Category Archives: tequila

Dia De Los Muertos – A Mexican Celebration

Tequila is, undoubtedly, the spirit of Mexico. Tequila’s sophisticated and continuously increasing quality is the result of blending native agricultural techniques and modern technology, all held together with tradition.

Being Mexican, this traditional backbone inevitably includes one of the most spiritual celebrations in the human world: Dia De Los Muertos.

Dia De Los Muertos, or the day of the dead (DOTD), is a celebration that grips the entirety of Mexico on the 1st & 2nd of November. To pay homage to this spiritual celebration I’ve gathered three of the best 100% agave tequilas available to me here in the UK.

 

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Dia De Los Muertos is tradition across Mexico!

 

Taking one cocktail from each brands’ website, I will recreate them, aiming to not only showcase brand used but to really help you get a traditional Mexican celebration going this Dia De Los Muertos.

But, before we delve into the recipes, let’s take a little look a what Dia De Los Muertos is, and why it is so widely celebrated across the country Tequila calls home…

Whilst predominantly celebrated in the central and southern regions of Mexico, DOTD has spread to most of the northern regions as well, no small part due to the Mexican Government declaring it a national holiday.

DOTD takes place on the 1st & 2nd November every year and even though this coincides with the catholic holidays of All Souls and All Saints day, the Mexican population has managed to blend both religion and tradition together, culminating in this very spiritual event.

DOTD rests on the belief that, for the 1st of November, the spirits of deceased children will be allowed passage to Earth, from heaven. During this 24hr period, the children return to their loved ones and enjoy the festivities laid out for them by their friends and families.

On the 2nd of November, adult spirits also return down to their loved ones, enjoying the singing, dancing, and other festivities laid out especially for them.

Almost all houses will contain a homemade altar decorated with marigold flowers, candles, sugar skulls, and pictures of the deceased loved one(s) along with their favourite food and drink. This is all done by the deceased’s families and friends and can come at a great personal expense. But, as this holiday is all about celebrating the lives of their loved ones, the economic cost is not a driving factor – it just serves as an example of how important to the Mexican people this tradition is.

On the 2nd, festivities are taken to the cemeteries and there the individuals will sing, dance, and care for their loved ones’ gravestones. Stories are told of their loved ones and families, friends, and others, all gather to celebrate the lives of their deceased.

Dia De Los Muertos is an upbeat celebration that captures the spirit of joy and ultimately shows a true acceptance of death in everyday life. This tradition celebrates the life of the deceased rather than simply mourning the dead.

Dia De Los Muertos is such a celebration that tequila brands jump at the chance to share it with the world. Of course, it acts as a great selling point for their brands but, ultimately, they also share this celebration with the world.

Simply put, Tequila brands make Mexico’s most famous alcoholic beverage and they make it in the traditional way. Part of this tradition is celebrating Dia De Los Muertos. That is why most tequila brands (especially the 100% agave ones) will really kick things up a notch around the end of October…

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for, the 3 gloriously delicious Dia De Los Muertos cocktails…

Patron – Fresas En Fuego

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Recipe:

(45ml) 3 measures Patron Silver

(15ml) 1 measure Ginger Liqueur

(15ml) 1 measure Fresh Lime Juice

(15ml) 1 measure Sugar Syrup

4 x Hulled Strawberries

2 x Jalapeno coins (slices)

Garnish: Strawberry & Jalapeno Skewer.

Method:

  • In a shaker, muddle the strawberries, jalapeno coins, and sugar syrup.
  • Add the tequila, ginger liqueur, and lime juice.
  • Shake well over ice.
  • Double strain into a chilled coupe cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with the strawberry & jalapeno skewer.

Patron Tequila is as beautifully crafted as they come. It is a premium brand in that it does cost a small fortune to sample some of their high-end products but, as with all alcohol brands, you pay for what you get. All their products are handmade, from Pina to Cork, and this is evident in the high quality taste their products are renown for.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: If you love spice in your cocktail, try infusing your Patron Silver tequila with some sliced Jalapenos.

