National Margarita Day and a New Tequila: Two Reasons to Celebrate

You may typically dread Mondays as much as a fat orange cartoon housecat, but what could be better motivation to get through the workday than knowing it will be followed by a delicious, refreshing, cheaper-than-usual margarita or two?

The margarita is the most popular cocktail the U.S. according to renowned producer Tequila Herradura (so shouldn't today be a federal holiday?). In 2008, the country consumed an average of about 185,000 margaritas per hour.

Not too shabby, but with a little effort and a whole lot of tequila, 2010 can blow that statistic outta the water ... if you start today.

As if the holiday alone weren't enough reason to celebrate, today also marks the birth of a brand new tequila that's on par with Patrón and Don Julio, but priced much lower for Arizonans because it's imported and distributed right here in the Valley.

Tequila Corrido is made from 100% agave grown in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico where it is fermented, distilled, aged (using the single-barrel method), and bottled. Scottsdale-based company True Blue Imports then smuggles it over the border (legally, of course) and distributes the tequila to selected merchants throughout the Valley as well as San Francisco (where the going rate has been $25 a shot!).

Chow Bella attended a Tequila Corrido tasting Friday evening at Padre's Modern Mexican Cuisine in Phoenix, where True Blue Imports Vice President Brad Hoover explained the intricacies of the tequila production process as well as the history of the term "el corrido," a musical form of Mexican folklore often praising the merits of tequileros (tequila smugglers).

Hoover also taught us laymen how to identify Corrido's many subtle notes and appreciate the flavor and smoothness of a good tequila that is not generally garnered by shooting it or combining it with a bunch of mixers (guilty).

Slowly sipping Corrido's Añejo Extra, aged for three years, was surprisingly easy (especially for someone who had never before sipped straight tequila without grimacing), but the real shock came from tasting Corrido's Cristalino Blanco.

Served on the rocks with a twist of lime and a salted rim, the blanco tequila went down smother and tastier than even your typical girl cocktail (vodka soda, gin & tonic, etc.). This drink could easily become the next staple for the young, urban, slightly elitist cocktail crowd: there are no sugary syrups or juices (read: "all natural"), which also serves to keep the calories low, and it's straight booze so you get drunk quickly and without having to buy eight drinks or consume 40 fluid ounces.

Corrido Extra Añejo won "Best of Show" and "Best of Category" at the 2009 New York Spirits Awards, and all four (extra añejo, añejo, reposado and blanco) have won silver or gold awards in either national or international tasting competitions.

Tequila Corrido is available at AZ Wine Company and Tops Liquors, but Padre's is the first and only (thus far) restaurant to carry the tequila, which seems fitting because owner Denny Durbin spent many of his formative years living in Jalisco and is a tequila aficionado himself.

Padre's ran a $7 Tequila Corrido margarita special on Friday, and will repeat that deal again today in honor of National Margarita Day.

If you join the celebration you're guaranteed to have a great Monday ... it's Tuesday morning you have to worry about.