Tag Archives: mexico

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? 

Cinco De Mayo 2015

So Cinco De Mayo is here! It might be nearly over here in the UK but over in the USA it’s just about time to prep your drinks and start upon your drinking night…

My addition this year is a simple yet often overlooked tweak to make your lovely cocktail a little more… punchy.

Recently I was out for a meal at Chiquito’s (a Mexican/Southern American themed chain restaurant here in the UK) and my tipple of choice whenever visiting this particular branch is their exceptional Dark N’ Stormy. They use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and of course Goslings ginger ale – What you have to use to create a Dark n’ Stormy, and call it so.

Well I finished my first one and, sporting my Mexican sports jacket (I purchased it during the 2014 world cup – it’s a delightful shade of green) I asked the waitress if she would mind asking the bartender to make me a Dark N’ Stormy, but with a tweak… She told me they can if they have the means, so I asked for a Dark N’ Stormy but for Tequila instead of rum, I said I wasn’t too fussed on what tequila, just whatever the bartender thought would work best.

Now I don’t know what tequila the bartender used, nor did I remember to ask on my way out (a mistake on my part – although I’d had a few and was with friends). All I know is that it tasted fantastic, and worked wonderfully! So whilst I do not know what tequila was used (I’ve left that to your own tastes) I have included a recipe I know to be pretty accurate to what I had:

Cinco De Mayo Special: Mexican Storm

Whilst it lacks the famous looking dark line at the top of the drink, it has a little more kick and is perfect for your Mexican themed parties...
Whilst it lacks the famous looking dark line at the top of the drink, it has a little more kick and is perfect for your Mexican themed parties…

Recipe:

50ml Tequila (your favourite)

150ml Ginger Ale/Beer

15ml Fresh Lime Juice

Method:

  • Pour the ginger ale/beer into a half filled tall glass.
  • Squeeze in the lime juice and top up with the large slug of tequila.
  • Garnish with a slice of lime and serve with a couple of straws.

This cocktail is so simple it’s a wonder it isn’t used more often in the world of cocktails. Supplementing tequila for rum in this case means your drink packs a little more of a kick, as well as making it instantly Mexican themed…

So next time you order a Dark N’ Stormy, switch out the rum for a nice quality Tequila, preferably your favourite, and you may never go back. I know I’m sold!

Happy Cinco De Mayo Everyone!

Que tu noche sea una buena!

OFFER ALERT!!! (25/11/2014)

I knew signing up to newsletters from The Drink Shop would help!

Tequila: It makes you happy... Especially when it's 20% off!
Tequila: It makes you happy… Especially when it’s 20% off!

Today I received an email from them telling me about their next offer: Up to 20% off all their Tequila!

Whislt Tequila is not my most favoured method of poison I do enjoy a wonderful Paloma or a well seasoned Margarita here and there.

So I for one will be partaking in this event and snapping up a few miniatures of some rather expensive (but very tasty) brands. The main Samples i’ll be looking to get are the 3 they stock by Patron. Whilst relatively new over here in the UK (previous 2-3 years at the most) I know it’s pretty big in the USA. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try out for a while now so with Christmas only 1 month away I thought I’d treat myself!

Jalisco: Where the Agave plant rules supreme...
Jalisco: Where the Agave plant rules supreme…

Remember! – When buying Tequila always go for bottles that state ‘100% Agave’ on the bottle. This screams quality and will always taste better than Tequila not made in this way. Not to mention it’ll give you less of a headache*!

For more information on Tequila, or some great tequila cocktails check out the links to my previous posts below. If you want to get straight to the buying the first link takes you to their offer page!

ENJOY 😀

*Like for like 100% agave will not cause as bad a hangover reaction as non-100% agave tequila. Of course this is negated should you drink far too much – which most of you will!

Links:

20% OFF TEQUILA!

Tequila Summer Cocktails!

Tequila Highball

Cinco De Mayo Margaritas!

Best Tequila for under £40!

Casamigo’s Tequila (Hollywood Nights)

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 🙂

Halloween Special: The best of the rest…

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Huge Pumpkins, now the cocktails to match…

I planned on bringing you 5+ of my very own creations this Halloween week, but due to work commitments (my day job) I haven’t had as much time as I thought when I planned that.

So rather than let you down by not bringing you those cocktails, I’ve decided to make up for it by supplying literally 100’s of Halloween themed cocktails…

But not through direct recipes, part of this of this blog is to help up the popularity of cocktails and the best way to do this is by sharing the best sites…

And are the best Halloween Cocktails, courtesy of the best sites I’ve found:

Brit & Co.

Cocktails About.Com

13 to die for halloween cocktails

27 Halloween Cocktails

7 more Halloween Cocktails

Halloween Cocktails by food & wine

Creepy Halloween Cocktails by the Food Network

The BBC’s Halloween Cocktails

Halloween is coming, so are the Cocktails…

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Halloween is right around the corner, it’s Thursday in fact, and the best way to celebrate any such event is exactly how the Mexicans do: with a party.

Halloween is coveted by many different cultures across the world, not just here in the UK or over the water in the USA but under different names it is celebrated across more than 30 countries across the planet.

Whether it’s the Latin American/Mexican/South American Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) or the Wiccan Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-in’) October 31st – November 2nd are, pretty much universally, 3 days of fun and celebration. Whether it’s the celebration of deceased loved-ones or just a bunch of trick or treaters, the time of Halloween/Dia de Muertos is a wonderful time of year…

Now I’m not an avid trick or treater, I have no children to take on such outings, nor do I see the point in going and asking strangers for sweets… However I do quite like a good old ‘Adult Halloween’ (like the one featured in an episode of The League – Ghost Monkey) with alcohol and cocktails aplenty…

Over the coming week I shall be writing up some cocktails perfect for any Halloween party you ‘re planning and will aim to share all of them on the big day (Thursday 31st) just in time for you all to get out there and enjoy them…

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The Classic Brain Haemorrhage Cocktail…

Whether it’s the Spiced Caramel Apple (my very own creation) or the classic Brain haemorrhage Shooter there will be some gems. Look out; the Fervent Shaker Halloween Cocktails are about…

Cocktail #1

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Remember, this Halloween your themed cocktails don’t have to look amazing… Although a little style can always help…