Tequila Basics

Gran-Centenario-best-tequila-960x841The history of tequila is both rich and dated, the origins stretch back to 250 – 300 AD.  Around this time period Aztecs were known to make a wine from the heart of agave plants know as ‘pulque’ or ‘agua miel’. Tequila has travelled a long way from its humble origins. Now there are laws governing production and labeling of tequila, aunthentic 100% blue agave will have an NOM on the label. This is not a measure of quality but a show of authenticity.

Many people do not know the differences between mezcal and tequila, there are many but i’ll just hit on the basics. For one the heart of tequila is taken from the blue agave, where as mezcal is not specific to one type of agave. when making mezcal the heart of the agave is roasted instead of being baked which gives it the distinct smoky flavor. Mezcal can also be distilled just once but is more commonly distilled twice for the international market.

Tequila is classified by the percentage of agave spirit and length of the maturation period.

Mixto: consist of at least 51% blue agave distillate most commonly mixed with spirits made of sugar, molasses etc.

Pura: 100% agave distillate

White/clear(blanco,plata,silver,platino) : clear tequila that has been aged for a maximum of 60 days.

Reposado: means rested in Spanish, aged between 60 days and a years.

Gold (oro): much the same as white but with added flavoring and coloring usually caramel.

Añejo (aged): by Mexican law to be classified as aged it must be sealed in government oak barrels no larger than 600 litres for over one year.

 

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Update

Exotic Splash is now offering affiliate links through Amazon, stay tuned for updates on a great selection of hand made mugs, glasses, and bar accessories! I love Game Of Thrones  so expect to see some interesting G.O.T. items! As always I appreciate the support always feel free to contact me with comments, questions and suggestions.

 

Island Margarita

Originally this recipe was sourced by TY KU Sake, it is kind of unique in the use of sake to add a splash of coconut. Definitely a somewhat simple but interesting margarita to make. With that being said, let’s dive in!

Glass: Margarita

Method: shake and strain

Ingredients: 2 oz Ty Ku Sake, 1 oz tequila silver, 1/2 oz Grand Marnier, 1/2 oz agave nectar, 1/2 oz lime juice (fresh)

1. Combine all ingredients into ice filled shaker

2. Shake and strain into glass

3. Garnish and enjoy

Mayan Mule

If you’re looking for a delicious drink made with tequila look no further. This is a far cry from the frozen artificial margaritas known and loved by so many ( for some reason). The tequila is supported VERY well by the other ingredients. It is definitely Worth a shot.

Method: build and stir

Glass: Collins

Ingredients: 2 parts reposado tequila, 0.5 parts lime juice, 2 dashes angostura bitters, 3 parts ginger beer.

1. Place 2 to 3 ice cubes in glass

2. Add fresh squeezed lime juice, tequila, ginger beer and bitters

3. Stir and garnish with mint sprigs and lime wheel

4. Enjoy!

Hot Mead Toddy

I’ve never mentioned it before but I LOVE mead. Partly due to me being a history nerd and partly due to the delicious honey taste. My favorite mead thus far is Lover’s mead, made by Honeymoon Mead and Cider in Bellingham, Washington. This is their trademark mead and is extremely natural and well made. That being said, since it is winter time and all, I’ve decided to shine some light on the Hot Mead Toddy. I first came across this drink on Meadist.com and have since added it to my list of winter time favorites!

Glass: mug

Method: Heat and serve

Ingredients as follows: 1 oz rye whiskey, 1 1/2 oz traditional mead, 1 tsp honey, slice of lemon, slice of fresh ginger,1 cup of hot water

 

  1. Pour whiskey and mead into mug, clear works quite nice
  2. Heat the water so that it steams but doesn’t boil
  3. Add slice of ginger and lemon and let steep for a couple of minutes
  4. Enjoy!

Midori Sour

The Midori Sour originated in the 1970’s and like many recipes there are different variations. Some call for sour mix but I’m not a huge fan of those, opting instead for fresh lemon to add the famous zing. For those who don’t know, Midori is a honeydew melon flavored liqueur. If you are not a honeydew fan I would suggest you skip this drink. However if you are a melon fan this could be an introduction to an instant favorite! This drink tends to be on the sweeter side but can be adjusted to taste of course. I recommend you experiment with the sugar ratio as the Midori brings its own sweetness to the cocktail already.

Glass: 10 oz rocks

Method: shake and strain

 

Ingredients: 2 oz Midori, 1 oz lemon juice, sugar syrup (max 1/2 oz), dash of pineapple juice, lemon twist to garnish

 

  1. Add all ingredients to ice filled mixing glass
  2. cap and shake vigorously to create a foamy drink
  3. strain into ice filled glass
  4. garnish with lemon twist
  • spray oils from lemon peel onto foam for added flavor

Live and Let Die

I am Pretty sure this drink is named after the 8th James Bond movie,  while I’m not 100% sure about this cocktails history I give it a big thumbs up taste wise. From what I understand it originates in Jamaica and is featured at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay. However, you don’t have to be in Jamaica to appreciate this delicious cocktail just check out the simple recipe below!

