The Día de Muertos tradition of celebrating the dead derives from pre-Columbian Mexican festivities in which altars – or, ofrendas – adorned with decorative human skulls, marigolds, food, and beverages are assembled by family members to honor their dearly departed. Today, the ancestral act of praying for and remembering friends and family members who have died remains integral to Day of the Dead celebrations.
To celebrate this unique tradition in a way that would also support LA’s bartending community, Casa México hosted an exclusive cocktail competition dubbed La Ofrenda by rounding-up a mix of industry stars and rising talent, challenging them to showcase their most impressive Día De Los Muertos-themed cocktails at West Hollywood’s world-famous Employees Only bar. Mindful of current coronavirus guidelines and recommendations, La Ofrenda took place as an intimateinvitation-only occasion. With spacious seating arrangements and an exclusive attendance, the event maintained a perfectly balanced atmosphere of socially-distanced fun.
Transforming their outdoor space into a beautiful patio, Employees Only welcomed our team and insisted we make ourselves at home – and that we did. Complete with an altar dedicated to Casa México’s matriarch, the paternal grandmother of founder Don Buccio.
The competition’s format: six bartenders took turns demonstrating their original cocktails while explaining the genesis and inspiration behind their creations. After each presentation was complete, the audience was treated to a sample pouring. Meanwhile, our panel of judges – founder Don Buccio, president Gina Ruccione, esteemed-partner Oscar De La Hoya, and brand ambassador Melina Meza – were handed the daunting task of scoring each bartender’s cocktail.
Eza Martinez from Tustin, California, brought us “Copa D’Aces” – made with Casa México Añejo, Aperol, allspice, peaches, and tangerine. The presentation of this cocktail was classic and tasteful, beautifully poured into vintage-inspired stemmed glassware, and topped with a dehydrated tangerine slice.
Brad Eston from Long Beach, California, brought us “Mi Suegra Muerta” – made with Casa México Reposado, masa, spices, morita chiles, and mango sherbet. With a wheat stick and corn husk topper, there was no disputing the seasonality of this cocktail despite the use of frozen dessert as an ingredient.
Luis Del Pozo from San Juan Capistrano, California, whipped up “Ofrenda A Mi Amor” – a lively concoction of Casa México Añejo, lemon, orgeat, and cinnamon. The use of marigold garnishing skillfully tied this cocktail together for the day’s celebration.
Max Reis from West Hollywood, California, came to us with a beautiful story about his grandfather and an equally beautiful crusta-inspired cocktail. This simple, understated presentation of Casa México Añejo, Kumquat curaçao, marigold liqueur, and mezcal rinse was complemented with a sugared rim.
Adhel Martinez from Los Angeles, California, wowed our judges and ultimately took home the grand prize with her amazing creation – a fusion of Casa México Reposado, grilled pineapple juice, marigold-infused Bordiga Rosso vermouth, sherry, Cointreau, and a spritz of Café de Olla Absinthe, garnished with marigold florals and served with a personal-sized pan de muerto.
After being announced the winner of La Ofrenda, Adhel said a few words and shared that she had lost a dear friend that very morning, adding that she would be donating her prize money to her friend’s surviving child and family.
Casa México would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in our inaugural La Ofrendacocktail competition, and add that we look forward to a grander and even more successful event next year.
How is Tequila Made? Learn How in These 7 Comprehensive Steps
As the owner/founder of Casa México Tequila, Don Buccio’s journey into tequila production began when he purchased some of the highest quality agave plants in Jalisco, Mexico. For the past 20 years, he’s perfected his vision of creating a unique, yet authentic, premium agave spirit. Casa México Tequila encompasses our founder’s love for both Mexican culture and his family heritage.
Casa México makes its authentic tequila from blue agave, a succulent plant found in Mexican regions. We can break down tequila production into seven steps: harvesting, cooking, extraction, fermentation, distillation, aging, and bottling. Every effort is regulated by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila, ensuring that general guidelines are followed to guarantee maximum quality. Each distillery has its agave source, processes, quality control, and techniques to perfect and refine the taste.
Step 1: Harvesting
The growing, maintaining, and harvesting of the agave plant continues to be a physical effort based on centuries-old techniques passed down from generation to generation. Casa México’s tequila is estate grown and distilled using plants harvested exclusively from our agave fields. Jalisco’s temperate climate allows cold ocean air currents to interact with the desert’s heat to enhance the agave’s quality and complexity, allowing them to flourish. Our plants spend eight years maturing before moving through the harvesting process. Casa México makes its tequila from 100% Blue Agave Tequilana Weber.
The “Jimador,” also known as the harvester, removes the agave leaves with a sharp curved tool called a Coa. They trim over 200 leaves surrounding the agave’s heart (or piña) until the whole heart is extracted from the ground because the piña is the only part of the agave plant used to make tequila. Fully grown piñas can weigh from a hefty 80 pounds up to a whopping 300 pounds. Although size doesn’t matter, the agave piña size is not nearly as important as its sugar content. As the agave gets older, the longer the piña accumulates, and the starches convert into fermentable sugars. It takes about 15 pounds of piñas to produce one liter of tequila. After we harvest the tequila, we cook it.
Step 2: Cooking
When the piña is cooked, steam injection using traditional brick ovens or stainless steel autoclaves activates a chemical process within the piña that converts complex carbohydrates into simple fermentable sugars. Cooking the piña softens it, making sugar extraction easier. And once it’s softened, we can begin the extraction process.
After we cook the piñas, we transport them to have the sugar extracted at a milling area. The cooked piñas are smashed to release the juice, or “aguamiel,” that is then fermented. The traditional method is to process the piñas with a large grinding wheel powered by tractors, oxen, or mules within a circular pit, also known as a “tahona.” Modern distilleries use a machine to separate the juices from the fiber. Once the piñas are processed, they are cleansed with water and strained to remove the juices. Then we can begin fermenting the piñas.
Step 4: Fermentation
Simply put, fermentation turns sugar into alcohol. Regarding making tequila, this takes place within large wooden vats or stainless steel tanks. Traditionally, fermentation was controlled by adding the yeast that naturally grows on the agave leaves. Now, distilleries use a cultivated form of wild yeast. Depending on the method used, it can take anywhere from seven to 12 days. Once the tequila has fully fermented, we can begin the distillation process.
