If, like most people, you only drink tequila at bars in a shot glass, knocked back with a lick of salt, and a wedge of lime, then we have some bad news for you: You’re drinking it wrong! Not only that, but you’re probably drinking the wrong tequila too. If you want to graduate to drinking tequila like an adult, then do as the Mexicans do.
Firstly, when you’re racing down shots of Cuervo Especial, you’re not drinking real tequila, you’re drinking ‘mixto’, which is only 51 per cent actual tequila, the other 49 per cent being cane sugar alcohol and flavouring.
But why would you want to be paying £10+ for a shot of tequila? The easy answer is because you shouldn’t be doing shots of it!
In Mexico, not only do they only drink 100 percent agave tequila (or increasingly, mezcal), they also don’t only do shots of it. One hundred percent agave tequila is made for sipping and savouring from a snifter, like a good scotch. No lime or salt is necessary to mask the flavour.
After every sip or two, you can dip a wedge of lime into a little salt and suck on it if you want to, but if you’re drinking mezcal skip the lime and opt for an orange slice instead.
To find out if a bar really knows their tequila, see if they have any sangrita, the only real ‘chaser’ that Mexicans drink with tequila.
It’s a sweet and spicy mixture of citrus juices, hot sauce, and sometimes tomato juice and/or Worcestershire. It’s served in a small glass alongside the tequila, and when sipped in between sips of tequila, it cleanses the palate and highlights the tequila’s peppery and citrusy taste.
And if you’re looking to drink tequila in a cocktail, do as the Mexicans do and mix it with grapefruit soda (like Fresca) to make a refreshing Paloma.
Come and explore more tequila at our cocktail bars in London soon!