Happy National Tequila Day! I decided to celebrate with rounding up my favorite tequila cocktails on the blog and sharing some facts about the spirit itself.
I'm sure you know that tequila is a spirit made from agave. Just like french wine or spirits, it can only be made in a specific region; the Mexican state of Jalisco and surrounding areas. That area is perfect for growing the agave plant because the soil is mostly volcanic. The agave plant has sharp thorns, long thick leaves, and takes between 8-12 years to reach maturity before it can be harvested. After the plant is harvested, it is peeled, roasted, crushed, and the juice is fermented and distilled. Tequila is usually made from 100% agave and distilled twice.
There are four main tequila categories:
- Blanco - also called silver, plata or platinum, is aged for less than two months and is clear.
- Reposado - aged between two and 12 months and is golden-colored.
- Añejo - aged between one and three years and is a whisky-like brown.
- Extra-añejo - a new category introduced by the Tequila Regulatory Council in 2006, is aged more than three years. Tequila is typically aged in used bourbon casks.
- Mezcal - this is the cousin of tequila, which is also made from agave in a different region of Mexico. Tequila is made in the Jalisco region and only from blue Weber agave, while mezcal is made in Oaxaca. Legally it can be made anywhere though and can be made from different types of agave. The other difference is that the agave is slow roasted in pits with hot rocks which gives mezcal its signature smokiness.
Fun Fact: Contrary to popular belief agave is not a cactus. It is in the asparagales botanical family which makes it a relative to the Yucca Plant or the Joshua Tree. Okay, now I'm done being a crazy plant lady.
You can drink tequila many ways. As a shot, served neat or on the rocks, or in cocktails (MY favorite). Here are some of my favorite recipes that I have created to help you celebrate National Tequila Day.
Prickly Pear Margarita - Blanco Tequila, fresh juice of lime and grapefruit, cinnamon, fresh prickly pear, and pink himalayan salt.
The Country Village - Reposado Tequila, fig infused sweet vermouth, Licor 43, and chocolate bitters.
Frozen Watermelon Margarita- Blanco Tequila, fresh lime juice, agave, fresh watermelon, and smoked sea salt.
Sunny Side Up Fizz- Reposado Tequila, coffee liqueur, cinnamon, whole egg, soda, and cayenne pepper.
Avocado Margarita - Blanco Tequila, fresh lime juice, agave, fresh avocado, hot sauce, and salt & chili pepper.
Mezcal Paloma - Mezcal, fresh juices of lime and grapefruit, agave, soda, and sea salt.
I hope you find some time today to enjoy your favorite tequila cocktail. What's your go-to tequila drink to make at home? If you decide to make one of the cocktails above, don't forget to chime in on the comments and let me know how it turns out.
Cheers and Happy National Tequila Day! xo