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Patrón Citrónge

Review: Patrón Citrónge  (86 pts/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka) Arctic Wolf
Published on May 2,  2013

Patrón Citrónge is a relatively new orange liqueur from Patron Spirits produced in Jalisco, Mexico at the same distillery which makes Patron Tequila (although in a separate building, as per CRT regulations). The orange based liqueur is produced from an agave based neutral spirit, and of course natural orange flavours.There may be other ingredients in the mix; but if there is, Patron is not telling me. The spirit is bottled at a full 40 % alcohol by volume, and I was provided with a sample bottle by Select Wines & Spirits who are the distributors of Citrónge here in Alberta.

100042PTR01_G300.epsIn the Bottle 5/5

The Citrónge arrives in the attractive frosted bottle shown to the left. This elegant bottle with its corked topper is quite a departure from the style normally encountered in the orange liqueur category. The look is suave and sophisticated, and when I take the bottle out to mix cocktails it adds a decadent ambiance to the occasion. I like the presentation very much!

In the Glass  8.5/10

Poured into the glass one notices that this orange liqueur is just a little different from the norm. It is not the colour, as the spirit is crystal clear in the glass looking pretty much the same as any other orange liqueur. Instead, it is the complementary scents and smells which rise into the breezes which set this spirit upon its own path. Alongside the aroma of fresh-cut navels oranges is the unmistakable aroma of herbaceous agave. It is not as firm as what one would notice when snooting a glass of blanco tequila; but it is unmistakable. Hints of white pepper, fruity aromas of garden squash and grilled pineapple are all represented in the air above the glass. The normally clear orange scents are somewhat masked by this herbaceous aroma. However, the citrus pushes through represented not only by the aroma of freshly sliced oranges but also by the clear scent of orange peel zest rising into the air. The combined effect of the agave and the orange is refreshingly different, it is going to be interesting to see how the scents and smells from the glass translate to the palate.

In the Mouth 51/60

A cane sweetness which was only hinted at on the nose really came through strongly upon the palate. The spirit seems to me to be quite a bit sweeter than I was expecting. Alongside that sweetness is a combination of bitter and sweet orange flavours, and an agave herbaceousness which runs through the heart of the spirit. The orange flavours are tainted with hot white pepper, and fruity agave. The flavour (when sipped neat) is interesting although perhaps a bit hot and spicy for sipping. I decide that it is imperative to determine if the agave base works when we mix cocktails, it is time to make a Margarita (see recipe below).

I followed my traditional recipe (using Jose Cuervo blanco tequila); and just so I had a comparative basis, I made a second Margarita with an economy triple sec available in my area which goes by the brand name Grand Curacao (from Meaghers). There was a big difference between the two cocktails.

The Margarita made with the Grand Curacao, was light, laid back and relaxing; while the Margarita made with the Citrónge was much more demanding of me. It carried much a much stronger agave flavour profile, and I found I had to take my time to adjust. My personal preference was for the lighter Margarita cocktail; but this was more a matter of choosing one style over another. There certainly would be days when the more assertive demanding Margarita would really hit the spot. I suspect that someone who consumes tequila more regularly than I would relish this stronger agave profile.

In the Throat 13/15

The exit was quite spicy when I sipped the Citrónge neat, and some of this agave spiciness pushed though the cocktail giving my Margarita a little pop in the finish which was quite enjoyable. I found the lightly bitter orange flavours seemed to outlast the lightly sweet, and again this element seems to impact the cocktail positively as lingering flavours of bitter orange dance playfully within that agave spiciness.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

When I was presented with my bottle of Citrónge, I was told that this orange liqueur was designed specifically to make great Margaritas. Built upon a base of an agave spirit, it seemed to me to be a natural for the Tequila based cocktail. And perhaps it is; that aggressive agave steeped Margarita was really starting to hit the spot by the time I reached the bottom of my glass. My suspicion is that the agave kick within the cocktail will be something which will grow on me. Perhaps, in a year or so, I should revisit this review.

If you wish to have some comparison reviews of other Orange liqueurs you may click here.

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Some Recipes:

SAM_0722 Margarita with CitrongeThe Margarita Cocktail (A Traditional Recipe)

1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Citrónge
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 tsp sugar syrup (optional)
ice
Splash of soda (optional)
lime slice for garnish

Chill a cocktail glass and rim the outside with coarse salt
Place the tequila, lime, Triple Sec, and sugar syrup into a metal shaker
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into the chilled cocktail glass
Add a splash of soda if desired
Garnish with Lime
Enjoy!

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Although not mentioned in the review, I found that Citrónge plays very nicely with Gin:

SAM_0729 The March lionApril Showers
(an Arctic Wolf recipe)

1 1/2 oz  Gin
3/4 oz  Citrónge
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup
ice
Orange slice for garnish

Add the first four Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with an orange slice
Enjoy

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My Reviews contain a rating or score out of 100, and these scores can be interpreted using the following scale:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing spirit.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 
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