Who’s ready to dive right into an all-out August fiesta? It’ll be one to remember, featuring the summer sun and intriguing ingredients that combine for a tequila blanco cocktail experience with an emphasis on refreshing!
Over time, the wide-ranging flavor profile of tequila has gained much recognition as a dream canvas on which bartenders can stretch the limits of their creativity. Peruse the stocked shelves of any aisle in the market—from the fresh and fruity to the spicy, savory, sweet, or sour—and the clean, adaptive taste of tequila blanco is likely to match up quite harmoniously.
In Mexico, the delicious appeal of agave has been common knowledge since the Aztec and Mayan cultures of the Mesoamerican era. The precursor to tequila, pulque, was made from the fermented sap of the plant and clocked in at the ABV of a craft beer, around 6%. Eventually though, the “drink of the gods,” as Aztecs saw it, was overtaken and revolutionized by the introduction of European distillation techniques.
The first large-scale efforts took place in Jalisco, an area rich in mineral-dense volcanic red soil that produces agave with a pronounced herbaceous and peppery character. The central-west region was also the point of origin for many huge cultural movements like mariachi music, the jarabe tapatío (aka the Mexican hat dance, the national dance of Mexico), and rodeo events called charreadas. It’s been said that Mexico got its heart and soul from Jalisco and, frankly, all the world’s cocktails and celebrations to this day are better because of it.
The upcoming peak of summer makes for exceptional conditions in which to delve deeper into the dynamic spirit of tequila blanco. The days are pleasantly lazy, the nights are steamy, and the time is prime to be shaking both up—straight-up Tequilin’ It! Subscribe now through August 14th to get this box—the final wave will ship the week of August 24th.
Donny Clutterbuck might not be the first person to notice the similarities between the Mexican and Italian flags, but his Mimeo is one of the tastiest ways to call it out. Drawing a direct line between the cantinas of Mexico and cafés of Milano, this cool and bubbly highball gives tequila a major lift with the slightly bitter and caramelized flavors of chinotto soda. And to fortify this union there are more surprises in store—delicate and zingy rice wine vinegar and aromatic orange oil. Now, to just invent a drink duplication device!
Donny got through college in upstate NY by working in the area’s dives and clubs before a brief, life-changing stint at Booker and Dax in Manhattan. He has since taken root and come into his own at the French-accented restaurant and cocktail bar, Cure, in Rochester.
No toast to Mexico would be complete without some influence from the nation’s incredible cuisine. Jules Mavromatis’s Verdito plays with subtle savory sensations and emerges a bit fiery but invitingly frosty from this trip to the kitchen. Its sneaky bite comes from an agave syrup infused with poblano and serrano chilies, but the heat is beat by a cool rush of Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda and fresh lemon. It’s a tailor-made mix to match up with the sharp, vegetal flavors of tequila blanco for a cocktail that finds it deliciously easy to be green!
Jules is the co-founder of Agave 308, Key West’s only agave-focused bar. Between the countless hours she’s spent there and her numerous travels to Mexico, she has cultivated her passion for and knowledge of agave spirits and cocktails.
With this old fashioned–style cocktail, Trevor Frye sets out to introduce some wood-aged flavors to the clean-tasting purity of tequila blanco with an agave syrup starring lapsang souchong (a blend of tea that’s typically smoke-dried over pinewood), which provides the subtle smokey sweetness that the inside of a barrel imparts to reposado and añejo spirits. The resulting Time Lapse also introduces some nutty and wood-spice characters from the aromatic bitters and moderates the roasty boldness with a hearty medley of orange, honey, and vanilla. It’s a cocktail that transforms as the moments pass, with nods to all the different styles of agave spirit. Tout your tequila and settle in with this perfect, warming choice for summer nighttime sipping!
As a fifteen-year veteran of the industry, Trevor has worked in practically every facet of Washington, DC, restaurants and bars, which has led to numerous awards and accolades both locally and nationally. He serves as the president of Wash Line, LLC, is a Spirited Awards judge for Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, and is an educator at conferences across the country.
There’s only one way to be Tequilin’ It alongside us with crazy-good cocktails this August. That means feet up and shades on (or drawn depending on setting). Subscribe today and the tantalizing sides of tequila blanco will be yours to explore in full summer splendor!
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: honey
*potential allergens: Redbeard Aromatic Bitters ingredients include black walnut hulls, and may contain trace amounts of walnut oil, an allergen. Candied ginger originally processed in a facility that processes peanuts, tree nuts.