When the weather is hot, and the humidity is high, there is nothing better than a Tequila Cocktail to take the edge off.
After all, this is a spirit born in the desert, so it knows how to deal with the heat.
And you’d think with our summer approaching, with its 40 degree days, Tequila would be the spirit on everyone’s lips. Yet, in the Southern Hemisphere, Tequila still has a somewhat exotic feel.
You see, for us, it’s never been that easy to go ‘South of the border, down Mexico way’, nor do we have a tradition of drinking Tequila like a frat boy in search of the worm.
No, for us, our search for the blue agave has been a much more recent event, spurring by cocktail trends and famous people getting paid stupid amounts of money for their Tequila brands.
But as a country where heat and drought are definitely no strangers, it should be a Tequila Cocktail, rather than the obligatory Aperol Spritz that we really should be drinking. Why do we drinking Cocktails from cold or temperate climates when Tequila is sitting there on the back shelf of the bar saying ‘Drink me”.
Now it is getting better. Although most Mexican exports of Tequila do, of course, go to the USA, Jose Cuervo, for example, reported a 25% rise in their third-quarter earnings this time last year.
So slowly the Tequila message is getting out there (just in time for the widely predicted Tequila shortage but we’ll deal with that when it happens).
This is not to say that we should all have a Margarita in our hands every time we sit by the pool. There are a wide variety of Tequila Cocktails that derive your attention before you simply settle for a Paloma, a Margarita or any of the other typical Tequila drinks.
If you are not used to using Tequila as the base spirit in the cocktails you drink, then this collection of Tequila cocktails is an ideal place to start. Most of them, although not all, are riffs on a drink with which you will be more familiar, and that’s kind of reassuring.
They are familiar, they are tasty and they definitely show how well Tequila deals with warmer temperatures and that the cocktails that you make without are definitely worth accompanying you for your time in the sun.
But more to the point, they will show you, as the renowned celebrity chef, Neil Perry, has recently done with his Bar Patrón by Rockpool, embracing Tequila with gusto.
But if you’re thinking that we’re saying all of this because Tequila is cactus juice, then you have the wrong end of a very spiky stick. Tequila comes from the Agave plant and Agave is definitely not cacti. Sure, both cactus and agave are classified as succulents, but that is where the association ends.
We are a country of deserts and agave is a desert plant, so we should really should be taking all that this can mean on board.
Could you just imagine it, in the middle of the Simpson desert, kilometre after kilometre of Blue Agave being grown, with the occasional building to process the pinâ (or hearts) into a stunning alcoholic nectar.
Now, of course, what we produce wouldn’t be Tequila, because it’s a product of origin and can only be made in Jalisco, Mexico. We would have perhaps a Mezcal (which I believe you can make anywhere) a delicious libation of our own making that could fuel the nation.