Step 5: Distillation
Distillation is a very scientific process. But essentially, it’s when the alcohol becomes concentrated by using heat and steam pressure. Typically, we do this within distillation towers or stainless steel pot stills. Some tequilas are distilled three times, but most are distilled only twice, including our Casa México Tequila. The first distillation is called “deztrozamiento” or “smashing.” This takes a couple of hours and produces a liquid known as “ordinario” with an alcohol level of around 20%. The second step is known as “rectification.” This process can take about three or four hours and produces a liquid with an alcohol level near 55%. After the second distillation, the tequila is considered “blanco,” or silver tequila. When we start distinguishing between silver tequila, reposado tequila, and añejo tequila, that is where aging (step 6) comes into play.
Fun Fact: Casa México Tequila is slow-baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented, and double-distilled in stainless steel pot stills; our finished product presents as a remarkably smooth crystal-clear spirit. Each sip reveals graceful earth tones, followed by crisp, sweet citrus, finishing with hints of spice. It is suitable both for sipping or as the foundation for your favorite tequila-based cocktail.
Step 6: Aging
Nearly all aging containers are either French or American white oak barrels. Typically, they are used to age bourbon or even Jack Daniels. Reposados age from two to 12 months while añejos age for one to three years. Extra añejos are aged for more than three years. As the tequila ages longer, the more color, flavors, and tannins it will exude. Other factors affecting tequila’s flavor are the barrel’s age, what the barrel was previously used for, and if the barrel has been burnt or toasted for a smoky, robust flavor.
Fun Fact: At Casa México, our finished reposado product rests for a minimum of six months in new American White Oak barrels. This transformation allows the product to obtain its exceptional taste and golden hue. Our finished añejo rests for a minimum of 12 months in new American White Oak barrels at the same time. This allows the añejo to obtain its exceptional taste and caramel hue through natural processes.
To be considered tequila, it must be produced and bottled in five Mexican states: Jalisco, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas. We grow our agave and produce our tequila in Jalisco, where tequila originated and industry standards must be met. Other states are only allowed to grow blue agave in defined and small regions. Every 100% agave tequila produced must be bottled in the designated Mexican regions and must show on their labels “Hecho en Mexico / Made in Mexico.” Any non-100% agave tequila, also known as “mixtos,” can be bottled and sold anywhere else throughout the world.
Fun Fact: There is a city in Jalisco named Tequila. It sounds like an excellent place for a vacation!
Did this answer your question, “How is Tequila Made?”
We hope we broke down tequila production for you in these seven steps. Many environmental and human factors give each brand of tequila its own unique and distinctive taste.
Casa México Tequila is honored to partner with the El Nacimiento Distillery, a family-owned and operated establishment spanning five generations with over 100 years of experience growing agave and distilling tequila.
Bonus: Difference Between Tequila and Mezcal?
Now that you know how tequila is made, another question may arise: What is the difference between tequila and mezcal? The liquors typically go hand in hand as spirits originating from Mexico and being made from the blue agave plant. That is about as far as the similarities between these two go. Here are some of the key differences between the two.
All tequilas are considered mezcals, but all mezcals are not considered tequilas. Similar to how bourbon and scotch are both whiskey types, tequila is technically a type of mezcal. Mezcal is defined as any agave-based liquor, according to spirits writer John McEvoy. Tequila is an agave-based liquor that is only made in Mexico’s specific regions and must only be made of the bue agave plant. On the other hand, mezcal can be made from more than 30 different agave types. The most common agave varieties used for mezcal are arroqueño, tobaziche, tepeztate, tobalá, and espadín, which accounts for up to 90% of mezcal and is the most common agave.
Tequila and mezcal also generally come from different regions of Mexico, although there is some overlap. Tequila is produced in five places: Guanajuato, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, Nayarit, and Jalisco, which is where the actual town of Tequila is located. Mezcal can be produced in nine different areas of Mexico. These areas include Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacán, Puebla, and Oaxaca, which is where over 85% of all mezcal is made.
Another difference is how they are distilled. Tequila is produced by steaming the agave inside industrial ovens before being distilled two or three times in copper pots. Alternatively, mezcal is cooked inside pits in the ground lined with lava rocks and filled with wood and charcoal before being distilled in clay pots. Some large-scale mezcal producers have switched to more modern methods. Simultaneously, craft mezcal makers continue to use this more traditional method, which is where you get the smoky flavor commonly associated with mezcal.
The last, most apparent difference between tequila and mezcal is how they are labeled. After the distillation process, tequila and mezcal are both aged inside oak barrels. The aging categories of the two spirits are defined slightly differently when they are labeled. For example, tequila comes labeled in three varieties: blanco, reposado, and añejo. Mezcal is also categorized into three slightly different groups by age, including joven, reposado, and añejo.
Next time you’re out with your friends, you can impress them with your knowledge as a real connoisseur of how tequila is made. Then you can explain what the difference between tequila and mezcal is, something only a true tequila fanatic would be able to tell you.
As we mentioned above, you may not be patient enough to wait for our tequila to get shipped directly to you. If that’s the case, feel free to use our online store locator to find a liquor store near you that offers Casa México Tequila. Visit this link and type in your ZIP code to begin your search.
When it comes to the best añejo tequila, Casa México’s añejo is a strong contender. Slow-baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented and double-distilled in stainless steel pot stills, our finished product then rests for a minimum of 12 months in new American White Oak barrels. This transformation allows the product to obtain its exceptional taste and caramel hue through natural processes.
Tequila aficionados appreciate the initial caramel notes and subsequent smooth oak flavors produced by this uniquely nuanced spirit. This expression is best served neat or with a minimal amount of ice.
If you’re looking at Casa México’s Silver Tequila, you can buy tequila online through this page. Casa México’s Silver Tequila is the perfect tequila for your favorite tequila cocktails, a deliciously refreshing margarita, or enjoyed straight up with a salted rim and lime wedge.
Buy Tequila Online – Casa México Añejo Tequila
If you’re looking at Casa México’s Añejo Tequila, you can buy tequila online through this page. We make our award-winning añejo from only the finest blue agave picked from the mineral-rich, deep volcanic soils of the highlands in Jalisco, Mexico.
Buy Tequila Online – Casa México Reposado Tequila
If you’re looking at Casa México’s Reposado Tequila, you can buy tequila online through this page. The sweet and subtle ginger notes followed by a slight oak finish and hints of cinnamon delightfully awaken your palate. It’s suitable for sipping or as the foundation for your favorite tequila-based cocktail.
Buy Tequila Online – Order Tequila Online
If you’re thirsty for Casa México Tequila, you can buy it online through this page. Now more than ever with COVID-19, we prioritize your safety and are happy to offer you a safe and affordable way to buy our tequila online.
