With tequila and Mezcal ramping up in popularity there is a swanky new spot to turn up your fine drinking at Primos Restaurant and Tequila Bar in Ripon. Primos features over 100 varieties of tequila to choose from, in a price range that starts at about $7 all the way up to $90 a shot. There is something for everyone at Primos with their hand-crafted cocktails, an assortment of IPAs on draft, a few varietals of wine and, of course, a large selection of tequila including Blanco, Reposado, Anejo and extra Anejo.
The trio of owners — Carlos Blanco, cousin (Primo) Jesse Anaya, and brother-in-law Roman Rosillo — opened up Primos a little over a year ago. They were able to get a taste of what the restaurant industry was like in the normal world for a few months before COVID hit. They had to adjust many things after that and with a focus of creating a dining experience for their customers it put a damper on things.
“Thank God that we were received well and it has been a blessing to have the support from the community,” said Blanco. “We were very thankful for that. They helped us out a lot and it has been a blessing to see that support especially being new.”
Blanco has a love for Mezcal and tequila and hand selected each bottle with a little collaboration to offer guests something really special that will not be found in too many places in the 209. He feels there is a misconception of how tequila should be consumed that usually includes lime, salt and a shot glass. There are so many different types of tequila that when they are poured in a glass and sipped can give people with an ornate palate a new appreciation of the spirit.
“I tell people tequila is like wine,” explained Blanco. “There are different notes that you can taste. There are different ways they age it and different things that go in there. If you sip it you can start to appreciate different undertones like vanilla, citrus, and it depends how they age it and what barrels they use. So, we have about 118 different kinds of tequilas and each one of them is unique in their own separate way.”
Once things really start to open up they plan to have tasting events with brand representatives and tequila pairings with meals. All their cocktails are hand crafted with fresh ingredients including freshly squeezed lime juice daily. They support local businesses like Whitney’s Best that has inspired them to launch some new cocktails using elderberry syrup. Their Watermelon Margarita is another summer hit with the fresh ingredients including the Yosemite Watermelon puree from the fruit stand down the way.
“We are always working on different cocktails behind the bar,” noted Blanco. “If you are a vodka drinker, a gin drinker or if you really love your bourbon and scotch, I know what direction to steer you in (with tequila or Mezcal). We are open minded. We are here for the customer.”
Bartender Jennica Baldwin whips up Elderberry Mules that are made with vodka, elderberry syrup, lime juice, and ginger beer topped with a lime wheel and mint for guests as a top pick. This tasty mule is delightful with the subtle elderberry sweetness and the traditional fizz from the ginger beer.
A customer favorite from the beginning is their blackberry margarita made with organic agave nectar, tequila, lime juice and muddled blackberries that Manager and occasional bartender Sylvia Trujillo has made several times for patrons. The refreshing cocktail is not only savory but the presentation is lovely.
Serving up drinks for a long time, bartender Reanna Sanchez loves meeting new people and has enjoyed learning about the tequilas and Mezcal that is offered up at Primos. For those looking to try a Mezcal, Sanchez suggests the Xicaru which is another guest front-runner that is great for sipping neat.
“We have that family connection and we feel like everybody here is family from the employees to the customers,” remarked Blanco. “Like I said even through the ups and downs of COVID, we have had customers that have been here from day one and still keep supporting us. The cocktails will speak for themselves. So that is why I say if you want to come and try something different, try us and you won’t be disappointed.”
222 West River Road, Suite G
Ripon, CA 95366