This week, the mailbag fell open to reveal a message/question in a bottle:
"Help! We stocked up on tequila for margarita season. Now we're already tired of margaritas and still have lots of tequila, what should I do with it?"
Simple: Send it to your favorite booze blogger. Oh, you mean you want to drink the tequila yourself? Darn. I feel your pain on margarita overkill. They're great, but they're everywhere. There's only so many times you can double the tequila and triple the secs before you get burned out. This week, I have a couple of quick tequila drinks that are perfect to add to your arsenal.
First up is one of my favorite highballs, the Paloma. As popular as it is south of the border, I'm a bit surprised it doesn't gain more traction in this area. The drink doesn't get much simpler: Grab a bottle of your favorite blanco or reposado tequila (make sure it's 100 percent agave). Then, grab a bottle of grapefruit soda. Jarritos Toronja is all but standard in Mexico; Squirt or Fresca will do just fine, too. Then, ice up your favorite glass, pour in some tequila, fill 'er up with grapefruit soda, and enjoy.
The Paloma gets even better if you add a big squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of salt, but the straight tequila/grapefruit model is pretty enjoyable on its own. The recipe I've provided is a boilerplate version, but is certainly open to shifting proportions (such as some extra tequila, of course).
The second libation this week is somewhere between the Paloma and the American classic Moscow Mule. It's my pleasure to introduce you to the Mexican El Diablo, or just El Diablo for short. In my humble (yet correct) opinion, it deserves to be on drink menus all over town. Victor "Trader Vic" Bergeron introduced it to the world in the 1940s. For some reason, we never had it on the menu at Trader Vic's, even though I'll bet it would have been just as popular as the Mai Tai around here.
Vic specified ginger ale, but I reach for ginger beer. The extra bite does well here, and I think it's closer to what ginger ale was like when Vic created the drink. Try it both ways, see which one you like more. You can also change up the drink by trying other fruit liqueurs in place of the cassis.
Do you have a favorite tequila drink for when you're tired of Margaritas? I'd love to hear about it below in the comments.
Paloma Juice of half a lime (optional) 1 ½ ounces blanco or reposado tequila Pinch of salt (optional) Grapefruit soda to fill
Add lime, tequila, and salt to a highball glass. Swirl to dissolve the salt. Add ice cubes. Fill with grapefruit soda. Garnish with spent lime shell.
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Mexican El Diablo Juice of half a lime 1 ½ ounces blanco tequila (I use reposado anyway) ½ ounce crème de cassis Ginger ale (or ginger beer) to fill
Build in a highball glass over ice. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with spent lime shell.
That was Last Call, in which JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice. Have a question for JK? Leave it in the comments below.