Herradura – Agave Seco

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Recipe:

1 measure Herradura Silver Tequila

1 ¼ measure Cointreau

½ measure Campari

1 measure Fresh Orange Juice

1 measure Fresh Grapefruit Juice

Garnish: 1-2 slices Kiwi, 1-2 slices strawberries, and 1 sprig Mint.

Method:

  • Add the tequila, Cointreau, Campari, and juices to an ice-filled shaker.
  • Shake well (10-15 seconds should do it)
  • Strain into a chilled rocks glass.
  • Garnish with the kiwi, strawberries, and mint sprig.

Herradura produce 100% agave tequila and they pride themselves on slowly aged uncompromising tequila. They barrel age their Tequila longer than the standard required and the quality of their products show through. I had the pleasure of sampling their range at Imbibe Live 2016 and believe me, they are sublime in their quality.

 

Ocho – El Diablo

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Recipe:

50ml  Ocho Blanco

25ml Fresh Lime Juice

10ml Fresh Ginger Syrup

10ml Creme De Cassis

Top Up Ginger Ale

Garnish: 2 x Lime wedges

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients over ice and shake well (again, 10-15 seconds should suffice).
  • Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge. Or two.

The El Diablo Is a cocktail I’ve been excited about for a long time. It’s simple, yet tremendously satisfying to drink. Its balance of heat and sweet is sublime and it brings out the playfulness of the tequila!

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: If you want a higher hit of heat to this drink, muddle some fresh root ginger in the bottom of the glass with the lime juice. It will add a little raw heat to the overall taste!

So there you have 3 stunning cocktails, using 3 rather eloquent 100% agave tequilas, and what’s more, they’ll all help you kick off your Dia De Los Muertos celebrations with a bang!

Do you have any parties planned for this spooky weekend? Try turning them into a celebration and revel in the spiritual togetherness Dia De Los Muertos stands for!

Disclaimer: the Herradura Tequila was provided as a sample by the grace of Mangrove, a drinks distributor here in the UK. The sample was free, but that in no way biases y statements. Any comments made in this post (or any other) is strictly of my own opinion and will always be so.

Are you a celebrator of the spiritual Dia De Los Muertos? If so, what is your cocktail of choice, if you choose to drink one?

If you enjoy your tequila in other ways this time of year, why not share them in the comments?

Tequila: why 100% Agave is always better…

Tequila comes in two main types: Mixto (blended) and 100% agave. The former is the type you’re likely to find at a college party. It’s cheaper than 100% agave and can leave you with a nasty pile of regret in the morning. The latter, on the other hand, is as pure as tequila gets…

That said, here are three reasons you should always reach for 100% agave tequila…

#1: No hidden surprises:

100% agave tequila is pure agave and nothing else. Mixto, on the other hand, contains up to 49% non-agave ingredients. These usually consist of sugar cane, or other distillable products, but can include additives such as flavourings and colourings.

What makes things worse is that producers are not required to tell you what they use! So you’re never going to know, completely, what is in your bottle. If you’re the sort of person who likes to know what they’re drinking, always choose 100% agave!

#2: No hangovers:

When you drink a mixto tequila you’re literally mixing your drinks from the very first sip. With only 51% agave, mixto tequilas have a range of other ingredients, including various distillates. That means you’re consuming more than one type of alcohol at the same time, which is why mixto tequila has earned such a bad reputation.

However, if you choose 100% agave tequila, your hangovers will be a thing of the past. This is because they are made using only the Blue Weber Agave and nothing else!

Responsible drinking clearly speaks for itself; but if you were to swap your mixto tequila for 100% agave tequila, you’d notice the different immediately – especially when you have work in the morning!

#3: Better taste:

There are more premium tequilas than ever before and for good reason: It simply tastes better than its mixto counterpart.

