What To Drink Now: Tequila Day Cocktails

Weber Blue Agave plants in Jalisco, Tequila, Mexico

Earlier this week we raised a glass to my niece, Portia, with birthday cocktails. Today, I toast my love with the spirit that is quickly becoming his favorite, tequila. Gary loves a good margarita and I am constantly working on new recipes and combinations to mix the norm up a little. As today is national tequila day, consider trying one of these as a new take on your TIGF cocktail. #Cheers

One of my favorite margarita’s of all time was made by mixologist master, Leann Berry, at Komali in Dallas years ago, a tamarind margarita. Bonus, tamarind is really good for you filled with antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin C, and so much more. My version is below.

Tamarind Margarita
Ingredients for two cocktails:
4 ounces Herradura Silver Tequila
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp*
2 ounces Cointreau
4 ounces orange juice
2 teaspoons agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
crushed ice
1 whole lime –
juice of half of the lime, the zest of 1 lime, cut the remaining half into three wedges, two for garnish and one for salting the rim
Preparation: Mix the chili powder, salt, and lime zest together in a small bowl. Run one of the lime wedges over the rim of two margarita glasses and dip the glasses in the salt mixer. Set glasses aside.  To make the cocktails add 1 tablespoon of the reconstituted tamarind pulp into a shake with the tequila, orange liquor, agave, lime and orange juice, and ice. Shake until very cold. Add ice to the glasses and strain the cocktail over the glass. garnish with a lime wedge on each glass.

*Tamarind pulp is sold in small blocks. To reconstitute the tamarind, break off a bit and submerge it in 1 cup warm water for 15 minutes. Strain the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds and fibers. Set the strained pulp aside.

We made Portia a blueberry basil mocktail, so how about a blackberry mint margarita for Gary.

Blackberry Mint Margarita
Ingredients for two cocktails:
3 ounces Tequila Patron Silver
15 fresh blackberries, 6 skewered on picks for garnish
1/4 cup fresh mint
2 ounces agave syrup
juice of 1 lime
crushed ice
Preparation: Add 9 blackberries and the mint to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Muddle lightly. Add the lime juice, agave, and tequila. Fill the shaker with ice and shake until very, very cold. You can serve the margarita as a martini, if you would like it up without ice by straining the cocktail into two martini glasses. Or, add ice to two rocks glasses and strain over the ice. Garnish with the blackberries.

Let’s face it, it is too hot outside to have the oven on inside the house these days, so light up the grill to create a Mexican fiesta of shrimp tacos, guacamole with grilled avocados, fire-roasted salsa, and grilled citrus margaritas. Grilling the citrus add a hint of smokiness while adding a touch of caramelization to the fruit. Add a bit of Mezcal to further enhance the smoke.

Grilled Lemon-Lime Margarita
Ingredients for two cocktails:
1 lemon, or Meyer lemon, cut in half
2 limes, cut one in half and the other into quarters
3 ounces Pasote Reposado Tequila
1 ounce Bozal Mezcal
1 ounce agave syrup
Splash mineral water
salt
Cubed ice
Preparation: Heat the grill to medium. Add the lemon and one of the limes, cut side down, and grill until slightly charred (about 3 or 4 minutes). Remove the citrus and squeeze all the juice from the fruit into a cocktail shaker. Let cool slightly then the tequila, agave, and mezcal. Top with ice and shake until very cold. Run one lime over the rim of a rocks glass. Dip the rim of the glass into salt and then fill the glass with ice. Strain half of the cocktail from the shaker into each glass. Top with mineral water and garnish with a wedge of lime. 

I was fascinated on my last trip to Dallas with the “Ranch Water” phenomenon. Every place I went, it seemed to be the only cocktail everyone wanted to enjoy. With that, I raise my glass to the marketing team at Topo Chico, as it seems the mineral water is the key ingredient. It reminded me of the gin and tonic craze I have experienced a few times in Spain, as the cocktail really is made by the tonic and not necessarily the spirit. I do suggest always using a quality spirit in addition to a great mixer. For my “Ranch Water” I opt for Don Julio Blanco. With a hint of herbal dill, light floral notes, a bit of creaminess, and an incredibly smooth palate, the spirits gives character to the clean, easy palate of the cocktail. If you are up for it, add a thin slice of jalapeno as well.

Ranch Water
Ingredients for one cocktail:
2 ounces Don Julio Blanco
squeeze of lime
Topo Chico mineral water
1 or 2 thin slices of fresh jalapeno (optional)
Preparation: Add ice to a tall Collins glass. Add the tequila, jalapeno, and squeeze of lime. Top with Topo Chico, stir, and enjoy. 

 

3 comments

  1. All of these sound so creative and delicious. Too bad I don’t drink tequila. Maybe one day…

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