Tequila has undergone a great transformation in the United States over the last several decades. Once considered liquor for partying or shots only, it’s now revered as a sippable, appreciated beverage. Whether you’re mixing or sipping, you’ll experience craftsmanship. Yet, even as the taste for Mexico’s national spirit has spread, there’s a lot of information and questions that people still want to know about this amazing agave distillate.
What Can I Mix with Tequila?
Maybe it’s easier to answer, “what can’t I mix with tequila?” If you’re into sipping tequila cocktails and looking for new ideas on what to mix with the Mexican spirit, here are a few great mixers:
Tequila + Your Favorite Soda
This is an easy two-ingredient cocktail. Aside from a margarita, it’s popular among a lot of people. While any soda will work, seltzer that has a high mineral content is among our favorite. Garnish with a wedge of lime that you can squeeze into the drink, and you’re done!
Tequila + Grapefruit Soda
AKA the Paloma, this is a popular way to drink tequila. If you like bright, citrusy, and slightly bitter, you’ll love this combo. Depending on your preference, you can use silver or reposado tequila for the base of the cocktail. A silver tequila keeps the drink light and crisp, while a reposado tequila makes it richer and more decadent. Garnish and squeeze in a fat wedge of lime and a pinch of sea salt. This drink will help you survive the hot summer months!
Tequila + Pineapple juice
They go together better than mac and cheese. Fresh pineapple juice is more ideal than canned, but either way, you’ll end up with a cocktail that is tropical, fruit-forward, and downright peppery. Best of all, literally any tequila – be it silver, reposado or añejo – works as the base of this drink.
Tequila + Orange Juice
AKA the Tequila Sunrise, is typically enjoyed at breakfast, but in this global pandemic of 2020, you can enjoy it whenever you please – we won’t judge! We prefer to use a reposado tequila to mix with orange juice because it lends its vanilla notes well to the orange juice.
Bonus tip: if using fresh orange juice, whisk it for 20 seconds. This will give it a fluffy, airy and creamy texture. Salud!
Tequila + Agave Syrup
Extremely refreshing and a great choice for summer, this is essentially an Old Fashioned without the bitters. We prefer to use our reposado or añejo for more depth and flavor. To bring this drink to life, use a tray of ice, mixing glass, bar spoon, agave syrup (2 parts agave to 1 part water) and your preferred amount of tequila.
Tequila + Vermouth
Vermouth is red or white wine flavored with aromatic herbs, made chiefly in France and Italy and used in cocktails. Tequila and vermouth can be combined in a myriad of ways – the types of tequila and vermouth you use will create entirely different cocktails. For a vegetal riff on a martini, you can use silver tequila with either dry vermouth or a semi-sweet blanc vermouth, which will produce a rounder, more velvety texture in the drink. For a richer, spicier take on the Manhattan, mix a reposado or añejo with sweet vermouth.
Tequila + Bloody Mary Mix
Kick vodka to the curb. Tequila lends so much more flavor to the Bloody Mary. And if you want to kick it up a notch with the spice, add a jalapeno. You can use our silver tequila to make a Bloody Mary, but a reposado or añejo will lend more flavor to the Bloody Mary.
We hope that answers your question, “What can I mix with tequila?” It’s ultimately up to your taste and preference. The best way to drink and mix tequila is exactly the way you prefer to drink tequila. There’s no wrong way, and it depends on the type of tequila you’re drinking. Some of the best tequilas are just as enjoyable neat, and slowly sipped, as the finest whisky, scotch, and rum. Some people like taking tequila shots with lime and salt. Citrus and hot sauce go especially well with the fruity, spicy notes of tequila – which is why tequila cocktails like the Screwdriver, Margarita, Bloody Mary, and Paloma are so delicious. Salud!
What is a Tequila Sunrise?
No matter what time of year it is, you can enjoy a Tequila Sunrise. A Tequila Sunrise is similar to a Screwdriver, except that you also mix in grenadine (and garnish with a cherry!).
Grenadine is a commonly used, non-alcoholic bar syrup, characterized by deep red color and a flavor that is both tart and sweet. It is popular as an ingredient in cocktails, both for its flavor and to give a reddish or pink tint to mixed drinks.
Casa México Tequila is a tequila company that produces silver, reposado and añejo tequilas. Owner Don Buccio’s journey into tequila production began when he purchased some of the highest quality agave plants in Jalisco, Mexico. He has spent the last 20+ years perfecting his vision of creating a unique, yet authentic, premium agave spirit. Casa México Tequila encompasses our founder’s love for both Mexican culture and his family heritage — Rich in history. Rooted in tradition.
Where Can I Buy Tequila Near Me?
Head over to our Store Locator to locate your nearest liquor store that carries Casa México Tequila. Most of our locations are in California, Texas and Colorado, but feel free to input your ZIP code to find our tequila near you.
Slow-baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented and double-distilled in stainless steel pot stills, our finished product presents as a remarkably smooth crystal-clear spirit. Each sip reveals graceful earth tones, followed by crisp sweet citrus, finishing with hints of spice. It is suitable both for sipping or as the foundation for your favorite tequila-based cocktail.
Slow-baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented and double-distilled in stainless steel pot stills, our finished product then rests for a minimum of six months in new American White Oak barrels. This transformation allows the product to obtain its exceptional taste and golden hue through natural processes. The sweet and subtle ginger notes, followed by a slight oak finish and hints of cinnamon, delightfully awaken your palate. Our reposado is suitable for sipping or as the foundation for your favorite tequila-based cocktails.
Slow-baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented and double-distilled in stainless steel pot stills, our finished product then rests for a minimum of 12 months in new American White Oak barrels. This transformation allows the product to obtain its exceptional taste and caramel hue through natural processes. Tequila aficionados appreciate the initial caramel notes and subsequent smooth oak flavors that are produced by this uniquely nuanced spirit. This expression is best served neat or with a minimal amount of ice.
Here’s Casa México’s Guide to Celebrate Mexican Independence Day!
It’s a day of celebration for Mexicans and millions of Mexican Americans who remember a historic moment, often drinking top-shelf tequila in cocktails, neat or with ice.
September 15 is a day marked with celebrations, with fireworks and displays of vibrant patriotism spilling through the streets of the capital, Mexico City. It is also a day of remembrance for many of those who went down as heroes during that time. The festivities are underway.
If you’re in Los Angeles, from where our founders come from, it’s tough to escape Mexican culture. It is, after all, the place where millions of Mexicans and Mexican descendants call home. It influences everything that we do, from clothing to language, ultimately shaping our city. Mexican Independence Day is usually a lively time to be an Angeleno, as most carry this day with pride and a sense of accomplishment, even from far away. And this year, it couldn’t be any different. Despite limitations, you can still head to Olvera Street for a lively annual celebration of art, folklore, music, and some good tequila to add some responsible fun to the mix. From architecture to cuisine – you can see Mexican culture resonating in the small details of everyday life.