Each brand has their unique flavour profile, which creates a vast array of great tasting tequila. Whilst the species of agave used in tequila has to be the Blue Weber by law; the location of the distillery in which it is made will drastically affect its flavour.

Whether you prefer yours fruity, spicy, or earthy, there’s a 100% agave tequila out there for everyone!

As outlined here, premium tequilas are superior in taste and quality, but that doesn’t mean mixto brands haven’t played an important part in the 100% agave boom coming out of Mexico. This boom has been made possible, in large part, thanks to the path laid down by mixto brands, with the industry rethinking its method and creating some truly stunning premium products.

There are strict regulations in relation to both Mixto and 100% agave tequilas. If you’d like to know more about these, information can be found here.

Now you know which tequila to choose, why not check out these 100% Tequila Paloma cocktail recipes I made? 

3 Paloma cocktails to restore your Faith in Tequila…

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If I had a £1/$1 for every time someone told me how much they dislike Tequila, I’d have retired and lived happily ever after in my grand-cabin the woodlands of Arizona.


As it is, I don’t get a single penny – which really does make it hard to listen too. Tequila has a bit of a bad rap and, whilst this is slowly being repaired by some of the artisan brands out there, it still needs a little helping hand to get people falling in love with it.

The biggest hurdle is that of the ‘cheap’ brands creating below-par tequila with shots and heavily mixed drinks the aim. To avoid any uneasy feelings by naming those brands, let’s just say anything less than 100% agave is considered by this blog to be ‘below par’.

The best way to get over the hurdles surrounding Tequila is to share the best ways to re-introduce yourself to this earthy and unique spirit. Tequila is, in my opinion, always a difficult spirit to simply sip. Whilst there are brands that specialise in ‘sipping’ quality tequilas, I am not a straight drinker and prefer my spirits lightly mixed into long summer-perfect drinks. Think about the Mule category for a snapshot of my preferences.

So, when it comes to tequila, what is the best way to mix it so you can really enjoy its complex flavour? Yes, there are literally hundreds of cocktails out there that contain tequila, some are classic (for good reason) and others are, at best, dreadful. All too often these ‘poorly created’ cocktails add to the stigma around the spirit.

The best way, by far, is the cocktail known as the Paloma. I’ve written a few posts that have included Paloma recipes before, and it is my favourite cocktail containing Tequila. A lot of people prefer a margarita but I find it to be a little savoury and have had far too many bad margaritas for my own liking.

All you need for a Paloma is 3 things: Tequila, Grapefruit Soda, and Lime.

There are more complex recipes out there, and the 3 recipes I want to share with you will show the differences between easy, medium, and difficult recipes.

The tequilas used are all high quality and whilst you can choose your own brands please try to make sure whatever Tequila you buy is 100% agave. Click here to find out why this is important.

Scroll down for the 3 recipes that I believe, will restore your faith in Tequila…

 

Easy – Paloma

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Recipe:

50ml Ocho Tequila

12.5m Lime Juice

125ml Grapefruit soda

Method:

  • Build the ingredients over ice in a tall Collins glass.
  • Top up with the grapefruit soda, swizzle and top with more ice.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge/wheel or some zest peelings.

 

Medium – Paloma

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Recipe:

50ml Aqua Riva Reposado Tequila

25ml grapefruit juice

15ml grapefruit syrup

Top up soda water

Method:

  • Combine the juice, syrup, and tequila in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake well. Around 10-15 seconds should do it.
  • Strain into a tall ice-filled glass and top with the club soda.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel/wedge or a selection of zest peelings.

 

Difficult – Paloma

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Recipe:

50ml Patron Blanco Tequila

15 ml sugar syrup

15 ml fresh lime juice

25ml fresh grapefruit juice

Top up sparkling mineral water

1 lime wedge

Salt

1 lime wedge / zest peel, for garnish

 

Method:

  • Optional: Moisten the rim of a tall glass with a cut lime wedge and dip into a fine salt powder.
  • In an ice-filled shaker, combine the tequila, sugar syrup, fruit juices and shake well. For around 10-15 seconds – until the shaker tin ices over.
  • Strain into your ice-filled serving glass (the one you garnished with a salt rim earlier).
  • Top up with the mineral water and garnish with a lime wedge or zest peel.

