“I’m a tequila drinker first and foremost, so I love having a high-end sipping tequila with such a unique approach,” says Toro chef Ken Oringer. “It’s like drinking a Cognac but with clarity.”
He’s talking about the extra-aged, Cognac-finished 1800 Milenio, a sleekly bottled spirit new this month from 1800 Tequila ($125 for 750ml.). The Weber Blue Agave extra-aged tequila is matured for five years and then finished in French-oak Cognac barrels for five months. The result? Getting the nuances of vanilla and caramel normally attributed to a heavy Cognac in a light tequila instead. Hello, summer.
Below, the chef gives us five ways his restaurants—a few of which include Clio, Coppa and Uni—are taking advantage of the 1800 Milenio this season.
1. As Is
“I love just sipping it neat. During the summer you throw an extra ice cube in it, and it’s so refreshing. We’ll try to come up with some summer cocktail for VIPs—I love the challenge of creating something with it because it is so special—but with the price point it’s best to drink it as it is.”
2. As a Cognac Substitute
“We make a kabayaki glaze—pretty much a reduction of soy sauce with orange juice, honey and palm sugar, and then we finish it with a little bit of the 1800 Milenio, bone marrow and charred wild onions and serve that on to of a 40-day dry aged steak that we cook on the grill. It lends itself well where you’d normally use Cognac but want a lot more effect.”
3. On Your Burger
“Similarly, you can make a great hamburger glaze for grass-fed or dry-aged beef with 1800 and soy sauce, orange juice, honey, ginger and garlic—flavors that show off the vanilla nuances in the tequila.
4. With a Shooter
“Serve it neat and on the side, a shooter of tamarind juice made with a little bit of chilies and vanilla bean.”
5. Paired with Umami
“Because of the caramel notes, the best thing to pair it with is charcuterie, Spanish hams. The nice umami-type flavor goes great with it—and anything for the grill.”