Tequila Tonic Recipe and History

The hottest new cocktail that’s simple and delicious: the Tequila Tonic

Most people are familiar with a gin & tonic, but the Tequila and tonic is now a hot low calorie, low sugar cocktail, rapidly growing in popularity.

The “G&T” as it is known in the UK actually has its origins in India. Soldiers in the British East India Company were prescribed quinine as a way to prevent malaria. Those soldiers added the quinine to tonic water as a way to take it, but it still had a very bitter taste. Since the soldiers also received a gin ration, it wasn’t long before those soldiers were combining the quinine, tonic, some lime, and the gin to help the medicine go down.

Ivy Mix, an owner of Leyenda, a Brooklyn bar with a focus on Latin spirits, thinks this drink requires an earthy lowland Tequila (that is, grown in the valley section of Jalisco), such at the Partida Reposado, which is aged slightly and has toasty, nutty flavors. For its tonic match, she reaches for Canada Dry or Schweppes, which have “more quinine kick” in her opinion.  We recommend our Tres Agaves Organic Reposado, aged for 8 months in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, and one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top Spirits of the Year for 2018.

 Fever Tree has a tonic made especially for Tequila. Fever Tree Citrus tonic officially started rolling out a few months ago in stores. 

Try out this recipe and let us know what you think!

Mexican Independence Day

Mexican cuisine – Chiles en nogada

September 16th is Mexican Independence Day (no, it’s not Cinco de Mayo), and believe it or not Mexican and American Independence have quite a few things in common.

Both were seeking to overthrow a colonial government that had conquered the native peoples of that land – the British for the Americans, and the Spanish for the Mexicans.

In addition, both revolutions have a rallying cry “moment” that fanned the flames of freedom. The Mexican equivalent of the Boston Tea Party is “El Grito” – the day Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called on Mexicans in the town of Dolores to rise up against the Spanish.

Hidalgo was already involved in the revolutionary movement and it was, in fact, José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara (the George Washington of Mexico) who asked Hidalgo to inspire people to revolution. On the 16th of September at 2:30 AM (having freed about 80 pro-independence inmates from jail), Hidalgo rang the church bells and gathered the populous and said (in essence): “Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe [symbol of the Indians’ faith], death to bad government, death to the gachupines [the Spaniards]!”.

Each year the President of the Mexican Republic shouts a version of “El Grito” from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City: “Viva México! Viva la Independencia! Vivan los héroes!” Everybody else celebrates with fireworks, bands and the odd glass of Tequila. We suggest you join them, raise a glass of Tres Agaves Tequila, and cheer, ‘Salud’!

Blue Agave: Health Facts

You may have heard about this magical plant the Blue Weber Agave plant. And the fact that it is the only ingredient allowed in 100% de Agave Tequila (like Tres Agaves) is not the only reason.

The Blue Weber Agave plant is the only ingredient used in agave nectar. To make the nectar, the agave plant’s piñas are crushed to extract the juices, which are then heated and filtered to create the simple sugar fructose, and then concentred into a syrup. Despite the fact that there are more steps in making agave syrup than say, harvesting honey from a beehive, it’s still considered a healthy option. Agave nectar has:

  • The same calories as honey (54 cal per tablespoon)
  • A very low glycemic index (19-27 vs. 83 and 89 in honey and high fructose corn syrup, respectively) means you won’t get high blood sugar levels.
  • Agave contains saponins, which have anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting properties (think quinoa and ginseng)

The agave plant is also the source of the probiotic inulin. Inulin acts as food for certain gut bacteria and has been suggested by numerous studies to relieve constipation and promote weight loss.

The more you know!

History of the Jalisco Mule

How did the classic drink find it’s way into the copper mug?

The Moscow Mule was reportedly invented when the presidents of a ginger beer company a liquor distributor and Smirnoff were sitting in a bar inventing a new drink. The iconic copper mug the drink is served in was the genius of John Martin, president of the liquor distributor, who used it as a means for the drink to stand out in bars and be asked for.

As to who the genius was who decided to replace vodka with Tequila we don’t know, but we commend them for it. Here’s our favorite recipe for a delicious Jalisco Mule!

