Today is National Tequila Day! (Sez who? Basically, people who sell tequila. But who cares? We love tequila.) Circle July 24 on your calendar with salt and lime juice from now on, drinkers. To help you celebrate this completely made-up holiday (SHUT UP), here are some great tequila cocktail recipes from my monthly Remix column. And if I find out who chose a THURSDAY for this hoedown, I'll squirt a lime wedge in his eye. (TEQUILA!) (Peggy knows what I'm talmbout.)
First up, my remixed margarita. It's a definite upgrade from those neon-green adult Slurpees you generally get in restaurants, a tequila concoction based on a muddle charred pineapple, cilantro and serrano peppers: "It allows the silvery-clean flavor of the tequila to shine through, but it's a complex, rounded cocktail, herbal, spicy, tart but not sour. Keep in mind that fresh pineapple (juice and whole fruit) is key to balancing the sweetness, and grilling the pineapple slices further brings out the sugar." (recipe)
Next, I fancy up the Paloma: "The Paloma (Spanish for “dove”) is hardly a cocktail, just one of those utilitarian mixed drinks. Every country has a beloved classic that doesn’t inspire the same devotion in outlanders – Spain’s kalimotxo (red wine and Coke), France’s Kir, our own Jack and ginger – here it's a mix of Mexican grapefruit soda and tequila, sometimes served in a salt-rimmed glass. Like all these drinks, it’s easy to drink and cheap to make (also, easy to make and cheap to drink)." I made it better, if perhaps less cheap/easy, by mixing homemade grapefruit syrup with champagne in place of the original grapefruit Jarritos soda. (recipe)
My remixed Mexican coffee is more of a curveball in the tequila category. Tequila and coffee? YAS. "The classic Mexican Coffee is tequila and Kahlúa stirred into hot java, topped with whipped cream and dusted with cinnamon. It’s pretty good, but it’s a warming, sit-by-the-fire kinda deal – definitely not where we’re at now. But how about a tequila-based iced coffee? The wheels started turning. (Slowly, though. Because damn it’s hot.) The sudden ready availability of premium-quality bottled cold brew is what really made this drink a possibility in my mind." Cold-brew coffee, soft reposado tequila, cinnamon simple syrup and a dash of Tuaca make this an iced coffee with teeth. (recipe)
If you prefer someone else to do the work, more tequila choices around town can be found in our gallery of Orlando margaritas, below.