10 fiery tequila cocktails to heat up your summer
Ah, tequila. Few alcoholic beverages inspire the same level of dismay or delight—depending on the situation—ortrigger the same memories (or lack thereof) of nights out with your buddies like this oft-misunderstood Mexican spirit.
But seeing as it's National Tequila Day, we thought we'd dispel a few rumors and share a few spicy, summer-worthy cocktail recipes so that you can celebrate like the learned, debonaire gentleman you know you want to be—*ahem* are.
First things first, tequila is actually better enjoyed as a spirit you sip, rather than one you shoot. And before you put your hands up, we'll have you know that this is coming from expert on all things tequila-related, Kevin Vanegas, the National Tequila Ambassador for Brown-Forman. While some types of tequila can be used as a quick shot, "when you drink finer tequila with high quality production process like Tequila Herradura, you should enjoy it by sipping or in a craft cocktail," Vanegas says.
That's because higher-end tequilas have more complex flavors that vary depending on the production process and age. In the case of some of Herradura's aged expressions, like its Añejo, "the more time they spend in the barrel, the stronger is the presence of wood, caramel and vanilla notes," he explains. So if you were to just toss a shot of some of the good (i.e. more expensive) stuff back, you could easily miss the many different tasting notes.
The next, and probably most important, myth we'd like to debunk: lime and salt. Contrary to popular belief, lime and salt can actually worsen your experience with tequila, according to Vanegas. "Adding in lime and salt will overpower some of those delicate notes and flavors that should really be savored," he says. This is especially true of aged tequilas like reposados and añejos—so if that's what you want to drink, we recommend sipping it neat.
This last myth could potentially bring up some bad memories, most likely from college, of something one of your friends dared you to do—drink the worm in the tequila bottle. But as it turns out, tequila has never actually been associated with the "worm," according to Vanegas. In reality, "the 'worm,' also known as the Gusano you see in mezcals, was used as a marketing gimmick many years ago in Oxacaca, the birthplace of mezcal," he says. So the next time someone challenges you to down the worm, you can tell them they just got played.
So now that you're a bit wiser when it comes to tequila, it's time to put your knowledge and refinement to the test. Here are 10 spicy, savory tequila cocktails—with just the right amount of sweetness—that pack a punch in flavor and spirit.
Spicy Pineapple Margarita
- 3 L of Frida Kahlo Blanco Tequila
To make the tequila-mezcal batch:
Combine the tequila, mezcal, and all cut peppers into large 5-L cambro or bucket, stir, cover, and let sit for 3-4 days.
To make the cocktail:
Place some Tajin seasoning on a small plate and pour some agave onto another small plate. Using a double old-fashioned glass, rim with agave first, then the tajin, and set aside. In a shaker, pour pineapple juice, lime juice, agave, and the tequila-mezcal batch mix and add ice. Shake hard for 12 seconds. Strain into the rimmed glass over a large cube of ice. Place the lime wheel on top of the ice and serve.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Laurel Tavern Hermosa Beach.
- 5 basil leaves
In a cocktail shaker, crush basil and jalapeño with a squeeze of lime juice. Add Suerte and ice. Shake well. Strain over ice and top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with lime, basil leaves. Alternative: Replace basil with fresh mint.
Ultra Sandîa Fresca
2 parts Herradura Ultra
Shake all ingredients and strain into rocks glass with large ice cube and watermelon garnish. Consider adding a peel of watermelon to enhance the garnish.
- 1 oz High Brew Coffee Mexican Vanilla
Add all of the ingredients and dry shake (shake in a shaker with no ice). Add ice to shaker and repeat. Fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The Jimadores Paloma
- 2 oz Patrón Reposado
Add grapefruit, lime, salt, and Patrón into shaker. Add ice and shake for 5 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass and fill with ginger beer. Pour Hibiscus Syrup on top and dash in the bitters, as well. Snake Grapefruit peel inside glass and serve.
- 2 parts Espolòn Blanco
Combine in a highball glass on the rocks and top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Espolòn.
The Wicked Owl
- 2 oz Owl’s Brew Wicked Green (green tea, habanero, lime)
Tear up basil and place into a shaker. Add ingredients and ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice.
- 1 oz Fidencio Classico Mezcal
Combine all ingredients and shake, strain over tall glass with crushed ice. Garnish with citrus peel circle filled with 151 rum, set on fire. Garnish with cinnamon powder. Make sure to blow out the flame before drinking.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Jettison Cocktail & Spirits Den in Dallas, TX.
The Green Boxer
- 1 1/2 oz 1800 Silver Tequila
In a mixing tin, add all ingredients together. Fill with ice and shake hard for 10 seconds. Double strain into rocks glass and garnish with lime wheel.
- Handful of mint, muddled
In a long-stemmed Julep cup (or glass of choice), add a handful of mint leaves (two sprigs) and top with the cocktail ingredients (agave, sherry, tequila, bitters) and muddle. A gentle 3-4 presses of the mint at the bottom of the cup is all that is needed to release the aromatic mint essence. Top with heaping pellet ice or crushed ice to fill the cup and create a cone-like top. Garnish with two or three sprigs of mint.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Homegoods.
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July 25, 2017 at 07:21AM
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