East LA Mexican Independence Day Parade and Festival
We’re disappointed to learn that one of the longest-running Mexican Independence Day parades in the U.S., the Mexican Independence Day Parade and Festival, was entirely canceled for the 2020 edition. In a typical year not called 2020, you’d probably see Oscar de La Hoya among other advocates of the Mexican American community in attendance to celebrate. The event is a staple of Mexican American Heritage, typically taking place on Mednik Avenue and Cesar E. Chavez Avenue in East LA. – it’s worth recognizing it for the cultural value it provides to the community.
Mexican Independence Day is a time to also remember the wonderful Mexican American music that’s traveled north of the border with its descendants.
Los Angeles Lindo y Querido is one band to know – their music inspires and reminds us of Los Lobos (La Bamba) among other famous rock bands from the time. It is commonly associated with the Chicano movement that shaped Mexican American culture in the United States. Those who didn’t know Mexican music for its rock and roll roots and influences should pause and see how rich that universe is. This year, you can catch the celebration of music in a two-day virtual event online.
This two-day virtual event taking place on September 15-16 will bring festivities to YouTube and Twitter channels.
To help you celebrate, head to your favorite restaurant and check their menu. You will likely find your favorite cocktail to take home with a special meal while celebrating with those close to you. Or head to an open patio near you, where slowly, but surely, we’re getting our hospitality partners back to work. And that means more tequila drinks for us to enjoy.
Take the Paloma from bartender Clare Ward, currently featured at her swanky, casual West Hollywood, CA joint. If a patio is not in your future for dinner, you can try her concoctions at home with minimal work.
They are genuinely astonishing, and knowing us, we had to have at least two of each – tequila or not.
Forget To-Go, Get It Delivered to Your Doorstep Instead
In 2020 delivery apps popped up everywhere. For those of us who were homebound from the quarantine, this was revolutionary. With so many people spending time indoors, it is great to know you can get, let’s say, cucumber margaritas delivered to your doorstep, anytime you’d like.
This revolutionary company out of Los Angeles has brought the bartender base’s knowledge to the shelved cocktail with the precision required to deliver a consistent cocktail experience every single time. Using a proprietary system that separates the fresh-pressed juice from the alcohol contents, the cocktail embarks on a journey, from the manufacturer to your house, never losing refrigeration and assuring maximum freshness.
The prep and mix are minimal and allows you to interact with the beverage creation process instead of merely consuming. Once twisted to mix the liquids, the bartender at home can practice mixing and shaking the cocktail before pouring over ice. The variations from here are up to you. The garnish, glass, ice format, even a float of something more substantial, that’s all up to you. You can even throw it in a blender with some ice if slushies are your thing. It’s your house, your bar, your drink. The possibilities are endless, and the DRNXMYTH Cucumber Margarita is just what we needed for a massive day of celebrations both in Mexico and worldwide.
From the top bartenders to drink makers at home, here are some of the best-kept secrets to help you up your agave-based cocktail game immediately as summer heats up.
Got (Coconut Water) Syrup Game?
Yes, the sweetener in your agave-based drinks will likely define how you first interpret the recipe. Our brain is so well trained to detect sweetness early. Everything else that follows is typically forgotten or takes second place.
But not all sweetness is created equal. The reason bartenders experiment with demerara, white, agave, maple, and other sugars is that it provides variety, as it can be prepared at different dilution points, for example.
Maceration is another technique we follow a lot these days. However, syrups are typically more precise to work with and offer endless possibilities for mixing. Keep experimenting!
Starting with the underlying assumption that syrups are mixed 1:1 (equal parts of granular sugar + water), you can begin to create variations that fit both the palate and the occasion.
The CM 2:1 Demerara Coconut Water Syrup
3/4 cup coconut water
1 cup demerara
½ teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil (for aroma)
In this version, we’re mixing demerara sugar with coconut water at slightly imbalanced proportions. It results in a syrup with an earthy aroma, which can be added to a margarita or any agave recipe calling for sweetness (not all do!).
Since the coconut water has a high sugar content of its own, we scale back from the 1:1 ratio to account for the extra sweetness. This syrup works well for drinks that require more dilution, like stirred cocktails.
Mix the ingredients in a clean, well washed small pot or kettle (you don’t want your syrup to taste like last night’s onion soup). Cook over low-medium heat until solids are dissolved. The oil is entirely optional, though, as it is added for increased aromatics. The small amount won’t be detectable in a mixed cocktail other than by scent.
Spice Up the Margarita, or Whatever Else You’re Cooking
Some of us were born with the unique talent of ingesting hot peppers without showing any sort of remorse after the fact. If you’re like me, you’re washing your hands like crazy after touching some of these fiery vegetables while experimenting with them in different types of spirited agave drinks.
For beginners, we’re personally huge fans of the serrano pepper, but some can go beyond that without much trouble. We found this to be an excellent guide in exploring Mexican chiles to complement the drink recipes you may have in mind. If you’re a fan of heat, you can’t go wrong. And there’s always room to increase the heat if you’re unsatisfied.
The jalapeno is the standard for anyone who’s enjoyed a spicy margarita, and habaneros add life and color to any recipe. Chile arbol is our absolute favorite; chipotle, a close second. Still, these are only a few among so many distinct options.
Build Recipes Using Seasonal Flavors You Love
Adding seasonal fruits is an easy way to add flavors you love to proven recipes mastered over time. That simple margarita everyone always compliments you on will be up for a second round of praise with a simple twist or addition that subtly changes the drink’s entire character.
A simple strawberry, when muddled into a margarita, will add color, tartness and structure to the final mix. These days, we’ve been digging the early summer vibes with plenty of seasonal fruits. We have started to macerate them into our mix before shaking it or simply diluting the fruit into a lovely syrup. Here are some ideas:
Tequila and mezcal can be easily combined to create an entirely different category of agave-based spirits. We’ve seen a lot of margaritas topped with mezcal, but that’s scratching the surface for what the two agave distillates can do together. Nonetheless, it’s so much fun to begin a margarita with a splash of good mezcal and feel the taste dissipate into the mouth as the drink goes down. Who’s thirsty?
Mezcal typically ranges much further than tequila, so the possibilities are endless when you start familiarizing yourself with the options. Due to its less limited geography and innovative aging techniques, you are left with several options, like the youthful joven and the more mature espadin expressions. They exemplify the range of the category and what it can do to a simple drink recipe.