 

Glass: Martini

Method: shake and strain

 

Ingredients: 1 oz Pimento liqueur, 1 and 1/2 oz rum,  3 oz fresh mango juice, splash of coffee liqueur ( adjust to taste)

 

  1. Add ingredients to ice filled shaker
  2. shake until very well chilled
  3. strain into chilled glass
  4. enjoy!

Glögg

I’m celebrating the holidays with a delicious warm Scandinavian elixir. Perfect to warm you up during the coldest time of the year as it has done for generations! Personally I live in the Pacific Northwest and find this the be the perfect winter drink. Glögg does take a little preparation however it is 100% worth it in my opinion (really not hard at all). I should note that this recipe is geared towards making multiple servings,  with that being said lets dive into the ingredients.

Glass: Mug

Method: Heat and strain

 

Ingredients: 2 bottles red wine, 1 1⁄2 bottles Port, 8 oz Vodka, 1⁄2 lb Dried figs sliced,
1⁄2 lb Raisins, 2 Oranges (peeled and juiced), 8 oz Light brown sugar, 2 Star anise pods, 4 Long peppers, 5 Cloves, 7 Cardamom pods, 3 Cinnamon sticks

 

  1. Mix all ingredients together in saucepan on medium heat
  2. Heat to a simmer then take off
  3. Let stand for 2 hours
  4. Strain then reheat
  5. Garnish with raisins and almonds if preffered

Yellow Negroni

Heavily Italian influence is present in this delicious rendition of the classic Negroni. Personally I love limoncello and thus love this cocktail. It is a blend 3 iconic yellow liqueurs and sure to please! The hardest part is gathering the necessary ingredients. As this recipe requires a range of liqueurs, however if you are an at home bartender you will be well stocked for quite some time. If you are a professional bartender this should be no problem to add to your mental recipe book. The yellow negroni was created in January 2017 by Simon Difford at The Cabinet Room, London, England. Now, lets dive in!

Glass: old fashioned

Method: Stir

 

Ingredients: 3/4 oz Barsol Mosto Verde Italia pisco, 3/4 oz Pallini limoncello, 3/4 oz Suze Saveur d’ Autrefois,  3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse liqueur, 3/4 oz Martini Bianco Vermouth.

  1.  pour into ice filled glass
  2. stir briefly
  3. use lemon zest peel to garnish (optional)
  4. Enjoy!

Pomegranate Margarita

This margarita requires a little more effort but is more than rewarding in the end. The fresh fruit juices make this a refreshing and delicious treat for the ages. This drink does tend to hover on the sweeter side however, you can adjust the juice/ tequila ratio depending on how much you want the reposado tequila to shine through. No matter the occasion I highly recommend adding this drink to your repertoire!

Glass: margarita

Method: shake and strain

 

Ingredients: 2 oz reposado tequila, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 6-10 juicy pomegranate seeds, 1 oz fresh passion fruit juice.

  1. Muddle pomegranate in base of shaker
  2. Add other ingredients and shake with ice
  3. Fine strain into chilled margarita glass

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Copa Verde

In this blog I’ve explored a couple of classic cocktails that are tried and true. The Copa Verde however, would definitely NOT fit into this category! In fact this drink is part of the new trend of mixing common fresh ingredients with some not so common additives. This creates some very interesting combos to say the least. In fact there have been mixologist in the bay area working too create a range of  cocktails using many different vegetables. In this case we will use avocado and thyme to create a fresh tasting drink not far from a margarita.

Glass: margarita/shot

Method: shake and strain

 

Ingredients: 2 parts silver tequila, 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 part water, 1 part agave nectar, 1/4 medium avocado, fresh thyme leaves, salt, water

  1. Blend lime/lemon juice, water, nectar and avocado
  2. crush and mix salt and thyme
  3. dip rim of glass(es) in nectar and coat with salt/thyme mix
  4. shake avocado mix with ice and tequila
  5. strain into glass(es)
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Singapore Sling

Many people credit the creation of this delicious pre-prohibition era cocktail to Ngiam Tong Boon. Ngiam Boon was a bartender at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore around 1910 – 1915. However this story is not 100% verified as the drink was not recorded on paper until 1922 by Robert Vermiere. His book “Cocktails and How to Mix Them” refers to the drink as the “straits Sling” and does not reference the Raffles Hotel as the creator. There is another version of this cocktail still listed on the Raffles Hotel menu but I will be focusing on the classic.

Glass: 11 oz sling

Method: build and stir

 

Ingredients: 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, 2 dashes of orange bitters, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1/2 Benedictine, 1/2 oz dry cherry brandy, 2 oz gin, soda water,

  1. Add ingredients to the sling besides the soda water
  2. Add soda water to top
  3. Garnish with pineapple and maraschino cherry to garnish