Spirit Review: Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila and the Black Sun Cocktail: Black Barrel, Drambuie, Angostura, Ginger Beer

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The Black Sun Cocktail: Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila, Drambuie, Angostura, Reed’s Ginger beer

Sauza’s new Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila Anejo is unlike any other tequila. They age it in bourbon barrels until it’s an anejo tequila and then age it again in heavily charred barrels. The result is a smoky tequila that retains much of its agave flavor but has a much heavier smoke and whiskey taste. It’s more like a bourbon than a tequila, at least on its first pass. And then the agave flavor kicks in, along with a wood flavor. Not like a smoky mezcal, mind you, but more like a butterscotch and chili tequila that’s utterly sippable.

The Black Barrel is perfect on ice, but it can make an interesting addition to cocktails, as well. As a substitute in an Old Fashioned or Manhattan, it’s perfect, with a touch of difference to make it an entirely new drink. For the Black Sun cocktail, I wanted to highlight the Black Barrel’s butterscotch and whiskey notes, so I added it to a cocktail with Drambuie, Angostura bitters, and ginger beer.

To make a Black Sun cocktail, combine in a highball glass with a large ice cube:

  • 1 1/2 oz Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Drambuie
  • 1 oz Reed’s Ginger Beer
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

and garnish with a lemon or lime peel.

The Black Sun cocktail highlights all of the good sweet wood characteristics of the Hornitos Black Barrel and adds a bit of spice from the bitters and ginger beer.

The Hornitos Black Barrel makes a nice addition to any bar, especially if you like sipping on quality spirits with a bit of ice. But if you want to make a cocktail with it, now you know at least a few options: a Black Old Fashioned, a Black Manhattan, or a Black Sun cocktail.

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