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Booze of the Week: Tequila

April 13, 2013
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I’m a margarita guy. I love ’em. The lime. The salt. It’s an iconic summertime drink. My first experiences with margaritas were in TexMex restaurants like Casa Ole and Two Pesos. Big, frozen “fish bowl” margaritas, and I can’t even imagine how many blenders I burned up trying to make them at parties.

And then at some point in the late Eighties, I found out that not all margaritas were frozen. Honestly, I think the first mention of a margarita on the rocks was on a Jimmy Buffett T-shirt. But the first time I ever tried one was at Pico’s Mex-Mex restaurant on Bellaire Blvd. in Houston. It was only about a mile from my apartment, and they had a whole menu, just for margaritas. The food was good too, but the margaritas are what blew my mind. The top shelf — tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Served over ice in an old fashioned glass. It was so simple. So delicious. So refreshing. And that feeling in your skull was a buzz, not brain-freeze. And I never went back to candy-ass frozen margaritas again.

And the margarita has been my go-to tequila drink. An occasional Tequila Sunrise. Shooters at parties from time to time. But that’s about it. So when I decided that tequila would be the Booze of the Week, the one drink I knew I was not going to make was a margarita. Instead, I went with the popular (in Mexico, at least) Paloma. Tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda. I was going to hunt down some Jarritos, but in the end I figured it would be easier just to buy some grapefruit juice and add my own soda water. It was okay, but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big grapefruit guy. I also tried a Tequila and Tomato cocktail, with tequila, tomato juice, lime juice, and a splash of Tobasco sauce, garnished with coriander leaves. It was tasty, but not something I’d consider a go-to drink. And I made up a couple of Sunrises, just for old times’ sake, and also because I figured that grenadine would be a good mixer to have on hand. It was okay, but the grenadine was really, really sweet.

And then I decided to try a drink that I’ve never actually heard of a real person drinking. I say not a real person because the only time I’ve heard of the drink is on an episode of Lost. But I had all the ingredients, so I mixed one up. And it’s awesome! The lime and the soda add flavour, but not to the point of overpowering the tequila. I could very happily drink them all night long. I didn’t, mind you, but I could.

I didn’t take any pictures of the different drinks (too busy drinking them, I guess), but I did get a snap of my slowly-growing bar:
barIt’s getting there, but I’ve got to admit, I’m a little worried that I’m going to be able to add bottles fast enough that I don’t drink what I’ve got and need to replace it. Over the next six weeks or so, I want to add Cointreau, Kahlua, vodka, scotch, vermouth and rum to the bar, and by then I’ll probably have to replentish a few bottles. Then I’ll probably add a more liqueurs and mixers, and now that I’ve started looking, there sure seem to be a hell of a lot of them available.

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