THE MEXICAN COCTELS: TEQUILA 101
Hecho En Mexico. The ubiquitous spirit of Mexico has long been a part and parcel of the cocktail scene stateside. The Margaritas and Palomas are the choice libations in the bars and upscale restaurants, each rendering its own version with home made counterparts of the famous and potent liqueurs. As summer has nudged in, we all resort to the variations of these potentially head banging cocktails; be in the bars and taquerias or our own home. We will outline a few classic takes on these drinks, which can be made at home quite simply, without the need of a reputed mixologist or plethora of spirits and mixers. We hope you will enjoy these drinks in your next barbecue, or a quite somber evening with just you and your close friends. Enjoy Responsibly.
FEW TAKES ON THE TEQUILA SIGNATURES
THE CLASSIC MARGARITA
The most famous drink in the world, and the most refreshing for those summer barbecues and soirees, Margarita is perhaps the most simplest cocktail to make, and serve. Here, we intend to perfect the classic Margarita recipe, and using the reposado tequilas is one of those techniques to make a full and warm bodied drink. You may always use blanco tequila or mezcals that you are so fond of. As a potent drink, we recommend serving it over the ice, as the ice slowly melts and add the H20 factor to mitigate the potency of the drink. You may use myriad concoctions for the rims, coarse salt being the classic and standard, but it can be rimmed with seal salt mixed with chile or other spices. Glasses also can be of different kinds, tumblers or rocks as well, and martini glasses even. The most important thing is the libation you mixed for your enjoyment. Not those red plastic beer cups though!
- 2 oz Tromba Reposado Tequila
- 1 oz L'Original Combier Liqueur D'Orange
- 3/4 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- 1 Tablespoon of coarse salt, for glass rims
- Lime wheel for garnish
Build in a Cocktail or Boston shaker with ice, combine the liquors and shake well to mix. Run lime wedge around the outer rim of the margarita glass and dip rims in the coarse salt. Put some ice in the rimmed margarita glass and pour the mix over and serve with our favorite tacos or enchiladas or barbecue meats.
THE ELDER PALOMA
Paloma is widely considered as the perfect summer thirst quencher with a fruity punch. As refreshing as it tastes, it looks visually stunning, a simple yet nimble take on the summer cocktails we all are so fond of. We recommend the use of top shelf blanco tequila such as Casamigos to keep its summery perkiness with velvet smoothness with a super light body, yet complex flavor rendered by the oaks. Make by batches, as it flies off the bar faster than anything. Poolside or in the open terraces, Paloma stays true to its Mexican namesake; Pigeon in English, always on the flight and pretty to look at.
- 2 oz Casamigos Blanco Tequila
- 3/4 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 3/4 oz GIffod Crème De Pamplemousse Rose Liqueur
- 3/4 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- Topo Chico Aqua Mineral
- Grapefruit Wheel or Wedge For Garnish
Build in a highball glass with cubed ice. Combine the liquors and top with Topo Chico sparkling water. Then stir with a bar spoon to mixed it well. Garnish with the grapefruit wheel or wedge and enjoy. You can always substitute with lime wheel or wedge.
Tequila is only and can only be called Tequila when it is made from the fermented sap of 100% Blue Weber Agave, which looks like a giant aloe vera plant with spiked barbs on the tips, and distilled in the designated areas of certain municipalities and townships in Mexico. According to the Mexican law, tequila can only be legally produced ( harvesting to bottling) in the primary states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. The name Tequila is derived from the township of Tequila in Jalisco where it was first and widely made. If other ingredient as sugarcane is mixed, it cannot be called Tequila, thus being called Mixto.
The first tequila producer was the famed house of Jose Cuervo in 1758, when Jose Antonio de Cuervo y Valdes recieved a parcel of land from the King of Spain and started producing tequila, way before Mexico became an independent republic. His son, Jose Maria Guadalupe de Cuervo sold his first Vino Mezcal de Tequila de Jose Cuervo in 1795 commercially, after being bestowed with the first official charter from the King of Spain.
After more than 250 years of first commercial tequila production, today, there are about 1000 plus brands being produced by close to 150 producers; all within the premises of the legally allowed municipalities and townships of the aforementioned five states of Mexico. Tequila, since then, has garnered an international repute for its smoky smoothness of sipping and thunderbolt of shots that leaves you with a Thor's Mjolnir inflicting the worst head-banging hangover you can ever experience. Shots followed by the salt and lime regimen is the most famous way of imbibing Tequila, however, it has given some of the world's most popular cocktails as Tequila Sunrise, Margaritas and Palomas.
There are primarily five categories of Tequila.
- Blanco [ Silver ]
- Joven [Gold ]
- Reposado [Rested ]
- Anejo [ Aged ]
- Extra Anejo [ Extra Aged ]