Not all tequilas are created equal. In fact, the ritual of licking salt off the back of your hand and chasing the tequila with a suck of lime only serves to mask the sharp taste of a cheap tequila.
To get you on the right track, we’ll start this tequila tutorial by recalling that the world-famous Mexican liquor is made from Agave Tequilana and named after the town where it was first produced. Treat yourself to quality tequilas such as Patrón Silver, Patron Reposado and Arette Blanco.
From the Texas two-step to the tequila sunrise, margarita and Mexican Negroni, there’s something about tequila cocktails that screams “party in Ensenada”. Here are four more tequila cocktails to make at home.
This play on the traditional Paloma is as simple as it is delicious. Step away from the recycled jam jar: keep it classy and serve this cocktail in a highball glass. Simply fill a large glass with ice. Add a shot of tequila, a scattering of salt, juice from a pink grapefruit and a small orange, a splash of soda water and a squeeze of lime juice. Stir, garnish with lime and serve. A dash of agave nectar will crank it up a notch.
If you’re partial to a Bloody Mary, you’ll appreciate this concoction, which also packs a peppery punch. Start with a tall tumbler of ice, sprinkle it with salt then pour in a shot or two of quality tequila, three parts Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix, six parts orange juice, two parts pineapple juice and a couple of extra dashes of Cholula Hot Sauce or Tabasco. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
A margarita looks deceptively simple, but there are a few tips and tricks to taking it to the next level. First, chill your glass by filling it with ice. Next, add some ice to your cocktail shaker and scatter with salt. Pour in one part Cazadores Tequila Reposado, ½ part Triple Sec liqueur, ½ part lime juice, and a lime wedge and shake it like you mean it until the liquid is chilled. Run a lime wedge around the rim of the chilled glass before rolling it in salt. Double strain the mix into the glass. Bottoms up!
Cucumber tequila cooler
This cooling drink abounds in vegetal flavours. Start by slicing a stick of celery and a cucumber into 2cm-thick pieces. Add celery and a pinch of salt to a cocktail shaker and muddle until it’s smashed to pieces. Add one slice of cucumber and a splash of agave nectar and continue muddling for about 20 seconds or until smashed. Add the juice of a lime and a shot and a half of quality tequila. Fill two-thirds of the shaker with ice, shake until chilled then strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a slice of cucumber.
* Agave nectar, Cholula Hot Sauce and Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix are available online from Salt Meats Cheese.