Over the past few weeks we’ve been spending a lot of time with tequila and mezcal: sipping it, doing extensive tasting notes and mixing it up. All this lead to our monster piece with over 20 mezcal and tequila reviews and our Top 5 List of Mezcal and Tequila.
While we love sipping good tequila and mezcal there are 3 mind blowing cocktails which we feel shows off the very best of agave based drinks.
The first drink is the Margarita. Perhaps one of the most overdone drinks, the classic margarita isn’t something that looks like a slurpee from 7-11 or even really needs Cointreau to spruce it up. A perfect margarita is a beautiful expression of the agave spirit and how well it connects with citrus.
Our absolute favorite maragrita recepie is perhaps the most straight forward and it comes’ from Tommy’s Margarita Bar in San Francisco:
2 oz Blanco Tequila
1 oz lime juice (must be fresh squeezed)
1 oz agave syrup (diluted 1:1 nector/water)
shake and strain over cracked ice. (no need to salt the rim)
The next drink is a variation on the Old Fashioned and is simple and elegant as the drink which inspired it. This variation comes from Ricky Gomez at Tear Drop Lounge in Portland, Oregon and it’s one of the best tequila and mezcal drinks we’ve ever had:
Oaxaca Old Fashioned
2 oz Reposado tequila
1/2 oz Chichicapa mezcal (also recommended Sombra and Los Danzantes Mezcal)
1/4 oz agave nectar
2 dashes of angostura and one dash of regan’s orange bitters
Build in a rocks glass. Add ice and stir. Grapefruit zest.
While it isn’t as easy to prepare (due to the chili tincture) as Tommy’s Margarita on Ricky Gomez’s Oaxaca Old Fashioned, Erik Adkins’ Carter Beats The Devil (created for Flora in Oakland, California) could very well be the ultimate tequila drink. It easily ranks among the top 10 cocktails we’ve ever had.
Carter Beats the Devil
2 oz El Tesoro Reposado Tequila (or Tequila Avion from Entourage)
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. organic agave nectar
1/4 oz. del Maguey Minero Mescal
20 drops (eye dropper) of chili tincture*
*To make chili tincture, cover Thai chilis with overproof rum for two weeks, strain.
Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake well and pour, straining out the ice.
Carter is so good that we safely say that if someone doesn’t like this drink tequila probably isn’t for them.