Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fine Spirits: Tequila Cocktails for Cinco De Mayo

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fine Spirits: Tequila Cocktails for Cinco De Mayo

Article excerpt

With Cinco de Mayo on Sunday, the cocktail of choice this weekend will probably include tequila. Until recently, other than as a "shooter" with salt and a wedge of lime, tequila was most often enjoyed in one of two cocktails -- a margarita or with orange juice in a Tequila Sunrise

While I still prefer my tequila neat and sipped slowly, or in a very simple margarita made with triple sec and freshly squeezed lime juice, amateur and professional mixologists are coming up with creative ways of using this surprisingly versatile spirit. Lime juice remains a fairly common component but others, such as agave nectar, cucumber, cilantro and even ginger beer are providing interesting twists on traditional flavor profiles.

Here, then, are four good, decidedly non-margarita, examples. The tequilas listed as the anchor ingredient in these recipes are some of my favorites and are intended only as suggestions. Feel free to substitute your own favorite and be sure to experiment with blanco, reposado and anejo styles.

!Saludo!

-- Bob Probert

* LA PALOMA Some recipes for this classic tequila cocktail call for grapefruit soda rather than grapefruit juice. I'm sure that tastes fine, but the (preferably fresh) grapefruit juice gives this version some added richness and balance from the citrus.

1 1/2 ounces Casa Noble Reposado tequila

4 ounces grapefruit juice (fresh is best)

1/2 ounces agave syrup (or, in a pinch, simple syrup)

Club soda or seltzer to top off

Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Combine and thoroughly mix the grapefruit juice, tequila and agave syrup.

Pour into a tall glass filled with ice and top with soda water for a little fizz.

Add a little freshly squeezed lime juice.

* THE MERCADITO

The cucumber, cilantro and jalapeno components give this cocktail a much earthier, herbal flavor profile than the others, making it somehow seem more "sophisticated". If you prefer, muddle the cucumber and jalapeno along with the lime juice and cilantro for even stronger flavor and spiciness. …

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