In our constant search for new and interesting artisan Mexican beers, spirits, and wines, we have again stumbled on another non-export, fine artisan tequila. I know, it’s a rough job, but someone has to do it. I say stumbled, because you really just have to do that to find the small, and really fine distilleries. So stumble we did!
Like so many of the tequilas made in Mexico, Las Tres Cruces tequilas were always sold regionally only, in the tequila state of Jalisco. The reason for that, is the distribution of tequila has been always dominated by just a couple of the larger conglomerates, who export all the tequilas you find in the US. If you want to sell your tequilas in volume abroad, you pretty much have to sell through them. Unless you meet someone like Victor Cruz.
Victor met his friend Don Tomas many years ago, and when in Jalisco to visit family, always stopped in and grabbed a few bottles to take back to Quintana Roo, where his family has several gift stores. Over time, the friendship turned into a business relationship, when Victor convinced Tomas he could distribute his tequila in Quintana Roo, where vacationers from the artisan spirit crazy country, the US, would love to buy his products. And now, thanks to Victor, we all can enjoy Don Tomas’ wonderful hooch.
Tres Cruces tequilas are not like the production tequilas you find in the liquor stores. Those, even the top of the line bottles, are made in a production process, that tends to degrade the quality of tequila, where artisan production enhances it. For example, production tequilas might bring agave in from all over the country, grown in different soils, by different farmers, and in different weathers and conditions, where artisan tequila uses only agave from a single source, greatly reducing the chances of a variation in taste and quality. Large batch production blends inconsistency in the ingredients in volume, to where it is almost not noticeable to most. But for those who really know and enjoy tequila, a finely hand crafted, un-compromised tequila, will stand out from even the finest production made tequila.
Tequila is an international ambassador for Mexico, and its finest are a source of pride for Mexicans, production or artisan. When Victor brought Tres Cruces to Costa Maya, it was with great pride for him to be able to show this spirit to the world as it passes through Costa Maya, one ship at a time. “We have a fine tequila for just about everyone,” he told me. “From extra anejo, to blanco top-shelf margarita tequilas, to flavored liqueurs that will have you go home and push your Bailey’s to the back shelf.”
All the Tres Cruces sipping tequilas, extra anejo ($230 US), anejo ($180), reposado ($150) blanco ($100), are sold in one liter bottles. Tres Cruces Tequila Crema, is their signature liqueur (the one Victor says will have you dump the Bailey’s) and sold in liter bottles as well. ($80 US)
Some of their most popular products are the flavored liqueurs. Many are flavors unique to Mexico, like Tamarindo, Guanabana or Jamaica, while others like coconut, chocolate, pina colada, cranberry or almond, to name just a few, are more familiar flavors to most. These flavored liqueurs come in 1 liter ($80 US) 1/2 liter ($50) and 1/4 liter ($30) bottles.
Victor, and his team will be doing tastings every cruise ship day at the Tropicante, hoping to share Don Tomas’ wonderful hand crafted tequila with the world. Stop in the Tropicante let them show you how tequila is made, and learn a bit more about Mexico’s #1 pride and joy, a really fine tequila. If you want to treat yourself or another real tequila lover to something special, take some home with you. If you don’t buy when your here, you won’t get it, because it won’t be on the shelf back home. Only in Mexico, so enjoy while you’re here.