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Some would describe tequila as smoky and sweet, others might say fiery or peppery. When the Three Amigos tried to order beer at a bar in a Mexican Village and found there was only tequila, the bartender described it to them as, “like...beer.” Of course we know that’s not true. What is true is that tequila is distilled from blue Weber agave and can only be made in the Mexican state of Jalisco, which has the volcanic soil agave favors. But the spirit is appreciated everywhere. Case in point: National Tequila Day is July 24. So how will we celebrate? Well, tequila shots have a reputation for bringing out the party animal in the most modest person—ever hear the song “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”?. But for anyone who isn’t looking to get (too) rowdy and wants to enjoy the complexities of this Mexican favorite, a cocktail is the perfect way to go. Shake up your night with these seven cocktails that are all about the tequila.
A Mint Julep may be associated with southern traditions, particularly the Kentucky Derby, but this cocktail can go South of the border, too. Swap out the traditional bourbon for tequila and shake with honey syrup, lime juice, muddled mint and blackberries to make a Blackberry Mint Julep Margarita.
Mixing sugar, water and bitters to make a cocktail, specifically an Old Fashioned, dates back to the early 1800s. But drinking an Old Fashioned can sometimes seem well, old fashioned. Modernize the cocktail by substituting tequila for whiskey and agave nectar for sugar—still cool, but way more fun.
In the Spanish language Margarita translates to daisy—a soft and graceful flower. This elegant cocktail follows suit but packs a bit of a punch by combining tequila and Grand Marnier with lemon juice, club soda and sugar. Forget sending flowers to a loved one; make them really happy with a Tequila Daisy cocktail.
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Let’s start with some basics.