Easy – This is a basic Paloma cocktail. Combining lime juice, tequila, and grapefruit soda; this cocktail is simple yet highly effective at giving you a new found liking for the quality tequila you use.

Medium – This is a slightly more difficult recipe in that it involves a home-made grapefruit sugar syrup (the recipe can be found here). This version of the Paloma is slightly heavier on the grapefruit’s bitterness but is counterbalanced by the sweetness of the sugar and dryness of the soda water. This cocktail brings together a rather more complicated version of a simplified cocktail and delivers a higher depth in flavour for a little extra work. This cocktail is, by far, full of more flavour than its simplified form.

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Difficult: This is where the Paloma cocktail really comes into its own. Once broken down into its many parts, this cocktail can become a thing of true magnificence. Combining a home-made sugar syrup with one of the best tequila’s on the market (not merely opinion, but fact) and by using sparkling mineral water [instead of soda water] this cocktail is elevated from simple pleasure to a true summer evening delight.

The difficult recipe is by far my favourite version of this cocktail [so far]. I love its increased flavour profile, the quality of the tequila is outstanding and to top it all off, the use of mineral water adds to the earthy feel of this long, sweet summer cocktail.

I hope this post has helped you resume your potential love affair with, tequila. Tequila truly is a stunning spirit that has so much to offer. It’s versatile and with so many high-quality brands now available, it would be blasphemous not to give it a second chance!

I trust these 3 Paloma recipes have restored your Faith in Tequila and with luck, you’ll be drinking a lot more of it in the future!

What’s your favourite Tequila cocktail? Do you have a preferred straight drinking tequila? Why not leave a comment below and help me spread the word: Tequila isn’t all bad!

Margaritas Three Ways – A Cinco De Mayo Special

Today is the 4th of May 2014. That means Cinco De Mayo is literally around the corner! Whilst not usually a huge deal here in the UK, they revel in Mexican culture across the pond so it’s only natural they have a whole day set aside for a celebration of sorts.

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Whilst not necessarily celebrated the same way in Mexico and other Latin American countries, Cinco De Mayo is a festival celebrating all of the finer things Mexican culture has to offer the world.

Whether it’s Chocolate, Spicy Food or even a certain infamous Mexican spirit (or 2) Cinco De Mayo is a celebration and a time for getting together with friends and family…

So what are the 3 margaritas I have in store for you? Well let’s start with a classic recipe and tweak it a little…

Mi Casa Tequila:

Mi Casa Tequila is an extremely high quality 100% Agave Tequila, obviously from Mexico, and is unfortunately not readily available on the UK Market it can be found readily across the USA so if you plan on heading out there any time soon, be sure to pick a bottle up!

It’s an estate-craft tequila from a family run business and has wone numerous awards for their utterly fantastic tequila(s). You can find their page here, but be sure to check out their signature margarita before you do:

Mi Casa Margarita

Recipe:

2 measures Mi Casa Reposado

1 measure St. Germain

¾ measure Fresh Lime Juice

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Reposado Tequila always adds a slight depth to the drink, making it even more awesome!

Method:

–  Mix with ice in a shaker and shake until the tin ices over.

–  Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a Lime wedge and fresh sprig of elderflower.

This is a refreshing take on a classic margarita uses the best Elderflower liqueur on the market and awesome tequila to create something familiar yet refreshingly different.

Try it this Cinco De Mayo or any other spring/summer evening it will be a refreshing break from your normal cocktail intake…

Margarita Picante

Recipe:

3 Slices red chilli pepper

2 measures 100% Blanco Tequila

¾ measure Cointreau

½ measure lime juice

½ measure sugar syrup

1 pinch cilantro

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This Margarita is dangerously spicy, if you like your drinks hot then this is the one for you!

