alcohol content, and comes in Patrón’s classic handmade frosted glass bottle (each one is unique, hand-blown and individually numbered). As a drink, Patrón XO Cafe is such a seductress that she has elicited nicknames from fans like ‘liquid crack’. Romantic? Wait till you hear what the rappers have to say. There are hundreds of songs mentioning one of the tequilas from the Gran Patrón family, but despite her inclination to join the party, Patrón XO Cafe is really a homebody. The flavours of this liqueur – vanilla, marzipan, gingerbread and coffee – make it a handy ingredient in the kitchen. Recipes abound for everything from burgers to imaginative desserts. An easy and tasty trick, however, is to simply drizzle it over good quality vanilla ice cream with a splash of cola for a twist.

All about her family
Patrón is Spanish for ‘good boss’ and whilst the company hasn’t actually been around for that long (they launched in 1989), they’ve sealed their place as the first luxury, top-shelf tequila in the market. Naturally, pop culture has caught on; not only do rappers sing about Patrón tequilas, it’s been mentioned on HBO’s Entourage series and Tom Cruise ordered it in the film Vanilla Sky. And wonder why there’s a bee on the bottle? The founder of Patrón served on the USS Hornet and the wasp in the Patrón logo is a tribute to that.

How do you want me, baby?
Our first sip of Patrón XO Cafe made us think instantly of our local kopi o ais. But make no mistake – this comparison is no admonishment to the stature of this tequila, but a reflection of how easy it is to drink. Too easy perhaps. Sweet and refreshing, it’s best drunk neat over ice. It glides smoothly, has no acerbic flavour and makes an excellent post-dinner drink – a favourite even with Patrón’s master distiller in Mexico, Francisco Alcaraz. Not what you fancy? Luckily she’s versatile. You can add a dash of Patrón XO Cafe to your favourite coffee drink, blend it into a milkshake, or use it as a cocktail base.

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