Home > iDEAL Focus > Features > Beyond the margarita: 8 tequila cocktails to try
Beyond the margarita: 8 tequila cocktails to try
2016-02-19
By Bethany Gumper

Salt, shoot, suck. Then grit your teeth and shake your head to clear out the fire burning in your throat. This tequila ritual is familiar to many college students, but if you haven’t sipped the agave-based spirit since you were younger, it’s time for a refresher course. 


The liquor is experiencing a renaissance, and producers are crafting single-estate and vintage dated tequilas. These artisanal tequilas have little in common with the processed stuff that stung your throat back in the day. By Mexican law, tequila, which is made by distilling the fermented juices of the blue agave plant, must be 51 percent agave. But that means the other 49 percent can be artificial ickiness.


 “Called mixto, the cheap stuff contains lots of added sugar and even caramel coloring, which mass producers use in an effort to reproduce the complex flavors in aged tequila,” said Ted Gibson, a bartender who heads up the new All Agave Project tequila tasting program at Rancho Valencia in California. Not all tequila is alike. Any bottle worth drinking bears the label 100 percent agave. “Quality tequila is an unprocessed natural spirit with depth of flavor,” Gibson said.


微信截图_20160219174255.png


The best producers focus on terroir, just like with fine wines. A particular tequila’s flavor depends on the growing conditions, altitude and sunlight. Now, we could just take Gibson’s word for it that tequila is a versatile spirit that you should be mixing into more than margaritas — or you can find out for yourself.



Gallagher’s Smash 

When we think of fruit and tequila, lemons and limes come to mind. But there are many other varieties that pair perfectly with the spirit. 


Yield: 1 drink 

Ingredients 

2 ounces blanco tequila•

1 ounce lime juice•

1/2 ounce simple syrup•

5 cubes watermelon•

3 sage leaves•

Directions Combine ingredients in mixing glass; muddle. Add ice, then shake. Double strain over fresh ice and garnish with a watermelon cube and a sage leaf.



Raspberry Beret 

微信截图_20160219174558.png


The recipe, which serves one, is easily turned into a big batch. Just make the raspberry-mint lemonade in advance and add the booze once it’s party time.

 

Yield: 1 drink 

Ingredients 2 ounces blanco tequila•

3 ounces lemonade•

4 raspberries•

5 to 6 mint leaves•

Directions: Combine ingredients in mixing glass; gently muddle. Add ice, then shake. Double strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a raspberry and a sprig of fresh mint.



Juan-y Appleseed 


This recipe calls for licorice-scented tarragon, but mint, thyme, sage and cilantro all complement tequila. 


Yield: 1 drink 

Ingredients 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila•

3/4 ounce St Germain•

1 ounce granny smith apple juice•

3/4 ounce lemon juice•

1/2 ounce agave syrup•

1 sprig tarragon•

Directions Combine ingredients in mixing glass; gently muddle. Add ice, then shake. Double strain over fresh ice and garnish with an apple slice and a sprig of tarragon.



El Jardin 


The Pimm’s Cup, a classic gin-based English cocktail, is Pimm’s No 1, 

cucumber and lemonade, lemon-lime soda or ginger ale. Mix things up by swapping the gin for tequila. 


Yield: 1 drink 

Ingredients 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila•

3/4 ounce Pimm’s No 1•

2 ounces lemonade•

3 dashes Bitter Truth Celery Bitters•

3 slices cucumber• 3 basil leaves•

Directions Combine ingredients in mixing glass; gently muddle. Add ice, then shake. Double strain over fresh ice and garnish with a cucumber ribbon and a basil leaf.


La Piñata 


“It’s simple to make your own pepper-infused tequila,” said Gibson, who says that the cilantro and the heat are a match made in mixology heaven. 


Yield: 1 drink 

Ingredients 

2 ounces serrano-infused blanco tequila•

1 ounce fresh pineapple juice•

3/4 ounce lime juice•

1/2 ounce agave syrup•

2 pineapple leaves•

1 lime wheel•

3 sprigs cilantro, leaves torn•

Directions Shake ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Double strain over fresh ice and garnish with pineapple leaves, a lime wheel and cilantro.



La Siesta 


A Paloma is a beloved cocktail made with tequila and grapefruit juice. Give it a modern twist by charring the grapefruit before you juice it so it caramelizes slightly. 


Yield: 1 drink 

Ingredients 

2 ounces reposado tequila

2 ounces charred grapefruit juice•

1/2 ounce lime juice•

1/2 ounce cinnamon simple syrup•

1 charred grapefruit segment•

2 cinnamon sticks•

Directions Shake ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Double strain over fresh ice and garnish with grapefruit segment and cinnamon sticks.










Leave a comment
Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164