Posted September 18, 2012

In Praise of Tequila

Eat + Drink

{A guest post from Kimpton’s Master Mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout}

One thing most people know about me is how much I love tequila. My Twitter handle is even named @LoveTequila! Mixing with this spirit is a constant thrill because it has such a diverse range of flavors, from fruity to herbaceous, with all kinds of spicy nuances in between.

But that’s not all I love about tequila. I also love that it comes in different styles, from un-aged to slightly aged to very aged. You can go in so many different directions and get pretty zany and creative with your shaker.

If you’re new to tequila, my biggest advice would be to just start tasting. Go to a bar with an impressive selection of tequilas and ask the bartender to set up a flight of different brands and styles. Or, head to your local spirits store and scope out the selection of mini bottles. This is an inexpensive way to bring a few different brands and styles home to taste and decide what you like.

To me, the fun of mixing is in the experimentation. Look for inspiration at your area farmers market, where you can scope out what fruits, herbs and veggies are in season. Think of the flavor profile of those tequilas you tasted and how you want to build on them. Then have fun. Try different fruits and herbs together. Look at some classic recipes and see how you can change them up a bit, like in the recipe below for a Spiced Old-Fashioned with Anejo.

There are no wrong ideas as long as you enjoy the experience and your cocktail. Keep things simple and don’t throw too many ingredients in the pot. The base tequila always needs to shine through. And remember: You should always buy 100% agave tequila. Life is too short for that cheap tequila hangover.

Happy mixing.

Cheers ~ Jacques


2 slices of Fresno chilies
Dash of angostura bitters
2 bar spoons of maple syrup
2 oz. Partida Anejo tequila
Orange peel

Method: In an Old-Fashioned glass, muddle the Fresno chili slices, bitters and maple syrup. Add ice and Partida Anejo. Stir to mix all ingredients. Garnish with an orange twist.


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