Method:

–  Combine all the ingredients over ice and shake until the tin ices over.

–  After filling a small rocks glass with cubed ice (and a few slices of red chilli should you prefer*) strain the drink into the glass and garnish with a chilli slice on the rim of the glass.

*The fresh chilli in the glass will add an undercurrent of heat and is recommended for those who love their spicy flavours. Feel free to leave it out if, like me, you prefer a little less heat.

This drink is what it says: Spicy. It holds no punches and can bring a person to tears if they don’t respect it. Using a top quality brand of 100% Blanco Tequila (what else) this drink really is something a little spicy; just the thing to celebrate Mexican culture this Cinco De Mayo…

Roasted Blueberry Basil Margarita

Recipe:

2 measures Grand Marnier

1 ½ measures Blanco Tequila (100% Agave)

2 measures Lime Juice

2 ½ measures Blueberry & Basil Flavoured Sugar Syrup

Garnish: Fresh Whole Blueberries, Basil leaves & Sliced lime. And a Salt/Sugar rim (3:2 Ratio).

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So here is the oddball… Sweet & Savoury fuse into something rather special in this magical Margarita – Perfect for headlining your Cinco De Mayo…

Method:

–  Rim a large rocks glass with the salt/sugar mixture (use the lime as adhesive).

–  In a cocktail shaker combine the Grand Marnier, Tequila & Lime Juice, shaking `until the shaker ices over.

–  Fill the glass with ice and then strain in the drink.

–  To garnish; add a blueberry & Lime peel skewer and a fresh sprig of Basil to the top of the drink.

–  Serve with a straw.

This drink is remarkably balanced considering the blueberries are roasted, it’s very easy to over-do them and turn them too bitter for the drink. However done right, the basil and blueberry work wonders for the tequila.

It’s a special little recipe I came across a few months back, tried and loved. It’s perfect for Cinco De Mayo and has a refreshing summer evening feel about it, which means you don’t have to wait too long before you can have another one!

So there you go, 3 margaritas; 3 very different cocktails. The best thing about these drinks is that once Cinco De Mayo is over you can continue enjoying them time and time again. Whether you’re a thrill seeking Picante Margarita, or a sweet and slightly roasted blueberry margarita; there’s a drink here for you…

If you’d like to know how to make the Blueberry-Basil Sugar Syrup then click here and roast away…

Links for further reading, original recipes, pictures etc…

Original Recipes & Pictures:

Roasted Blueberry Basil Margarita

Margarita Picante

Cinco De Mayo Facts

Mi Casa Tequila – Check out their Mission Statement 🙂

Tequila Summer Cocktails

Do you know what the best thing about Tequila is? It’s perfect for sharing.

It’s a rustique, down to earth (literally) spirit full of flavour. Keeping this in mind I’ve gathered (what I feel are) 10 of the best summertime tequila cocktails… I won’t spoil the surprise, but the top spot belongs to my very own creation… (Yeah, Yeah I know it was a fix from the start, but there are still 9 other fantastic cocktails).

10. Santa Maria

Serves 1

45ml Reposado Tequila*

30ml White Port

15ml Velvet Falernum

15ml Simple Syrup

1 lemon – Juiced

Top up Ginger beer

Taking inspiration from the Tequila Highball, this cocktail mixes intricate flavours with sweet and spicy ingredients and tops it off with a great Reposado (or ‘gold’) Tequila.

*Use a good quality reposado, preferably not Jose Cuervo (use a brand like El Jimador or Cazadores – take a look at my blog on some of the better tequilas available – scroll down to after the dessert: https://theferventshaker.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/3-course-cocktails-cinco-de-mayo-especial/)

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No.9: Tequila-Cranberry Cooler

 9. Tequila-Cranberry Cooler

Serves 4

150ml Blanco (silver) Tequila

50ml Campari

250ml cranberry juice

125ml Fresh Orange Juice

60ml Fresh Lime Juice*

Garnish:

60g caster sugar

Lime Wedge

4 x cocktail cherries (with stems)

Garnish: Wipe the lime wedge around the rims of all 4 of the glasses and then dip them in the caster sugar. Drop in a cocktail cherry just before serving.