Now, Pause for A Drink
Putting some of these tips together in an innovative riff to our beloved Oaxacan Old Fashioned is quite easy. These small variations are ultimately a few of the building blocks you can use right now to put together a better drink than you did last time.
Mix tequila, bitters, and syrup and cracked ice, diluting well for about 45 seconds. Transfer to your chosen vessel over a large cube of ice, previously laced with salt. Garnish with a dry chile arbol.
This is a simple drink featuring our most aged expression, with one year of cask time. Two sips in, and we’re reminded that we may be at a proverbial fork in the road.
Let’s face it: 2020 has been full of surprises and a great time of reflection. Continuous improvement has room in every aspect of our lives. Whichever task, skill, hobby or chore we’ve been putting off, this time has given us all a moment to reflect and reassess…we hope that you’ve used this time to do something better. If not, there’s always room for improvement the next time.
For our service professionals everywhere, we stand with you. Thank you for the tips, we hope to come to see you all soon.
Did you know that tequila has some of the toughest regulations in the liquor industry? It can only be made in certain parts of Mexico including the area surrounding the city of Tequila –– the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. Many standards of regulation have to be followed in order for blue agave based spirits to be labeled ‘tequila’. And in addition to the plant being grown in the ‘tequila’ approved regions of Mexico, the Tequila Regulatory Council holds tight regulations over all other parts of the production as well. These tight regulations are part of what make tequila one of the best liquors to sip on or mix with (in our opinion). So it’s no surprise that many people hop on Google to learn more about tequila.
And if you’re an avid tequila drinker like us, you may know that there are three main types of tequila: Silver, Reposado and Añejo. But do you know the difference in these tequilas and what they’re best suited for? There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the different types of tequila: Silver, Reposado and Añejo. A very short answer in the difference between Silver, Reposado and Añejo is how long the tequila has been aged for. But there’s so much more to learn about the different types of tequila.
Keep on reading if you’ve ever asked the question(s):
And we’ll answer everything for you (and then some)!
What is Añejo Tequila?
When most people think about tequila, they probably aren’t thinking of an aged spirit with hints of vanilla, caramel and spices. But by definition, añejo is a tequila that has been aged for a minimum of 12 months in oak barrels, creating a gorgeous amber hue. The aging process creates a tequila that is bolder and richer than Reposado tequila or Silver tequila. Because of this, they’re typically sipped neat rather or served over ice rather than mixed into cocktails.
What Makes Casa Mexico Añejo the Best Añejo Tequila?
Slowly baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented and double-distilled in stainless steel pot stills, our finished product then rests for a minimum of 12 months in new American White Oak barrels. This transformation allows the product to obtain its exceptional taste and caramel hue through natural processes.
Tequila aficionados appreciate the initial caramel notes and subsequent smooth oak flavors that are produced by this uniquely nuanced spirit. This expression is best served neat or with a minimal amount of ice.
What is Reposado Tequila?
Reposado means “rested” (or literally, “restful”) in Spanish, and reposado tequila rests anywhere from two months to a year before they’re bottled. Reposados take on the gold or straw yellow hue from the barrels in which they are aged, which are typically oak or white oak barrels. The type of barrel changes the flavor of each distillery’s tequila, but typically, you can expect a mellow flavor with hints of oak. Reposado tequilas are often used in premium mixed drinks or are great for a shot.
What Makes Casa Mexico Reposado the best Reposado Tequila?
Slowly baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented and double-distilled in stainless steel pot stills, our finished product then rests for a minimum of 6 months in new American White Oak barrels. This transformation allows the product to obtain its exceptional taste and golden hue through natural processes.
The sweet and subtle ginger notes, followed by a slight oak finish and hints of cinnamon, delightfully awaken your palate. Our reposado is suitable for sipping or as the foundation for your favorite tequila-based cocktails.
Is Anejo Tequila Better than Reposado?
It’s not that one’s better than the other, they’re just different. It’s all based on your personal preference and what you’re using the tequila for. Keep reading to learn the main differences.
Anejo and reposado are different tequila in their fermentation, color and flavor notes. The main difference between Anejo tequila and Reposado tequila is the aging period. Anejo means “old” or “vintage” in Spanish, while reposado means “rested”. Anejo is aged for a minimum of one year and up to three while reposado is aged for a minimum of two months.
And then there are the barrels. Anejo is aged in small barrels that hold up to 600 liters while Reposado is aged in barrels that hold up to 20,000 liters. Oak from the United States, Canada and France are usually preferred in making Reposado. Some tequila companies use other barrels that are typically used to age wine, whiskey and scotch while others use charred oak barrels to achieve a smokier flavor.
Anejo barrels typically come from Jack Daniels barrels or whiskey or bourbon distilleries. Because Anejo is more aged than Reposado, it creates a more complex flavor and tasting notes.
Anejo is also darker and more caramelized in tone than Reposado because of the aging process. Reposado has a straw yellow color compared to the brownish caramel hue (or darker yellow hue) of Añejo.
What is Silver Tequila?
Silver Tequila is an unaged tequila that is usually bottled and packaged immediately after being distilled. However, some distillers prefer for the spirit to settle and finish for a couple or a few weeks in the tanks before they bottle and package it. In essence, this tequila is in its purest form and features the truest flavors of the blue agave since it has not been aged. This is why some distillers call Silver tequila “the essence of tequila” because it offers the taster the most genuine, unadulterated appeal of the blue agave.
Silver Tequilas are Great for Mixed Drinks
Because Silver Tequilas are not aged, they are usually less expensive than Reposado or Añejo. That’s why they’re great for mixed drinks and margaritas. However, our Silver Tequila is also a great sipper –– read more about the Casa Mexico Silver below.
What Makes Casa Mexico Silver the Best Silver Tequila?
Slowly baked in clay ovens, naturally fermented and double-distilled in stainless steel pot stills, our finished product presents as a remarkably smooth crystal-clear spirit. Each sip reveals graceful earth tones, followed by crisp sweet citrus, finishing with hints of spice. It is suitable both for sipping or as the foundation for your favorite tequila-based cocktail.
As of October 28th, 2005, Extra Añejo tequila is the newest classification of tequila by the National Committee on Standardization. The difference between Extra Añejo and Añejo is that Extra Añejo has been aged for at least three years. However, it is not required to specify the aging time in the label. Like Añejo, it’s aged in oak barrels with a maximum capacity of 600 liters. And it’s alcohol percentage has to be lowered by diluted water. So, it’s almost the same as Añejo, except that instead of requiring a minimum of one year of aging, it requires a minimum of three years. And this ultra-aged tequila is darker in color than añejo with a dark mahogany shade. Casa Mexico Tequila does not currently produce an Extra Añejo tequila.