History of the Tequila Sunrise

The Tequila Sunrise cocktail is as colorful itself as its history. The simple recipe, Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine, make a cocktail so delicious and so bright it was adopted by rock stars and found its way to the title of a famous class rock song!

In the 1930s, Gene Sulit of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel combined Tequila, soda water, lime juice, and liqueur to create the first ‘Tequila Sunrise’. Over the years, the drink found its way farther west, landing in the Bay Area. In Sausalito, a city north of San Francisco, the bartenders at The Trident, Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice, remade the Tequila Sunrise, this time with just Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. It just so happened The Trident was the site of a private party organized by famous San Franciscan Bill Graham, where one of rock’s greatest bands, The Rolling Stones, was kicking off their 1972 tour of America. Mick Jagger, the lead singer of The Rolling Stones, had one, ordered some for his fellow bandmates, who ordered more for their entourage. Soon the Tequila Sunrise became the Stones go-to drink while on tour, spreading the cocktail nationwide as they ordered the Tequila cocktail in every town they came across.

But the Tequila Sunrise’s love affair with classic rock didn’t end with The Rolling Stones! A year later, in 1973, the Eagles, another great rock band out of California, named one of their songs ‘Tequila Sunrise’ on their Desperado album – cementing the Tequila cocktail’s legacy in not just the annals of rock history, but the spirits and cocktail history of America.

So, are you thirsty yet? Well, grab a bottle of our Organic 100% de Agave Blanco Tequila, some fresh orange juice and grenadine, put on your classic rock (we recommend The Rolling Stones) and mix yourself a ‘Tequila Sunrise’. All there’s left to do after that is enjoy the beautiful day.

Tequila Sunrise Recipe: Click Here!

Tequila History: Part Two

Blue Weber Agave before being harvested and turned into 100% de Agave Tequila

And here continues the history of Tequila. In June, we explained the roots of Tequila in the Aztec civilization and how the Spaniards distilled agave spirits to create a brandy-substitute. Now let’s see how Tequila came to be known as ‘Tequila” and the Mexican government’s promotion of the spirit.

The 1700s to 1800s AD: 
In 1758, the King of Spain granted Senior José Antonio Cuervo the rights to cultivate land in Mexico, laying the foundation of the Jose Cuervo brand, the largest producer and exporter of Tequila today.  In 1858, Don Cenobio Sauza fell in love with agave farming, founding Sauza Tequila and beginning the great rivalry between Sauza and Cuervo. During the mid-1800s, the Blue Weber agave was identified as the ideal plant for Tequila and insisting the spirit can only be made from this strain of agave.  Previously, various types of agave species were used; today, many of those agave species are distilled into mezcal. In 1873, Tequila was first exported to and made its debut in the United States, thanks to the work of the original Tequila families.  After Mexico gained independence in 1823, Tequila became a symbol of national pride, as European spirits were cast aside. The popularity of the spirit grew outside of Mexico as Prohibition in the US pushed American imbibers to smuggle the agave spirit into the US, and again during World War II when the decreased supply of European spirits.  As a result of this growing demand, the Mexican government created new regulations and two government bodies to oversee production and exportation.

The 1900s AD:
Mexico, aware of Tequila’s international renown, declared the term “Tequila” as its intellectual property through various treaties and international agreements, giving the country the unique right as the only country with legal rights to produce “Tequila”.  With Mexico now the sole exporter of Tequila, the industry boomed. To protect the fast-growing industry becoming symbolic of the country, the Mexican government instituted regulations ensuring a high level of quality in Tequila production. One of the most important rules is the guidance that, to be called Tequila, the spirit must contain at least 51% Blue Weber Agave. Agave-distilled spirits with only 51% Blue Weber Agave are called mixto – the remaining 49% of the spirit is made from low-quality sugars.

A true, high-quality Tequila should be made with 100% Blue Weber Agave. Tres Agaves is proud to use single-source, 100% de Agave Tequila. Now you’ve read the history of Tequila, how it grew from its prehispanic, ritualistic roots, to become the symbol of Mexican national pride it is today. It’s time to sip some yourself! Find our 100% de Agave Tequila near you.

