All Articles
All Articles

Tequila Milagro

An experience with triple-distilled tequila at its birthplace

by Doug Black
on 05 August 2011

What once was passed over as fuel for Spring Break bacchanals, tequila's reputation has finally caught up with its history—as long and storied as most other spirits on your liquor shelf. When crafted by an expert distillery with 100% blue agave, it holds its own as a standalone sipping beverage, as well the main ingredient in a variety of cocktails

To learn more about what goes into fine tequila, Milagro invited us to their operation, located in the drink's birthplace of Jalisco, Mexico. A culture deeply rooted in tequila—both professionally and socially—its reverence occasionally mirrors the region's Catholic roots. (The Milagro distillery's Catholic church sits directly across from a multi-storied decorative tequila bottle.)

From their private agave fields to distillery to bottling plant, the whole process takes place in the Jalisco highlands. Once jimadores, armed with a sharpened coa de jima, hand-harvest the agave plants, the agave is stripped of its sharp spikes down to the pineapple-looking core, aptly-named the piña.


Next, the raw material goes into clay ovens, where they're slow-roasted for three hours on volcanic rock. During the process, the plant softens and takes on a syrupy sweet flavor that makes an appearance as a dessert on many a Mexican dinner table. Once the juice is pressed and extracted, the portion that isn't used as agave nectar is combined with Milagro's self-professed most reliable employee: a proprietary yeast that has been meticulously cultured for 10 years.


Aside from an exceptionally smooth tequila, what separates Milagro is its tripe-distillation process. Whereas most brands of tequila are double pot-distilled a recent trend has moved towards triple distilling, despite the fact that it risks stripping the tequila of its unique flavors and rendering it closer to vodka. Milagro, instead, created their own third distillation process using a stainless-steel column still that softens the tequila's head and tail while retaining its agave-forward flavor.


The resulting alcohol is either bottled straight from the still (Silver) or it undergoes an aging process in the same French and American oak barrels that give whiskey its character. Once barreled, it ages anywhere from six to ten months (for a Reposado) or 18 months to three years (for an Añego), which lends an increased flavor profile and darker hue.


The finished product ends up in either one of Milagro's hand-painted bottles or a blown-glass creation designated for Select Barrel Reserves. All the iterations of the tequila qualify as a sippable compliment to a summer cocktail that holds its own against any other high-end spirit and represents the scores of rich, complex tequilas that have their name sullied by bottom-shelf swill.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard
Loading More...