Gold Tequila (Joven Tequila)
Gold Tequila is sometimes coined “Joven Tequila”. If you took Spanish up to the 5th grade at least, then you’ll probably know that joven means “young” in Spanish. This tequila is known as gold tequila because of the golden color that the liquor has because of flavoring agents including sugar, oak tree extracts and caramel coloring before it is bottled. But, gold tequila can also be the combination of blending unaged Blanco (Silver) tequila with aged (Añejo Tequila) or even Extra Añejo tequila. Gold tequila isn’t as popular as Silver, Reposado and Añejo. But it’s typically best used for mixed drinks or margaritas as it’s generally less expensive. Casa Mexico Tequila does not currently produce a Gold Tequila.
Not All Tequilas are Created Equally
After reading this, you now know that not all tequilas are created equally. The three main types –– Silver, Reposado and Anejo –– differ in taste, smell, hue, texture and more. While some tequilas are made for mixing or producing the perfect margarita, others are made to be savored and enjoyed on their own. Now that you’ve been educated in tequila, it’s time to make a toast to your new knowledge! Head over to our Shop page to purchase any Casa Mexico tequila online. ¡Salud!
About Casa Mexico Tequila
Casa Mexico Tequila is a tequila company that produces a Silver, Reposado and Añejo tequila. Owner Don Buccio’s journey into tequila production began when he purchased some of the highest quality agave plants in Jalisco, Mexico. He has spent the last 20+ years perfecting his vision of creating a unique, yet authentic, premium agave spirit. Casa México Tequila encompasses our founder’s love for both Mexican culture and his family heritage — Rich in history. Rooted in tradition.
Looking For A Healthy Alternative to the Margarita?
Though we always advocate for moderation, we see no reason why a fruit-based cocktail can’t also include additional ingredients that also make you feel good and alive.
A Masterclass for the Soul
We connected with Beverage Director for The Madera Group Global in Los Angeles, Charity Jonhston, who wanted to put together a Masterclass for her friends to educate the group on how to make tequila drinks with a healthier appeal. Charity, a native of Los Angeles, has been instrumental in the rise of tequila and mezcal in the Southland. She leaves a mark wherever you can find her cocktails, most recently, even to-go. The agave-based recipes she created were filled with flavor and displayed meticulous presentation.
Right before our world moved indoors, Charity got together with her close friends who were looking for a way they could enjoy premium, fresh-made Margaritas poolside, not relying on pre-mixed sweet and sour, which act as a shortcut for those still conquering craft drinks in the comfort of their homes. You’re typically also spending more time making the drink than enjoying it, especially when four people want drinks.
What About Spirulina – 5 great benefits!
Charity has always believed that any opportunity to drink is also an opportunity to introduce health benefits and tips to the consumer. For this recipe, she introduced Spirulina used as a binding agent and for its excellent health benefits. Why?
Spirulina adds often needed balance from its briny notes, similar to a saline solution.
It is particularly rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium;
It is a complete protein and a source of healthy fats.
The blue-green algae’s color comes from chlorophyll, a detoxifier found in all green plants.
The blue comes from phycocyanin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that is also known to increase the growth of stem cells.
Spirulina is no stranger to cocktail recipes, and it’s a commonly used ingredient among juicers, and has been for ages. Be sure to watch for quality when purchasing as there are many brands of Spirulina out there, but not all Spirulina should be created equally!
Time Management – Bartender’s Most Important Skill
Nobody likes waiting too long these days, and the goal is typically to avoid spending an hour in the kitchen to yield a single round of drinks. In such cases, one can’t even enjoy their drink without someone saying they are ready for another one, and it’s back to the grind—and a bartender never says no to another round. In that vein, every bartender’s goal should be to look for ways to be efficient while remaining engaged with the rest of the crowd.
Relying on The Senses to Get it Right Every Time
If you’re making 10-15 drinks per hour, you probably shouldn’t have a taste of every single one. You must rely on tact and visual cues instead, which takes a lot of practice. Such as ice pebbles becoming less noticeable while dilution accelerates without chilling further. Sound can even tell you when a drink is ready.
“I can almost hear it when dilution needs to stop.” – Charity Johnston – Beverage Director
Tools of the Trade
A muddler, a cocktail shaker, tongs, and a jigger. Are all these things really necessary? Maybe not, but having the right tools will help with the efficiency and consistency of flavors. When prepared with the right tools, the outcome should be easier to attain.
Some of these tools require practice and have their share of quirks. Bartenders develop a sense of comfort with these tools, often learning when and how to demand more from each instrument.
What makes a good cook, bartender or craftswoman, is an obsession with detail and a deep connection to the senses. Much like our founders, Charity is continuously looking for innovative barware that can help her staff replicate her recipes every time, with minimal variability.
Off Script: A choice for Cucumber, Reposado Tequila, and Amaro
In movies, often, actors go off-script to produce the best results. Think of drink recipes as a script. Most people think clear tequila is a requirement for a margarita, but we also love Reposado as it can provide an extra layer of depth to a simple drink recipe.
Cucumbers tend to be earthy, refreshing, and delicious with highland tequila. Tequila from Los Altos benefits from a richer soil and a green-grass exuberance, and in the Tequila Valley yields more earthy and floral sensations.
This recipe also opens up the possibility to include an Amaro (a type of fortified wine) to the drink instead of commonly used Triple Sec or other orange liqueurs. Amaro, meaning bitter, makes the cocktail a little more refreshing and earthy.
Fun Fact: Amaro was once used for medicinal purposes.
Thirsty yet? Here is the recipe for one if you’re just in the mood for a quick and refreshing drink.
By way of Jalisco, Mexico, a smooth, deceptively ‘light on its feet,’ tequila-based cocktail proves a knockout success within East Los Angeles’ bar culture.
A Legend Is Born
The Golden Boy is a punchy cocktail, meticulously crafted by innovative bartender Dan Rook, that pays homage to boxing legend, Oscar De La Hoya. A career mixologist, Dan – much like Oscar – has fought his way through the ranks to become a nationally recognized figure within his industry. Having begun his trade slinging drinks in Chicago pubs, Dan recently left the Windy City for Hollywood’s bright lights with a sole mission: to educate Angelenos in the art of mixology and authentic craft cocktails that transcend the ordinary.
Cocktails are the product of a specialized craft that, like boxing, requires dedication, focus, and daily practice. Just as De La Hoya’s story epitomizes the spirit and tenacity of hard-working Angelenos, The Golden Boy cocktail represents a labor of love born of the same grit and raw determination.