Cocktail: Mix all the main ingredients together in a jug (over ice) and divide equally among the 4, ice-filled, glasses.

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No. 8: Red Ruby Tequila Cocktails

8. Red Ruby Tequila Cocktails

Serves 4

250ml Reposado Tequila

750ml Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice

4 tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

Mix the ingredients in a jug, over ice, and divide equally into 4 separate glasses. Garnish with an Orange twirl…

Top Tip: Using Reposado (rested) tequila really add some fantastic flavour (and a nice little kick) to this already great drink. Add a little splash of soda water to make it a little more refreshing…

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No. 7: Margarita, with Chilli & Cucumber…

 7. Classic (Perfect) Margarita

Serves 1

Drinks as particular as this require a very well balanced combination of ingredients, and for this reason I have used the term ‘measure(s)’ so as its clear that for every measure of tequila you use the relative amounts of Lime & Cointreau…

1.5 measures Silver (Blanco) Tequila

1 measure Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

0.5 measures Cointreau (try not to use triple sec)

Shake the ingredients over ice, until the tin is well iced. Strain the mixture into a salt rimmed, margarita glass (or small rocks glass for a slightly different look).

Top Tip: Only salt rim half the glass in salt. This way the consumer of the drink can decide on how much salt they want.

Flavoured recipes: There are literally hundreds of flavoured margarita recipes out there and I’ll be honest, most of them are awful…

Some, however, are surprisingly refreshing; like the Chilli & Cucumber Margarita.

The best thing about this recipe is that all you’re actually doing is adding some a cucumber & Chilli mix into a classic Margarita recipe (like the one above).

Here’s how you prepare one, for yourself (or friends):

1)      Chop up some chilli (or use dried chilli flakes if you’re too lazy) and mix with some diced (de-seeded & peeled) cucumber,

2)      Leave to chill for between 2-4 hours.

3)      Then just add a couple of tablespoons to your shaker before mixing up your margarita and mix away!

4)      Enjoy you’re rather different Margarita.

 

6. Classic Tequila Slammer

Serves 1

1 Part Tequila

1 Part Soda Water

Build in a glass, cover with a napkin, lightly slam on the table and then take it down in one gulp.

Top Tip: For a twist on this classic cocktail; try using flavoured sodas. Grapefruit & Orange an easy twist, but for some great tasting drinks be a little wild, try something like hibiscus soda or lychee.

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No. 5: Tequila Sunrise

 5. Tequila Sunrise

Serves 1

150ml Orange Juice*

1 teaspoon Sugar Syrup (simple syrup)

35ml Tequila

1 teaspoon Grenadine Syrup

Garnish: 1 slice of lime

Combine the orange juice, tequila and sugar syrup over ice in a glass, and then gently pour in the grenadine. Garnish with a slice (wheel) of lime.

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No. 4: La Pinela

 4. La Pinela

Serves 1

Drink: 45ml Silver (Blanco) Tequila

45ml Fresh Pineapple Juice

15ml Licor 43

15ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

1 teaspoon Cinnamon Syrup

Garnish: 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Lime wedge

Combine the sugar and ground cinnamon on a plate and wipe the rim of the glass with the lime wedge, then rim half of the glass with the sugar/cinnamon mixture and fill the glass with ice.

For the drink; combine all the other ingredients in a shaker and shake until the tin is iced (20-30 seconds). Strain it into the ice filled glass. Finish with a lime wheel.

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No. 3: The Paloma (with lime/tequila shot)…

3. Paloma

Serves 1

1 teaspoon fresh Lime Juice

30ml High-Quality Tequila (Silver)

Grapefruit Soda

Using a lime wedge, wipe the rim of half the glass, and dip it in coarse sea-salt. Then fill the glass with ice, adding the lime and tequila shortly after. Top up with the grapefruit soda and stir before serving. Garnish finally with a floating lime twirl/slice.

