Create a delicious bowl that
104 | squaremeal.co.uk cocktails
There's more to tequila than small, salty slams. Use it to mix classy
cocktails and you'll soon be thinking you're on your hols in Mexico...
WORDS LAURA FOSTER PHOTOS STEVE RYAN
Create a delicious bowl that
Tequila's been enjoying an image
overhaul in recent years. While it
may still be the oil to grease the
wheels of late-night revelry, it's
also taken its rightful mantle as a
quality drink. Having said that, it's
important to remember that tequila doesn't
stand on ceremony. It doesn't require fancy
glassware or complicated drinks.
The canon of classic tequila drinks are all
quick and easy to make: the Margarita, with
its winning mix of tequila, lime and triple
sec; the Paloma, a thirst-slaying highball with
grapefruit soda, and the Batanga, which is
essentially a tequila and Coke.
As people realise that there's more to
tequila than a lick of salt and a lemon wedge,
two key messages have spread. First, that
you should sip
it, not shoot it -
no need to be
so puritan about
this as some of
my favourite nights out have ended with
a slammed tequila or two.
Second, that to drink a quality tequila, you
should ensure that it's 100% agave. This is
the big pineapple-like plant that tequila is
made from, and unless a bottle is marked as
100% agave, up to 49% of the tequila could
contain other sugars. These are known as
mixto tequilas, the stu that will generally
give you a headache the morning after;
though some are great quality and similarly
some 100% agave spirits are best left alone.
It can be confusing so if you're looking for
guidance, then read on...
One of the most recognisable tequilas
must be Jose Cuervo, and its premium
expression, the Tradicional Silver, launched
last year. It's got vanilla and butterscotch
notes that I think works well with Coke.
Next, you'll nd Olmeca Altos in many bars.
It's green and grassy, with some to ee
characters and a touch of spice.
Two of my absolute favourites - Tapatio
and Ocho - might be di erent brands, but
they're made by the same man, Carlos
Camarena at the La Alteña distillery. Tapatio is
all roast agave and honeydew melon, a touch
of salt and smoke, while Ocho is released in
vintages, each hailing from one speci c site.
And nally, if you're looking for something
tasty in the upper end of the tequila market,
then give Don Fulano a try. The Blanco is
excellent, while daredevils can try the Fuerte,
a strong drop at 50% abv.
The drinks here are my favourite party
starters. In case you were wondering, I'll
always order a Tommy's Margarita over the
original Margarita. And as for the salt rim
question, why not compromise and cover
half the glass? Just make sure that you're
using high-quality salt. World of Zing has
some avoured salts to experiment with. Try
the Applewood Smoked Sea Salt, which adds
a lovely bon re aroma to your drink. It's far
better than licking Saxa o the back of your
hand at the end of the night.
People now realise there's more to
tequila than salt and a lemon wedge