Yes, it’s real. Sparkle Donkey is the name of a new tequila. Why, we have no idea. But it’s a thing. And here’s the deal —
Sparkle Donkey is a 100 percent agave tequila. It’s distilled in Mexico, and it will get your bachelorette party crackin’ faster than tiny phallus-shaped everythings. After which, fittingly, the details get a little fuzzy. But let’s start with the creators. Sparkle Donkey Tequila is the most recent product of Black Rock Spirits. You know, the guys that proudly gave us Bakon Vodka three years ago.
According to a rich Mexican oral tradition (again, according to the guys who brought you Bakon Vodka), Sparkle Donkey carries on the legend of El Burro Esparkalo. A story I won’t levy too much judgment on, since I did skip Mexican History 101; but if you believe that, well, I know a premium tequila distillery I’d happily sell you stock in. For all further tomfoolery, I direct you to their website.
Now, let’s talk about the spirit. Because seriously, as much as I may poke fun at it when behind the bar, the Beverage Tasting Institute awarded it a gold medal, and a 93 on a 100 point scale. And unless they were just jonesing for a Swedish Fish flavored arrack next year, that’s one thing I do take seriously.
Affably sweet on the nose with a hint of dried mango, Sparkle Donkey’s silver tequila is vanilla syrup and New Orleans glitter all the way down. I certainly know the agave is there, and I can taste the tequila heritage, but this to me is tequila for people who thought they hated tequila. It’s a gateway drug, the wide gate and broad road on the way to appreciating a wonderful spirit category.
That said, I think it takes on an interesting role in the tequila zeitgeist. In an age where 9 out of 10 “tequila drinkers” tell me their favorite tequila is Patron silver, Sparkle Donkey simultaneously satirizes the likes of these massive tequila marketing machines and capitalizes on them. I love it. It screams, “Look how easily you’re manipulated! Isn’t that funny? Now give me your money.” And I can appreciate the humor in letting a little air out of Jose Cuervo’s bloated balloon, even if it’s not exactly the Robin Hood that Siembra Azul is.
Do I love Sparkle Donkey tequila? Not particularly. But this time next year I expect to see it on tap in college bars across the country. And, you know, I can’t say that’s a step in the wrong direction. Because the joke has a short shelf life, but the lesson doesn’t.
– 40% Alcohol by Volume