It’s National Tequila Day, the time each year we celebrate this spirit made from the blue agave plant. There really is a city named Tequila, northwest of Guadalajara, Mexico, where it was first produced in the 16th century.
To enhance your celebrations, consider giving some of these modern tequila libations a try. Lead photo by David Straight on Unsplash.
This brand is one of Mexico’s most historic and means “horseshoe” in Spanish. The company has been harvesting and estate-bottling 100 percent agave tequilas in the town of Amatitan, Jalisco since 1870. Our friends at Herradura offer three cocktails for every type of drinker.
This one’s recommended for the beginning bartender.
2 parts Herradura Silver
1 part fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 – 3/4 part agave nectar (to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake hard so some of the ice melts. Strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Ultra Sandia Fresca
For the drinker craving a challenge. It’s a traditional watermelon agua fresca enhanced by Herradura Ultra.
2 parts Herradura Ultra
1 part fresh watermelon juice
1/2 part Mezcal Joven
1/2 part fresh lime juice
1/4 part agave nectar
Shake all ingredients and strain into rocks glass with large ice cube and watermelon garnish. Consider adding a peel of watermelon to enhance the garnish.
Ultra Apricot Fruit
For the expert mixologist. Apricot, lemon, ginger and white peach combine with Herradura Ultra for the perfect mix of not-too-sweet flavors.
2 parts Herradura Ultra
1/2 part apricot luqueur
3/4 part lemon juice
3/4 part Monin Ginger Syrup
1/2 part white peach puree (the brand recommends Napa Valley Puree)
2 dashes angostura bitters
Shake all ingredients (1st time: no ice/dry shake. 2nd time: with ice) and strain into coupe glass. Serve in a cocktail glass with edible flowers.
East Coast In The House
The following tequila concoctions are shared by some of the most talented bartenders and mixologist on the east coast.
Passion Fruit Iced Tea from STK Rooftop NYC
1.5 ounces Don Julio Blanco
1.5 ounces fresh brewed tea
0.75 ounces passion fruit puree
0.75 ounces simple syrup
0.5 ounces Cointreau
5 pieces of mint
Place all ingredients into shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into highball glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel and mint sprig.
The Lolita from The Skylark NYC
2 ounces Sauza Silver
0.5 ounces lime
0.75 ounces agave
1/2 strawberry/cilantro/lime wedge for garnish
Kosho Margarita from Alley Cat Amateur Theatre NYC
Kosho is a Japanese condiment made from fresh chilis, yuzu zest and salt.
2 ounces Gran Centenario Reposado Tequila
1 ounce yuzu juice
1 ounce orange curacao
3 drops chili tincture
Add all ingredients to shaker. Shake until frosty. Strain onto fresh ice into a chili/citrus-salt rim.
First National / The Rooftop at Exchange Place Jersey City
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce Domaine de Canton
1/2 ounce Espolon Blanco Tequila
1/4 ounce Vida Mezcal
Combine in a shaker tin. Add ice half-way up. shake hard for 7 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
La Diabla / Lookout Rooftop and The Envoy Hotel Boston
1 ounce Dobel Diamante
0.5 ounces Grapefruit Fruitations
4 ounces Truly Grapefruit
Dulce Vida Spirits of Austin
Featuring Dulce Vida Grapefruit, made with 100 percent organic blue weber agave Blanco Tequila.
Grapefruit and Elderflower Paloma
1.5 ounces Dulce Vida Grapefruit Tequila
1 ounce St. Germain Liqueur
1 ounce Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
Salt the rim of a glass with sea salt and fill with ice. Pour Dulce Vida Grapefruit, St. Germain Liqueur and grapefruit juice into glass. Top with club soda. Stir to mix well. Garnish with lime and a sprig of fresh mint.
For a great tasting tequila, that’s also a work of art, Clase Azul is bottled in hand-sculpted and individually painted bottles. The tequila is created using 100 percent organic Tequilana Weber Blue agaves. Once harvested, the agaves are cooked in old-fashioned brick ovens for 72 hours. In the town of Santa Maria Canchesda, more than 100 artisans create each bottle one at a time. These are selections from the Clase Azul Tequila Family.
Clase Azul Plata
A silver tequila with a smooth flavor and a pleasant hint of sweetness.
Clase Azul Ultra
An ultra-premium, extra añejo tequila, produced in limited quantities. Its decanter includes 3 precious metals: pure platinum, sterling silver and 24-carat gold.
Clase Azul Añejo
Also known as “Edición Indígena-Mazahua” (Mazahua Edition) due to the bottle design’s tribute to the culture. It’s an ultra- premium añejo tequila with an intense amber color and layered aromas.
Clase Azul Reposado
An ultra-premium reposado tequila that is slow cooked in traditional stone ovens for a minimum of 72 hours. Once the agave reaches a deep, rich flavor, it is fermented with proprietary yeast prior to distillation. Once the tequila is distilled, it is aged for 8 months in hand-selected oak barrels.