Summer has kicked off in Austin, and with social distancing still in full force I’ve found that patio time is my escape. My 9-5 job in an essential workforce is stressful, and I’ve found it very helpful to unwind at the picnic table in my backyard. A drink in hand, feeling the wind ruffle my hair while listening to the sounds of birds chirping and insects trilling is an excellent way to wash away my day. The fine folks at Juan Lobo Tequila gifted several bottles of their tequila to me for sampling, and it has made my patio time a most excellent experience.
Juan Lobo Tequila is not your ordinary brand. At heart, it’s a romance, the marriage of music and mixology. Local singer-songwriter Jon Wolfe, who is making waves in the country music industry was a tequila lover in search of his perfect drink. Not satisfied with the liquors he had tasted, Jon Wolfe followed his heart and chased flavors until he found what he had searched for in the highlands of Mexico. Juan Lobo Tequila is crafted by hand in Jalisco, with agave produced by five generations of farmers. The high altitude allows the agave to develop its distinctive sweetness, forming Juan Lobo Tequila’s rich flavoring. At last, Jon Wolfe had found his elusive prey, and fell in love with the land that gave it to him.
While Wolfe maintains a home in Austin on Town Lake (“Lady Bird Lake” to you newer arrivals to our fair city), he escapes to the highlands as often as his tour schedule — and the current pandemic — allows. He visits Arandas, where the Juan Lobo Tequila distillery is located, or nearby Guadalajara every few months. Managing his career and growing his tequila brand is hectic business, and Wolfe says when he is at the distillery he can shut things down and simply enjoy what he’s created. “It’s such a gorgeous, pastoral environment and it truly feels like coming home when I’m there.” While in Mexico, his distillery/producer family has been encouraging his emerging bilingualism, spurring him on the road to fluency.
Available at select liquor stores in Austin, Juan Lobo Tequila is a delicious addition to my liquor cabinet. The bottles have the elegantly rustic look of handblown Mexico glassware, with tiny bubbles. Each style of tequila has its own exclusive flavor. Aged the longest, the Anejo tequila held a peppery, vanilla flavor and I sipped it over ice. The Blanco has a crisp bite that is perfection with citrus, such as in the signature La Capilla cocktail. I love Reposado tequila for its almost buttery sweet notes, and used it to create a low carb margarita using a mixer I found locally. Guilt free cocktails!
Austinites may bump into Wolfe at the liquor store, as he indulges in the delight of purchasing his own tequila. “First of all, launching my own tequila brand was a dream of mine for so long, and the process of taking a product to market is very tedious and it takes a lot of work, so there’s definitely an emotional feeling when I see my product on the shelves – something I’ve worked so hard for,” says Wolfe. He’s dedicated years to the romance of his tequila, and we reap the benefits whether it’s in a shot glass, margarita or rocks glass.
Juan Lobo Tequila is perfect for #MargaritaMonday, #TequilaTuesday, and #ThirstyThursday. Buy it for your next backyard barbecue and mix up frosty margaritas, or surrender to the allure of a tequila-based Old Fashioned. Turn on the tunes and turn off your worries, and allow the tequila to provide a respite from the world for your much needed happy hour. Tune in to Jon Wolfe on iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora until you can catch a live show. Relax, and enjoy your tequila. I’ll be doing the same.