Top Tip: For an added kick, scrape out the inside of half a lime and fill it with a shot of tequila, floating this on top with a splash of salt will look stunning and supply you with an added ‘cocktail’ version of that classic tequila shot…

2. Zapatos Nuevos

Serves 2

120ml Silver (Blanco) Tequila

30ml Agave Nectar

500g (2 cups) Seedless Watermelon Cubes

30ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

Garnish: 2 basil leaves

Fill two highball glasses with ice and leave to one side. Then blend all of the ingredients until smooth and pour into the ice filled glasses. To garnish, gently slap the basil leaves between your hands and wedge just inside the glass for an added herb-hit…

1. Sonoran Iced-Tea

Serves 1

25ml Kahlua Coffee Liqueur

25ml Disaronno Amaretto

12.5ml Silver Tequila

12.5ml Lime Juice

60ml Fresh Cranberry Juice

OR

60ml POM Pomegranate Juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker and shake until the tin is well iced. Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Serve with 2 straws and garnish with a lime wedge and cocktail cherry.

Top Tip: For a slightly different version try substituting POM: Fresh Pomegranate Juice in for the cranberry juice, or even go half ‘n’ half (30ml of each).

Mexican Sangria – Wine, Tequila and baskets of fresh fruit…

Sangria is not an unknown sensation, especially across Latin parts of the world. Whether you find yourself in South America, Mexico or across Southern Europe you will find sangria in one form or another. The basics are as follows:

Wine,

Fruit juice,

Fresh fruit pieces,

Mixer

Classic sangria’s also primarily use red wines; however I prefer the lighter white wine sangrias that are becoming more and more popular. Whether it’s because you can add other spirits, or whether it’s because white wine doesn’t produce an unattractive colour when mixed with different juices; white wine sangrias are just becoming more and more popular…

You might think that this is a bad thing, but in fact it’s a great move. The use of white wines opens the door for the addition of spirits. Rum, Tequila, Vodka & all sorts of fruit liqueurs all have something to add to the world of sangria (just look at how many punches/pitcher cocktails there are!).

This post is a continuation of my previous Sangria blog, and will be aiming to show you how to use Tequila in sangria recipes…

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So then, let’s get started…

We begin by taking the white wine sangria from my previous sangria blog:

750ml White wine

1 ½ cups white rum

1 ½ cups orange juice

½ cup white sugar

1 lemon, lime & orange (diced/sliced)

Optional: Selection of orchard fruits (apples, pears, plums etc.) to taste

Top up with lemonade (or sparkling wine for an added kick)

This recipe is very basic, but it covers all the basics already mentioned above. For a very simple Mexican Sangria, you could just switch out the rum for silver tequila. But I like my sangria a little more refined. And below are some recipes and tips that show why these sangria’s work.

Recipe 1: Especial Heaven

750ml Casillero Del Diablo Chardonnay*

500ml Jose Cuervo Especial Gold Tequila**

500ml Orange Juice

500ml Grapefruit Juice

250ml Cranberry Juice

½ cup Muscovado Sugar

2L Grapefruit soda to top

Lemon, Lime, Orange & Pink grapefruit slices (1 of each fruit sliced up)

Selection of preferred hard fruits: Apples, Pears, peaches, apricots etc…

Add the alcohol, juice and sugar into a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then add the fruit and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Then, just before serving add the Grapefruit soda.

*Casillero Del Diablo Chardonnay 75cl (750ml): £7.99 from www.Tesco.com.

**Jose Cuervo Especial Gold Tequila 50cl (500ml): £14.00 from www.tesco.com.

This Chardonnay wine from Chile will work perfectly with the fragrant Especial tequila in this sangria. Its flavours blend in well with the fruits used and the nature of the tequila (agave, and other fruity notes) also lending themselves to the sangria’s overall taste.

