Photography: Courtesy Casa Dragones

This high-end sipping spirit shines without the “wince factor.”

Like champagne and Scotch, tequila is an appellation liquor, meaning that it must be made in a specific region to acquire its name. For tequila, that region is Jalisco, Mexico. If it’s produced in the actual town of Tequila, even better.

Made from the agave plant native to the region, fine tequila is also free of the burn that piggybacked the stuff you likely indulged in during your college years. Such is the case for Casa Dragones, a small-batch tequila handcrafted from 100 percent blue agave in Tequila, as a limited edition offering deemed “so smooth, it can only be called a sipping tequila.”

Established in 2008 by MTV founder Bob Pittman and tequila expert Bertha González Nieves, the top-shelf spirit was named after the Dragones cavalry who sparked one of the movements that led to Mexico’s independence from Spain (their stables, deemed La Casa Dragones, still stand in San Miguel de Allende). Classified as a joven tequila, it’s a blend of blanco — the youngest aged tequila at less than two months — and extra añejo — the oldest at a minimum of three years. The addition of the latter balances the drink and tones down the agave flavor.

“Our vision was to produce a tequila with no ‘wince factor’ or harsh aftertaste,” says Pittman. “We achieved that, and more.” Indeed, Casa Dragones is a smooth sipper with vanilla notes carried by touches of spice, fruit elements, and a vibrant finish. In a word: refreshing ($275).

For more information on Casa Dragones tequila and more to find it, visit the distiller’s website.

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