Garcia, also a native of East Los Angeles, carries an impressive undefeated record at the early age of 21. As a talented businessman, Oscar is always looking to those who can exuberate the qualities he often saw in himself.
Oscar De La Hoya will forever be a part of the pantheon of all-time boxing greats. A generational trailblazer for the sport, De La Hoya won titles in 6 different weight classes and a gold medal in 1992. After retirement from the rings, De La Hoya went on to become a legendary promoter and business entrepreneur. Today, he is a role model for young people everywhere who have to work vigorously to beat the odds stacked against them.
‘I owe everything to my cultural heritage, how I grew up, where I grew up, and the values my parents instilled in us, which I still live by. To this day, I work as hard as I can every single day, but make sure I’m always well balanced and happy.’- Oscar de la Hoya
A Flip Expression: Fiery, Well Balanced, and Happy
When trying to emulate such a man in an iteration of a craft cocktail, one should consider his DNA – examine what makes him tick. Many good tequila-based cocktails build their flavor profile from a well-balanced canvas of agave nectar, tequila, and lime. As the 2002 title bout against Fernando Vargas taught us, De La Hoya is a fiery fighter, a trait Dan expressed through the heavy influences of cinnamon and spice in our bitters and chocolate shavings.
A flip, differs from a sour, as it includes the entire egg – the yolk plus the whites. It’s an exploration of the palate, through texture and accentuated sour notes – which is one of the reasons why Dan Rook loves flips. He has been a skillful artist at recreating classic recipes with an unexpected spin. This creation will be no surprise to those who have followed Dan throughout his career (in some of the top establishments in Chicago and Los Angeles).
Choosing the Right Tequila – a lightly aged Reposado
There are advantages to using a Reposado to mix with agave and lime, as compared to drinks employing Reposado’s more youthful relative, the Blanco.
An old bartender once said that your shade of tequila should match the time of the day you’re imbibing it. The earlier, the clearer? That’s one approach, but in this case, the Reposado’s light profile of cinnamon makes it most suitable for what Dan’s trying to emulate. Oak aging, even for a mere six months, will do wonders to open tequila’s minerality, indicating the highland agave used in the distillery process.
In the end, you want to leave the drinker speechless, free of any preconceived notion they might hold against trying something light and novel.
Touch of Spice and Melancholia: Shaved Abuelita Chocolate
Most Mexican pan dulce recipes will ask for some cinnamon, and the combination of the spicy Firewater Bitters, and silkiness of the egg make a perfect pair. Plus, the Mexican chocolate shavings garnished on top make The Golden Boy a sweet afternoon pick-me-up. Flips offer a delightful dessert alternative.
And for those feeling adventurous, one whole premium coffee bean, crushed among the chocolate, can prove to be the energetic boost most of us need towards the end of an arduous battle in the daily ring of life.
When dry shaking, be sure to hold both parts tightly as the air will expand the mixture.
Practice makes perfect. The secret to aerating (by dry shaking) without getting tired quickly is practice, just as a boxer must spar before a big fight. Repetition over time will yield improved results.
Chill your glassware for a minimum of 30 minutes before you plan to use it, but ideally for a few hours whenever possible.
Wait until the last moment to pull your glassware from the refrigerator or freezer to allow for maximum chill.
The Truth About Tequila was first published in 1975 by Gregory Curtis, a writer for Texas Monthly magazine. The article does a fantastic job of the depiction of the early days of tequila in the U.S. dating back to the early 1970s. Most importantly, though, Curtis’ article tells the story of tequila’s origins in Jalisco, Mexico, and the spirit’s journey north of the border.
Almost 50 years later, Curtis’s article still provides one of the most detailed accounts of how blue agave becomes tequila. We wanted to breakdown his findings here but add some further explanations and give an updated story.
All Tequila is Mezcal, but not all Mezcal is Tequila.
We want to get it straight once and for all. Every tequila is categorized as a mezcal, but as the plant used to in tequila isn’t the same plant used in producing mezcal, one cannot say that mezcal is tequila. Production details aside, regions and components for making tequila are very distinct. Much like with fine wines— each has a unique terroir; thus, one mustn’t merely group all agaves.
Agave is not a Cactus By The Way
Another common misnomer, debunked by Curtis, is that the agave plant is not a type of cactus. Agave, which is a succulent, typically retains more liquid towards its roots. Cactus, on the other hand, will yield pulque, not tequila— el maguey. Though many of us not native to Mexico is not expected inherently to know the distinction.
Tequila Drinking Face
“Do you like that stuff straight,” he said, “or should I smooth it out for you?”
“Smooth it out with what?” I said. “You got a wood rasp handy?”
He grinned. I drank a little more of the tequila and made a face.
“Did somebody invent this stuff on purpose?”
— An excerpt From Finger Man by Raymond Chandler as cited in The Truth About Tequila, by Thomas Curtis.
The biggest inspiration for Don Buccio, the founder of Casa México Tequila, was the unfavorable, sour facial expressions made by people right after tasting tequila. It became his mission to develop a high-quality spirit with the simple concept of a smooth, enjoyable tequila.
Don Buccio wants you to know the Truth About His Tequila, Casa Mexico
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood: A Long History of Partnerships
It took both the Spanish colonizer distilling the agave using techniques from the Old World to perfect it, and the wit of influential figures to popularize it in places like the United States.
It’s not common knowledge that famed actor and vocalist, Bing Crosby, saw a demand and an opportunity to import tequila and essentially became a pioneer of agave spirits in the United States. After Crosby, many people of influence followed suit and discovered a deep infatuation with Jalisco and its most secretive destilerías.
Today, it’s a widely accepted belief that for the best jimadors, one must find the road to Jalisco: the road most traveled by influential figures in search of the perfect terroir and tequileros.
The Boom Years Are Here
For a long time, tequila in the U.S. was a scarce commodity and limited to a few large producers. As a result, many Americans have had insufficient exposure and education of agave spirits and their particular nuances.
Nowadays, we’re living in a time that some like to call The Tequila Boom Years. A lot of different varieties and styles are now on the market, and an interest in the history, farming, and culture behind agave spirits has increased in the United States. Long gone are the days when many Americans hadn’t tasted tequila before. ¡Gracias a Dios por eso!
… Baby Boomers Got it All Started
Baby Boomers gave tequila its first rush in America. In 1973, consumption was up to 11 million liters: an increase of about 400% in five years. Rumor has it that The Rolling Stones tour in ’72 was fueled by tequila, particularly in the form of the Tequila Sunrise, recommending to fans that tequila in the morning is not such a bad idea after all. Feeling inspired, young Stones fans founded a tequila movement, loosening up from the constraints of basic beer and whiskey. They turned to tequila during the day for a good time.
