Become a Good Mixer With Tequila.
The ancient gods would be surprised to see the results of their gift of agaveClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tequila tastes better in cocktails
Tequila: It Helps You Mix.
“O for a beaker of the warm South!
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple stained mouth;
That I may drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim;”
It seems the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages goes hand in hand with the muse as so many poets refer to it, such as John Keats in the above lyrical excerpt from his work “Ode to a Nightingale,” surely one of the most poignant and wistful poems ever penned. That the blushful hippocrene may actually refer to a fountain in Greece called, prosaically, “Horsefount,” at Mount Helicon, may have escaped the poet in his anguished flight of fancy spurred on by the nightingales siren song and his own failing health.
But today we are going to another area where alcoholic beverages are also enjoyed and where the gods of old are held responsible for some of them.
In these olden times, the goddess Mayahuel walked the land of the Aztec and Maya, not forgetting the Olmec and the Toltec, among several other tribes in Mexico. According to the ancient legend, she had searched to world looking to bestow a precious gift on a deserving people. As the Indian high priests had had a great year in sacrifices and cutting out hearts, the lady smiled favourably on them and left them the gift of the agave plant.
This cactus-like succulent was most useful indeed to the nation as it provided fiber for twine, mats and clothes, as well as needle and thread to make them. Best of all, they quickly found, the “agua miel” or sap from the plants can be used to ferment into pulque or to distil into tequila.
Today, the old gods are long gone, chased from Mexico by the Spanish who also tried to wean the people off their favourite rocket fuel, but who failed conspicuously, as thousands of hectares are under cultivation for agave. Also today, synthetics have replaced the agave’s uses as a tough and resilient material. After the sap is collected, the plant is burned and ploughed under for fertilizer.
Tequila has become one of the country’s top exports and is known everywhere and liked for its potency and ability to mix into many popular cocktails. Here are just a few:
Coctel Bandera Mexicana.”
One that has been around for a long time is the “Mexican Flag Cocktail, which is made showing the red, white and green of the national colours.
½ pint tequila 1 banana, (seedless)
Juice of 2 ½ limes Grapes and maraschino cherries
3 tbs powdered sugar
Mix the sugar and lime thoroughly, and then pour in the tequila. Shake with chopped ice and serve in cocktail glasses. Into each glass drop a grape, cherry and banana ball to flaunt the flag.
This can be a great party punch or a drink for those long, tropical nights we know so well in the UK (Ha!)
4 pints sweet white wine 3 oranges, cut in wheels
1 pint sweet red wine 2 apples, cored and sliced thin
1 pint tequila Sugar to taste
1 pint rum Ice
Pour all ingredients in a large punch bowl with ice. Add sugar slowly and savour until perfect taste is reached (non alcoholic tester preferred). Watch those who insist on proving the mix time and time again!
La Tuna (The Prickly Pear Fruit)
A favourite of the US West Coast. Note: Tuna in this case, is not fish, but the seasonal, edible fruit of the cactus.
4 dashes bitters Club soda
I jigger tequila Salt
1 tsp lime juice
Use an old fashioned glass and fill with ice cubes. Pour in tequila, bitters, lime juice and soda. Sprinkle salt on top of ice cubes.
Nube Nueve (Cloud Nine)
The nutrition from the protein in this drink may fortify you for the activities I hope you have ahead this evening.
1 oz tequila 1 egg, beaten
1 oz brandy Sprig of mint
Juice two limes
Put lime juice in shaker. Add tequila and brandy blended with the egg: move slowly until ingredients bland. Add ice and strain into glass.
Rosita Borrachita (Little Legless Rosa)
Can be found in many city centres on Friday and Saturday night.
1 jigger grenadine 2 tsps lime juice
3 jiggers tequila
Shake well and pour into Rosa.
(A senorita, virgin, can actually be of any age in Mexico: you are supposed to assume women are virgins if they are not married!)
4 jiggers tequila 3 jiggers Curacao
4 jiggers lime juice
Moisten the rim of a long stemmed goblet by rubbing with lime, then swirl in salt to coat rim of glass.
Shake the ingredients with cracked ice and serve to a long-legged virgin (or similar).
Two recipes for this traditional libation: one simple and one rather more special.
1) Simple. 1 ½ parts tequila 4 parts OJ
½ part grenadine
Method: Mix tequila and OJ (that’s orange juice in the USA!)
Add grenadine carefully so it trickles to bottom of glass. Serve.
1) Special. 1 oz tequila ¼ oz cointreau
¼ oz campari ¼ tsp LJ ( lemon juice)
2 oz OJ ½ oz pineapple juice
½ oz grenadine syrup
Method: Fill shaker with broken ice. Add ingredients, shake well
Strain into brandy glass: Adorn with pineapple slice, a lemon wedge and
An orchid if you have one handy.
Finally, the ubiquitous Margarita. The best know mixed drink containing tequila in the world and was invented in Mexico before the WW1. At least six people have claimed the credit for this drink, so its exact birth is obscured. Not only that, but it is made in several ways, only two of which can really claim to be genuine Margaritas.
The Traditional method:
1 oz. tequila ½ oz triple sec.
1 oz lime juice
Shake with cracked iced. Moisten rim of glass with lime and swirl in salt. Drink over salted glass edge.
North Americans sometimes prefer their margaritas served blended with ice to get a frothy effect. Purists scoff at this. Gringos scoff back at ‘em.