History of the Sangrita


While one typically thinks of salt and lime when imagining what should accompany Tequila, there is another authentic Mexican companion to the 100% de agave spirit.  Sangrita (“little blood” in Spanish) is a citrus-heavy mixture of orange, lime, and pomegranate juice, powdered chiles, and other spices, and was born in Jalisco, Mexico, the same state Tequila calls home. 

Sangrita is believed to the result of a mixture of leftover juices from pico de gallo, a fruit salad popular in Guadalajara.  When the salad was consumed, the leftover juices were poured into small clay cups and imbibed alongside the post-meal Tequila, a well-noted digestif. As Sangrita has made its way north in the United States, the recipe has adopted a more savory flavor profile. Americans have added tomato juice to meet the level of citrus juices. 

Sangrita isn’t meant to muffle the strong citrus and herby flavors of Tequila. It is meant to sip alongside the spirit, so its savory and citrusy flavors can amplify Tequila’s terroir.  When drinking our award-winning, organic 100% de agave Tequila, we can’t recommend Sangrita enough.  If you’re looking to cover up sting of low-quality Tequila, stick to salt and lime. 

Mexican recipe:
Ingredients

  • 8 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 4 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 5–10 dashes hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt

Directions
Combine all ingredients and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

American recipe:
Ingredients

  • ¼ medium white onion
  • ½ dried ancho chili
  • 1 jalapeño, halved
  • 4 ounces tomato juice (Sacramento)
  • 4 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 3 ounces fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon Maggi seasoning
  • ½ stalk of celery
  • ¼ medium cucumber
  • Salt

Directions
On a grill or in a cast iron pan, roast onion, ancho chili and half the jalapeño for 4–5 minutes, until onions begin to char. Remove from heat and place in a blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, and salt to taste. Let sit for 10 minutes. Strain finely before serving.

Recipes from: Dylan Garret, Senior Digital Editor of WineEnthusiast (https://www.winemag.com/gallery/a-tale-of-two-sangritas/#gallery-carousel-1)

History of Tequila: Part One

Man harvesting agave

In the United States, Tequila is a beloved and revered spirit. Oftentimes, Tequila is imbibed during festivities and fiestas, either alone, with a pinch of salt and squeeze of lime juice, or in a refreshing margarita. But where did Tequila come from and who created it? Let’s dive into the history of Tequila, beginning with the spirit’s origin story.

1000 BC to 200 AD:

The story of Tequila begins with the Aztecs, a civilization native to Mesoamerica, whose advancements in social, political, and financial areas were among the greatest on the American continent.

The Aztecs were using the fibrous leaves of the maguey, a partiocular species of agave, ’to make clothing, rope, and mats. The sharp tips of the plant were used as needles.

Eventually, the Aztecs learned to ferment agave sap into pulque. Pulque became so important that it became quasi religious. In fact, two gods were created because of it, Mayahuel and Patecatl.  Mayahuel is the goddess of the maguey (one specie of agave) and Patecatl is the god of pulque. The Aztecs had many gods, but few for agricultural products – like maize and pulque – telling just how important agave and pulque were to this ancient civilization. Unsurprisingly, pulque came to hold prominence in religious ceremonies and rituals, with only priests being allowed to drink it.

1400s and 1500s AD:

When the invading Spaniards ran out of their precious brandy, they turned to the local fermented spirit, pulque. The European continent had been practicing distillation for centuries, and the arriving Spaniards turned to pulque in their search for a native alcoholic drink. As a result of distillation using semi-primitive mud stills, agave wine became the first indigenous distilled spirit.

 Agave wine evolved into Tequila, named after the town in the state of Jalisco.  Tequila was the site of the first large-scale distillery, built in the early 1600s by the Marquis of Altamira.  Many archaeologists have identified prehispanic stills in Amatitán, a town outside of Tequila, suggesting Amatitán is the true historic birthplace of Tequila.

Check back in soon to learn more about the history of Tequila, as it grew from its humble beginning in Amatitán to become the savored spirit known worldwide.