S&C is becoming a fan of Jason Wilson’s Spirits column in the Washington Post’s Food Section. This week, he gives us the low-down on misunderstood Tequila – and, as a bonus, we get some excellent drink recipes.
I’m sharing it here, because it is better than any research I could do on the liquor. Jason Wilson went on an agave pilgrimage, to see first-hand the life cycle of tequila’s base ingredient. He visited distilleries, sampled agave pulp – all to understand tequila’s complex characteristics. But, he also wants to refine tastes, and change drinkers’ perceptions of the spirit (i.e. those that think tequila is only good for the 21st birthday shot, it’s a low-quality liquor, and it should only be mixed with pre-made, sickly sweet bottled mixers).
Tequila isn’t quite as complex as wine, but there are geographical areas (Jalisco highlands and lowlands) to note, and there are three basic types to understand: blanco (pure), reposado (rested), and añejo (aged).
I’m far from an aficionado, but I whole heartedly support the notion that if you have good ingredients available, (a) use them, if resources allow, and (b) if you use them, do not, under any circumstances, drown them with overpowering, artificial mixers. I’m actually a bit of a snob when it comes this point. I promise you – you can make a better cocktail without those bottled mixers. And by better, I still mean easy, simple, and affordable. Take a look at these recipes: Paloma is more popular in Mexico than a margarita (grapefruit tastes better with tequila than lime); Sangrita is a spicy drink that literally translates “little blood,” and, the Tamarind Margarita is a sweet and spicy frozen drink. Sounds delicioso!
posted by Ms. S&C