Thursday, 29 April 2010


For a while I wasn't sure whether Desperados counted as a beer cocktail, or just a strange beer. I first tried this tequila-flavoured lager on the Continent (in Lille, France) about three years ago, when I was thrilled by the sheer cheek of the drink. More recently, again in France, I tried a couple more, and found myself wondering out loud what the hell it could be.

What it's not, is beer blended with real tequila, which is a shame, because the '5.9%' on the bottle was enough to suggest it just might have been. Neither is it Mexican. In fact, it's made in France by Brasserie Fischer, owned by the people who bring you Heineken. Desperados' ingredients are listed somewhere as "water, malted barley, glucose syrup, corn, sugar, aromatic compounds (75% tequila) citric acid, and hop extract". According to the beer's UK marketing company, the brewing process is "quite clever", as well as being "all-natural", taking the aroma and flavours of tequila without the spirit itself. Might they hurl a smattering of agave plants into the brew to steep alongside the hops? Could they infuse the beer with flavour by storing it in old tequila barrels? Something for someone to investigate, perhaps.

Whatever the secret, the finished product, a strong, pale, continental-style lager, certainly hints at tequila and lime. It's a little sweet, with some body, and well-refreshing, and with any luck I'll soon be able to get my hands on a few bottles closer to home.

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