Review – Patron XO Cafe
Mexico isn’t the first region I consider when pondering coffee, but it turns out they actually produce some interesting stuff. Perhaps it makes sense therefore that the folk over at Patron would have a go at making their own coffee liqueur. A blend of ‘coffee essence’ and Patron silver, it weighs in at a relatively hefty 35% abv and claims to be an altogether drier option than many traditional coffee liqueurs.
Neat: Sweetness hits pretty hard upfront such that you have to question the claim that this is a drier option than most coffee liqueurs. Fortunately the sweetness is relatively fleeting and a rounded bitter coffee flavour builds in intensity through the mid-palate to balance, but never quite eliminate it. A touch cloying on the finish when tasted neat, but a few ice cubes soon sorts that out. As with the nose, the tequila is definitely not the prominent feature here, but the agave flavours do make an appearance on the finish to show that they have been helping to create a more complex flavour profile than would have been the case with neutral spirit.
Mixing: A coffee liqueur surely lives or dies by its involvement in an espresso martini, and this liqueur is a resounding success in the tequila-based variant the Jalisco Espresso (recipe below). It offers a pleasing depth of flavour which partners well with the addition of the tequila base. For those seeking a less intense coffee hit, the Flutter makes great use of pineapple juice to cut through the sweetness of the liqueur to moreish success. Although the spirit base is tequila, one of the advantages to it not being particularly prominent when tasted neat is that this liqueur can be used in non tequila-based cocktails without fear of a clash of flavours. The Zeus Martini demonstrates this strength to great effect, with the coffee flavour combining well with the other ingredients. It is best to stick with cocktails with an ingredient or two to cut through the sweetness of this liqueur however, as things can get all a bit cloying in creamy/sweet style drinks such as the White Russian.
Signature Cocktail – Jalisco Espresso
2oz Reposado Tequila, 1oz Espresso Coffee, 1oz Patron XO Cafe
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass.
Patron XO Cafe is a delightful tequila-based coffee liqueur that offers a full-on coffee flavour backed up by agave-laden tequila to create a complex and rounded liqueur. It mixes excellently and is a must try for all coffee and cocktail fans.
Patron XO Cafe is available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.