If Patrón tequila’s new Roca line tastes a little earthier than what you’re used to shooting, it stands to good reason. Among the brand’s newest products, Roca Patrón is entirely made using the tahona method: Agave piñas roasted 79 hours in an adobe brick oven are crushed by a tahona, a hand-carved, two-ton volcanic rock before going into small pinewood fermenters—all of which yields a more complex flavor and finish: sweet and earthy with notes of black pepper, cooked agave, light citrus and herbs. By contrast, Patrón’s core line is 50 percent tahona. Roca’s price is accordingly enriched, too, so you might not see it in shot glasses as much as it is served neat or by the bottle in nightclubs. And when you come across it in a cocktail, the flavor of the tequila should enhance the drink, not be covered up by it. Lobby Bar in Aria typically focuses on vodka, gin and Champagne, but bartender Manny Garcia employs Roca to treat his tequila-loving guests to an upscale twist on a margarita. His Valley of Fire ($15) cocktail combines Roca Patrón’s silver expression with mezcal, apricot liqueur, fresh lime, a little simple syrup and Fresno chile. Sip, sigh and repeat.
Valley of Fire
As served at Lobby Bar in Aria, $15
In a cocktail shaker, combine 1½ ounces Roca Patrón silver tequila, ½ ounce El Pelotón de la Muerte mezcal, 1 ounce Apry apricot liqueur, 1 ounce fresh lime juice, 1 ounce simple syrup and ¼ ounce fresh Fresno chile juice. Add ice, cover, shake and strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.