In the timeline of alcoholic spirits, tequila is the relatively new kid on the block. In fact, according to Scott Schiller, the marketing manager of Maestro DOBEL brand tequila, in the 1930s and ’40s, tequila was considered a novelty; bartenders had a good time implementing it into various drink concoctions. Now, there’s a trend of vintage cocktail recipes springing up as a nod to this time.
“There’s two movements in this trend that complement each other very well,” Schiller says about the prevalence of old-school tequila cocktails on drink menus, such as the Matador and the classic Tequila Sunrise. “The first is that the customer’s palate is becoming more sophisticated. They’re willing to try more things, such as eggs, spices, and real classic, strong flavored cocktails that you would see back in the ’30s and ’40s,” he says. “Secondly, tequila as a spirit in general has vastly improved in quality in the past 20 years.”
Thanks to the premiumization that started with tequila in the mid- to late ’80s, you don’t make what Schiller calls “that tequila shot face.” Many are so pure that he enjoys them straight.
“Now, the quality is so much better, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”