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The Bostonian’s Summer 2024 Guide to Gifting (And Enjoying) Tequila

If there’s one spirit that truly captures the flavor of summer, it’s tequila. Whether you’re enjoying margaritas after a Martha’s Vineyard beach day or sipping an añejo on your roof deck, the agave-based spirit (and its cousin mezcal) is the perfect complement to the warmth and fun of the season. And that’s why it makes the perfect gift for any of the many summer events and holidays—Father’s Day, graduations, birthdays, hostess gifts, to name a few.

But not just any tequila. Gifting the spirit requires a top-shelf option that comes in an equally impressive package. “A Clase Azul México gift is not just an incredible spirit to give to a tequila and/or mezcal lover,” says Viridiana Tinoco, Master Distiller at Clase Azul. “The artisanship that goes behind each decanter also makes these individual works of art, making it a truly special gift.”

That’s because each ceramic Clase Azul decanter, with its distinctly elegant shape and domed lid, is hand-painted by Clase Azul artisans at the ceramic workshop Tradición Mazahua, which the company founded in 2007. It’s the singularity of each bottle, as well as the magic inside, that makes it the perfect gift for anyone from a new homeowner to a father on Father’s Day or a recent grad. Here’s your guide to choosing the right Clase Azul México tequila or mezcal, with real cocktail recipes to spark your inspiration.

Tequila Reposado

Although the Tequila Reposado is the most oft-seen Clase Azul variety, you may be surprised to hear about where it comes from: “This tequila is masterfully aged in American whiskey casks,” says Tinoco. Tequila Reposado is a gold-tinted tequila with notes of hazelnut, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, and a subtle touch of agave nectar.

Tequila Reposado tastes amazing in the Terciopelo Blanco, a cocktail featuring lemon juice, grapefruit juice, vanilla syrup, a pinch of salt, shaken and served on a large ice cube with grapefruit zest garnish. Or, opt for the Margarita Sirena: lemon juice, grapefruit juice, agave syrup, Himalayan pink salt rim, served over ice with a grapefruit crescent for a garnish.

Tequila Gold

Tinoco tells us that the Tequila Gold variety is a blend of Clase Azul Tequila Plata and a special reposado tequila matured in French oak casks— “And an extra anejo finished in sherry casks,” she says. Especially if you sip the spirit without other ingredients involved, you’ll notice notes of toasted oak, fig, green olives, ginger, and cacao. “We always recommend trying our spirits neat to really get the aromas and notes in their purest essence,” says Tinoco.

Tequila Añejo

Tinoco points out a notably silky mouthfeel when it comes to Clase Azul’s Tequila Añejo, which features notes of orange marmalade, toasted oak, nutmeg, and clove. “The harmonious character of this añejo tequila is the result of a magnificent journey over more than two years in American whiskey casks,” she says. Pair it with Giffard Banana de Bresil Liqueur, a dash of Angostura bitters, stirred and poured over a large ice cube, and garnished with a dehydrated banana slice.

Tequila Ultra

Like some of its siblings, Tequila Ultra is aged in American whiskey and sherry casks—but Ultra is aged for an extended period, giving it what Tinoco calls a “sublime character.” When sipping this tequila neat, you may notice notes of toasted oak, dried plums, cinnamon, vanilla, candied ginger, and clove.

Mezcal San Luis Potosí

Clase Azul’s mezcal varieties have ingredients that reflect their namesakes and geographic origins. The Mezcal San Luis Potosí is “crafted with the green agave native to the deserts of the state of San Luis Potosí,” says Tinoco. It has an herbal front with hints of caramel, lime zest, and clove, with a mineral and spiced aftertaste.

Mezcal Guerrero

Clase Azul’s Mezcal Guerrero is made from the papalote agave, which Tinoco tells us is native to the humid highlands in the state of Guerrero. It carries notes of freshly cut wood, seaweed, lemon juice, pepper, and light notes of tobacco. Mix it with basil cordial (basil, lime juice, sugar) and serve over ice with a cherry tomato garnish to make the sweet-and-savory Papalote cocktail.

Mezcal Durango

Mezcal Durango comes from semi-arid highlands in the state of Durango in Northern Mexico, made with cenizo agave endemic to the area. Tinoco tells us it has an herbal front with warm notes of chocolate and smoked wood, as well as hints of clove and quince (a type of pear-like fruit) marmalade. In terms of cocktail potential, it gets along well with beet syrup, citrus mix (juices of grapefruit, lemon, pineapple), black lava salt, over one large ice cube with a sprig of thyme for a garnish. Clase Azul calls this cocktail the Coral Rojo.

When you bring a housewarming gift to a friend or present your Father’s Day gift to dad, you want to show them how much you care about them—which is why picking out a bottle of Clase Azul tequila or mezcal can become your summer gift giving sweet spot. The decanter is completely unique, makes a beautiful addition to anyone’s home bar, and whether shaken, stirred, or served neat, yields some stunning and flavorful cocktails they’ll want to sip on all summer.