And The Best Is Yet To Come
We’ve come a long way from the 1975 account of tequila’s start in the United States, and now, fortunately, there are many varietals and expressions of agave spirits out and available to us in the United States.
The growth in the market was a direct response to the rise in consumer demand over the last few decades.
Much like in other parts of our modern lives, we have come to covet only the best for things that please us (or give us headaches, too, for that matter). You expect the best and the highest caliber, whether it’s from your iPhone or your stockbroker — so of course, you’d only ever want the best from your tequila.
BONUS: The Sangrita is the salt – tequila – lime better alternative
Sangrita is a traditional chaser popular in México and is pretty simple to create with ingredients commonly found in the kitchen. To make sangrita, mix citrus juice (like that of grapefruit, orange or lime) and hot sauce together with a bit of salt and serve on the side. Sangrita provides the drinker a cooling few moments after downing a sip or two of tequila. When in Jalisco, the locals don’t skimp on the hot sauce, and many consider a sangrita chaser as the only method to drink tequila. Don’t misunderstand its purpose, though; the sangrita doesn’t exist to mask the taste of tequila, first to cool off the temperature and accentuate the joven agave notes.
Today we meet Josue Romero, The Garnish Guy from Instagram, to deconstruct one of our favorite drinks: The Margarita. Josue joined us to talk a bit about how to create the perfect version of this popular tequila-based drink, and in this case, using fresh strawberries, brown sugar, and mint. And even though perfection in his world is usually synonymous with complexity and flawless execution, he helped break down a few simple concepts that anyone—from the cocktail novice to the seasoned mixologist— can put in practice to build the perfect margarita every single time.
No Ordinary (Hint: it’s the perfect margarita)
Many elaborate techniques to create complex margaritas exist out there. Yet, lots of folks prefer to keep things simple and stick to a basic calculation of frozen vs. rock and salt, no salt, which is absolutely okay. We, as cocktail enthusiasts, are just pleased people are starting to get comfortable experimenting at home, using garnished rims and playing with a variety of glassware.
No tequila cocktail recipe has withstood time as well as the margarita, but some people can be a bit confused as to what goes in it. When someone asks what’s in a margarita, what follows is often an answer consisting of what it tastes like instead of the actual components.
— It’s a sweet and sour adult drink, with some savory flavors and some spice. Then you add tequila.
— Tequila, lime, and salt?
The answer is pretty basic. Tequila is at the center of a four-piece balancing act consisting of sweet, sour, salty, and heat. For many, these flavors— or dimensions,as we can call them— exist to mask the harshness found in many tequilas. This harshness can typically be gauged by looking at the drinker’s face, right before the sweetness and sourness of the other ingredients of the cocktail kick in upon first sip. The smoother the tequila, of course, the smoother the margarita.
To craft the perfect margarita, one must understand that it is imperative to get the proportions right. An imbalanced margarita will rob the other ingredients of a chance to shine. The cardinal rule is 2:1:1—two parts tequila, one part sweet and one part sour. Once you’ve achieved those three elements in these proportions, you are ready to add special touches.
Casa Mexico Blanco
For the tequila, we will be using our Silver, otherwise known as the Blanco expression. It’s categorized as such because it has not gone through an aging process in our American oak barrels; this allows it to boast a crisp, clean taste making it a fantastic base for any margarita, be it fruity, sweet, or spicy. And it’s what makes it the perfect margarita.
Rather than highlighting the spirit itself, the Blanco expression grants a space for all other ingredients to shine and work as a symphony of flavors. Using a different expression would completely change the margarita. Take, for example, our Añejo: it is aged for a year and has notes of nuttiness and smoked oat, which would detract from the other flavors in this particular recipe.
The Strawberry Mint Syrup
Josue is a master at making syrups and shares with us how easy it is to make this one. Getting the syrup right is the most crucial part of this recipe and a bit time consuming, but it can be prepared in batches in advance to save time. We’ll use sugar, water, fresh mint, and strawberries for our ingredients and a muddler, saucepan, and strainer for our tools.
The strawberries need not be huge, and a handful goes a long way. Making syrup is less intimidating than a lot of people assume, think of is as actually just flavoring sugar. We’ll be using a technique called maceration, in which the sugars get dissolved in the fruit with the aid of a muddler and a little bit of boiling water. This technique creates an immediate strawberry mint simple syrup that can be strained and kept for use the next day or so.
Fresh fruit is always the best choice when creating cocktails. Choosing fruit that comes from a squeezable bottle is more costly, bad for the environment, and the taste is typically below standard. Having said that, though, most people struggle with extracting juices directly from the fruit by hand, but there are great tools out on the market to help with this, such as power juicers, citrus reamers, and squeezers.
In Southern California and México, where many of the Casa México Tequila familia reside, it’s a great privilege to have access to fresh citrus year-round. It’s no wonder we can enjoy quality, craft margaritas in all seasons.
For one drink, two limes should yield plenty of juice. If the limes are stubborn and dry, try cooking them a bit to make it easier to extract the juices.
Depending on personal preference, you will want to adjust the amount of pepper used. Having the pepper shaken over ice with the rest of your drink will cause it to shatter by the sharpness of the ice and will allow the powerful spicy notes to incorporate into your margarita. Keep in mind when you’re prepping your pepper that the seeds and the gills (a.k.a. the white parts of the pepper) will contribute to the intensity of the heat, so adjust accordingly.
Pro Tip: Try using a bell pepper to keep things on the milder side, or to try something new! Bell peppers yield an earthy tone that goes quite well with any margarita.
Shake, Pour, Serve: The Perfect Margarita
Shaking is the traditional way to mix the perfect margarita so get ready by adding your ingredients proportionately into a vessel (such as a cocktail shaker) and have a salt-rimmed glass nearby for when you’re ready to pour. Be sure to add some large ice to chill your drink at the same time as you mix it, and use large cubes to prevent over-dilution as they will melt slower, keeping your drink fresh.
Shake your concoction intensely, and make your best Brian Flanagan impression. Once you feel the vessel is cold to the touch, you’ll know that the ingredients have mixed well enough and have chilled thoroughly. Next, add fresh ice cubes into your glass and pour in your cocktail, straining out the old ice cubes.
Don’t forget the garnish! Garnishing with aromatic sprigs of mint will help to play with the senses while releasing more of the flavors into the drink as it is consumed.
If you want to make a large batch, this recipe can be executed in stages which can easily be made up to a day before to save on time.