Top Tip: Try to match the fruit to both the wine and the tequila. Look online (or on the bottle) for the fruity notes of both and try to use those fruits (as well as the basic citrus and orchard fruits).

Recipe 1: Reposado Royale

750ml Artesano De Argento Pinot Grigio

500ml El Jimador Reposado Tequila

½ cup Muscovado Sugar

500ml orange juice

500ml pineapple juice

250ml mango juice

250ml guava juice

Top up: Mateus Sparkling Rose

Orange, lemon, lime slices

Pineapple slices/chunks

Mango chunks

Blending exotic tropical flavours from the Argentinian Pinot Grigio blend well with the El Jimador Reposado and are topped off nicely with the creamy Mateus Rose’s apricot & strawberry flavours.

Top tip: Just because main flavours are tropical, don’t be afraid of using the creamier, softer berried flavours the rose wine supplied. It adds an extra layer, and greater depth in flavour to the sangria.

* Artesano De Argento Pinot Grigio 75Cl (750ml) £7.99 from www.Tesco.com.

**El Jimador Reposado 70Cl (700ml) £19.99 from www.sainsburys.co.uk (or almost any store).

***Mateus Sparkling Rose 75Cl (750ml) £8.29 from www.morrisonscellar.com.

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So topping your sangria off with sparkling rose adds a little class, not to mention a great taste!

Final Recipe – Silver Key Sauvignon Blanc:

750ml Sauvignon Blanc*

500ml Sierra Silver Tequila**

250ml Triple Sec***

½ cup Muscovado Sugar

500ml Orange Juice

500ml Grapefruit Juice

250ml Cranberry & Raspberry Juice

150ml Passoa (optional)

150ml Grenadine Syrup****

Top up: Any clear soda you like.

Lime, Lemon, Orange slices.

Soft berries: Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Apricots, Peaches, Greengages as well as a selection of citrus fruits (mandarin’s, satsuma’s and clementine’s work particularly well).

*Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 75cl (750ml) £9.29 from www.sainsburys.co.uk

**Sierra Silver Tequila 50cl (500ml) £15.49 from www.sainsburys.co.uk

***Any triple sec you can find will suffice, I think for this De Kuyper/Bols work perfectly fine. Don’t waste your Cointreau on something like this!

****Try to be a little experimental with your choice of syrup. Grenadine works fine if you cannot get anything else, but try exotic flavours like Hibiscus & Kiwi (among others), check out this website for the hibiscus syrup: http://www.creamsupplies.co.uk/rosella-wild-hibiscus-syrup-300ml/prod_5491.html?category=

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Citrus fruit make the sangria. But always feel free to brighten this picture up with some ideas of your own…

So that concludes the recipes… Now for some top tips:

1)      Feel free to experiment, that’s how half of these recipes came about after all!

2)      The use of fruit is essential, but it must be to you, and your guests’ tastes. If someone is allergic to Banana’s then don’t use them. (I know this one is a no-brainer but it happens!).

3)      When making Mexican sangria remember: Tequila is king. Always use top quality tequila.

4)      While tequila is king, you need fruity flavours. To accomplish this, use fruit liqueurs – don’t be afraid to add small amounts in. Stick to a 1-5 rule (for every 500ml of tequila use 100-150ml of the fruit liqueur).

5)      Read the labels. Read the wine and tequila labels to work out what fruit to use in the mix. Also – always use the freshest fruit.

In summary I suppose I just want to say that the idea behind this post is that if you have the ingredients for great Mexican sangria’s (like those above) then fantastic – enjoy yourself, but for those that don’t; make sure you have the wine and tequila’s available and just use whatever else you can afford/have at hand!

Please feel free to leave comments as to what you thought of these recipes, or even just general feedback! I am enjoying some tequila nights here at home this week, so I’ll have some more Mexican themed posts on their way to you soon! Thanks for reading and keep a weather eye out!

Oh, and please remember to drink responsibly!