Pros: Contains alcohol
Cons: Funky taste, UGLY color
During last week's stock-up trip to the Beverage Barn, I came across a small bottle of Tarantula Azul. There was a buzz about it a couple years ago, but I haven't heard anybody talking about it in forever. I thought it had disappeared along with such useful products as the AMC Gremlin and leisure suits. But there it was! In all it's brilliantly bright glowing blue glory!
Never having tried it, and never being willing to cough up $$$ for a large bottle of the stuff, I decided "What the heck..." and dropped it in the shopping cart.
Let's twist the bottle open and see how it tastes, and how, as a mixer, it works and plays with others....
The Drinking Experience....
Pour a shot of Tarantula Azul and give it a closer look, smell, and ponder its flavor.
The color is odd. Weird. Bizarre even. It's an unnatural color that screams out "artificial and unnatural colors added in copious quantities, possible radiation hazard too".
The aroma is redolent with indistinct citric acids. Is it lemon? Not quite. Lime then? Mmmmm, closer, but not like any fresh lime you've ever smelled. Is there a trace of orange there? Almost certainly. Try to nail it, and you'll probably conclude that's it's industrially grown in a laboratory citrus that's added....not anything resembling fruit of the Florida sunshine tree.
The taste is sweet --- far too sweet if you consider the drink to be tequila, and with a definite cane sugar tinge --- not the more crisply defined residual sweetness that you find in many spirits. The cane sugar edge reminds me of the kind of sugary sweetness that you find in cheaper liqueurs --- like the $5 flavored schnapps you pass on by when you see them in the liquor store. The alcoholic heat tingles after you swallow, but it's lighter than what you'd really want if you're looking for a good tequila.. Looking for the agave character here is a tough proposition: it seems to be obliterated by the phony citric flavors.
The Mixing Experience...
Tarantula Azul isn't a particularly good mixer. I tried using it to make a margarita, but the results were fairly poor. When mixing it using normal measures like it was a normal tequila, the resulting margarita tasted weak, flat, and boring. Increasing the amount of "tequila" to more like 2 to 3 ounces resulted in a margarita with too much citric edge, but the right alcohol zing. A double shot of Tarantula Azul with half the amount of lime mixer as usual and no triple sec or grand marnier yielded a margarita that was palatable, but at the quality level of those chain restaurants that serve pre-mix out of a slurpee machine...so sorry...."margarita machine". Yeah right.
Better margaritas come from better ingredients. Avoid Tarantula Azul unless you don't really know or care about margaritas.
The Overall Value and Bottom Line...
A chemistry experiment in a bottle. Ugly color. Weird flavor. Too little clean agave flavor to make it a good mixer, too much artificial flavor and sugar to be taken seriously as an adult beverage.
I see no place for Tarantula Azul in my liquor cabinet. Thumbs down!