Golden Girl Rum Club Reposado

Golden Girl Rum Club uses Tapatio reposado.

Mezcal has snagged the tequila spotlight lately, but more bartenders are using smooth, briny reposado tequilas in cocktails. Reposado – which means “rested” in Spanish – is tequila that is aged for between two and 12 months; blanco is unaged and añejo is aged for more than a year. Bartenders like reposado for its perceptible flavor that doesn’t overpower a drink.

Golden Girl Rum Club

Obviously, Golden Girl Rum Club in Springfield, Missouri, is known for its rums. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give something else a try, says co-owner and chief bartender Rogan Howitt. “We like to do something a little bit weird that no one else is doing in the area,” he says. Howitt’s Down in Mexicali, for example, is a play on chamoyada, a Mexican street snack. The result is a savory, tart cocktail, with some bitter chile notes. Howitt mixes Tapatio reposado with dry curaçao, ancho reyes liqueur, chamoy, passion fruit, pineapple and lime juices, with a Tajin rim – dehydrated lime and chile powder. “Tapatio is a delicious, delicious tequila,” he says. “People want flavors instead of just mixers [now] – something that actually tastes like something, which is perfect. That’s what needs to be happening.” Golden Girl also has a hibiscus Margarita using housemade hibiscus syrup, Creole shrub, reposado and lime; it’s rimmed with Howitt’s own hibiscus sugar-salt infusion. “Reposados are just way smoother: They’re really full-bodied, rich-flavored tequilas,” he says. “You get a lot of floral notes and the big tequila flavors you want in a cocktail, especially when it’s a drink with a lot of ingredients. The tequila is still able to shine through.”

Golden Girl Rum Club, 137 Park Central Square, Springfield, Missouri, 417.425.5162, thegoldengirl.com

Circle 7 Ranch

Circle 7 Ranch in Ballwin, Missouri, uses reposado in several of its Margaritas, but you’re going to want to ask for the avocado-mango. Avocado and mango are muddled with housemade lime juice and mixed with reposado and a mango liqueur. “It was a recipe we had at El Borracho, and it was our most popular Margarita,” says manager BJ Baker, referencing the now-shuttered Mexican spot run by Circle 7 owners Pete Ferretti and Buddy Coy, where Baker was also general manager. “Reposado pairs well with the mango and kind of evens it out; if you used a blanco, the flavor disappears.” Reposado is also used in the house Margarita with Cointreau and Grand Marnier, the hibiscus Margarita and the strawberry-jalapeño Margarita. Baker says the use of reposado highlights the diversity of cocktails at Circle 7. “We get caught up in being a sports bar at times. The tabletops are always a topic of conversation,” he says, referring to the much-touted self-serve beer taps at the tables. “But the mixology and the talent we have behind our bar – I think it’s still a secret to a lot of people. It’s usually a surprise when they find out about that.”

Circle 7 Ranch,  14412 Clayton Road, Ballwin, Missouri, 636.220.9707, circle7ranch.com

The Westside Local

At The Westside Local in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District, bar manager Zac Snyder was surprised that his cocktail Take It To The Limit was such a hit last summer. Such a strong anise component is usually make-or-break for customers. Snyder started with the concept of a Blood & Sand with tequila, but he didn’t want smoke – like in mezcal – to be the focus. “I wanted it to be that combination of fresh fruit juice, tart cherry and anise, so the reposado was a really good vehicle for it,” he says. “Reposados have always been very good for me in cocktail usage because they’re bright like blancos, but they don’t have very much barrel on them; the edges are rounded off.” The drink is almost equal parts Tapatio reposado tequila, Leopold Brothers cherry liqueur, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and Kübler absinthe. This spring, everyone on the bar team is coming up with a few cocktails each, which Snyder says allows them to take more ownership of the menu. He’s not sure if there will be a reposado cocktail on the menu, but he just might make you a Take It To The Limit. “We try to keep things fun and creative, but really approachable,” he says. “In the past, we haven’t been a place that’s particularly known for cocktails, but in the last two years I’ve really tried to change that here and I think I’ve had some pretty good success [with that.]”

The Westside Local, 1663 Summit St., Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.997.9089, thewestsidelocal.com

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