David Roark Ruiz creates locally produced hand-made organic jams tailored for cocktails, which are all custom made and fashioned around a specific libation or ingredient found in that cocktail. David was generous enough to concoct a Tres Agaves Reposado Tequlia inspired cocktail with a jam he developed specifically for this cocktail.
Strictly reserved for the seasoned mixologists, we have a cocktail that is a true alchemy of savory and sweet, but still light and refreshing, with a sophisticated pepper kick as a result of the various/unique pepper infusions.
Patrick Johnson, mixologist based in Santa Cruz, constructed this libation especially for Tres Agaves at Hecho en San Francisco event on Cinco de Mayo, 2011.
– 2oz Tres Agave Blanco
– 1oz Pepper infused agave syrup (see specifics below)
– Juice of 1 lime
Shaken, served on the rocks
Agave soaked peppers used as garnish
Pepper Agave Syrup
– 2:1 agave nectar to water
– Toast black pepper corns till fragrant
– Red, green, gold bell peppers sliced and seeds removed
– Anaheim and aji peppers deveined and seeds removed
– Cook till peppers are soft, and agave nectar dissolves fully into water.
– Remove from heat and let peppers remain in syrup overnight.
It’s time to get your grill on! Perfecto for impromptu barbecues, we love this Mexican-inspired, dry-rub grilled chicken wing recipe because there is no need to marinate the chicken beforehand.
3 To 4 People
Total Cooking Time With Prep:
45 Minutes To An Hour
What You Will Need:
– Charcoal Grill
– Large Bowl
– 3 lbs of whole chicken wings (wing tips included)
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Sea Salt (table salt is fine too)
– Granulated Garlic Powder
– Cayenne Pepper
– Fresh Ground Pepper
– Tapatio Hot Sauce
– Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
– Small Stack of Cilantro
First things first, prepare your charcoal grill with a heap of gray/white coals in the middle of the coal catcher. I insist that you leave the charcoal unadulterated (i.e. no lighter fluid) because it will ruin the flavors you are about to embark on. Normally I use a standard sized Weber grill that comfortably fits 3 lbs of chicken wings on the outer edge of the grill leaving the middle completely open for other food to grill with direct heat. You don’t want your chicken wings on top of direct heat for too long because they will char too quickly (and you don’t want burnt, undercooked chicken wings!) The old barbeque adage goes, “Low And Slow Is the Way To Go!”
While the coals are heating up nicely on the grill, grab a large sized bowl and put all the chicken wings in. Once you’ve done that, begin to add: sea salt, cayenne pepper, fresh ground pepper, granulated garlic powder, Tapatio Hot Sauce, and fresh squeezed lime juice, liberally.
Now this is when things get dirty! Mix up all the ingredients in the bowl with your hands in order to massage all these ingredients into the chicken wings. Once you’ve done that, you might want to add another helping of the ingredients above in order to cover the wings that were on the bottom of the bowl, but that’s completely up to your discretion and taste buds. You want to make sure the chicken wings have a light red tint to them, if not add more cayenne pepper to the equation. Before you put the wings on the grill, be sure to whip out that extra virgin olive oil and liberally coat the top of the bowl full of wings and stir it all up again. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil will act as a nice coating in order to keep the previous ingredients on the wings and to help crisp up the wings while they’re cooking on the grill.
After all that elbow grease has been used up mixing the bowl full of wings, you’re about ready to go put these bad boys on the grill. Be sure to put the wings on the edges of your circular grill with the skin side facing down and the wing tips facing toward the middle of the grill. Once every 3 to 4 minutes you want to flip the wings over with the wing tips facing toward the edge of the grill and the skin side facing up. Be sure to rotate the wing tip and skin side positions in various ways to make sure that every portion of the wings has been on the grill. You want to achieve a nice golden brown hue to your wings, which usually takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour of flipping them every 3-4 minutes. Make sure to keep the lid on top of the grill during the last portion of the cooking process in order to achieve a nice smoky flavor. While you’re waiting for the wings to cook, be sure to grab that stack of cilantro and dice them up finely, which will serve as a nice garnish after you take the wings off the grill and onto a serving plate.
Please send any pictures, success stories, or comments about this recipe to [email protected]. I’d love to hear how your chicken wings turn out!
Last week to celebrate the year – and finish off our company sales meeting – our affable CEO Barry Augus had us all over to his place for a potluck of sorts. Chris Alvarez our VP of Sales had grill duty and was fixing up chicken and steak. Jamie Chilberg, our NorCal rep, was mixing up the Margaritas and “keeping them comin’”. The rest of the team was responsible for everything else. I say it was a potluck “of sorts” because there was one catch: each item had to contain at least one of our own products: Tequila, Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar or Margarita mix. The company sprang for all the ingredients and all the cooking was done in real time. Prizes would be awarded. Let the cook-off begin.
We all carpooled over to Barry’s in the late afternoon and found a kitchen full of ingredients waiting for us. Sensing the potential for “crowded BART rush hour” conditions I strategically dove in early to complete my dish. 20 minutes later, my cooking was done and I could focus on my three favorite pastimes: eating, drinking and carrying on.
It was a great evening – 1 part Thanksgiving feast, 1 part kitchen laboratory, 1 part Tales of the Cocktail. While there was some winging it most everything turned out as planned. And some of the creations were down right yummy and worth sharing. Here’s some of the crowd faves:
Tequila-Marinated Shrimp (via Better Homes & Gardens) by Pamela Smith, Controller
Shrimp dredged in Tequila, garlic and lime. Yum!
2 pounds fresh or frozen medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, leaving tails intact
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup Tres Agaves Añejo Tequila
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon salt
Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Rinse shrimp; pat dry. Set aside. In large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes or until tender. Add shrimp and tequila; bring to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque, stirring occasionally.
Transfer shrimp mixture to a bowl. Add lime juice, cilantro, and salt; toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain before serving. To keep these tongue-tingling shrimp well-chilled during a party, place them in a bowl nestled inside a larger bowl of ice.
Makes 10 to 12 appetizer servings.
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare as above. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain before serving.
Banana Cream Pie with Sweet Walnut Cream Crust (via Raw Epicurean.net) by Ned Cartmell, Marketing Manager
OK, this looked a bit weird on the table but it tasted great. I would recommend a little whipped topping to dress it up.
Also Phylum Husk powder is soluble fiber, which is a good additive if you want to stay regular; otherwise completely unnecessary here. The young Ned opted out of this ingredient.
Sweet Walnut Crust:
1 cup walnuts
¾ cup chopped dried apricots
2-3 chopped dates
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 cup cashews
½ vanilla bean
1 tablespoon phylum husk powder (optional)
2-3 bananas, cut in to ½ inch rounds
For Sweet Walnut Crust:
Place the first three ingredients in the food processor and process into a moist meal. While the processor is running slowly pour in the agave until the mixture turns into a ball. Press sweet crust into a 9-inch pie dish to form pie crust.
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Cut bananas into ½ rounds.
Pour the cream filling into the sweet pie crust. Top with sliced bananas in a circular pattern for a pretty presentation. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Avocado Chipotle Dipby Eric Rubin, Founder and Brand Director
What can I say? Eric’s a master with a food processor.
2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and sliced
1 cup sour cream (regular or light)
1/2 cup mayo (regular or light)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 chipotle chiles en adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
2 medium green onions, sliced thin
Salt, to taste
In a bowl or food processor, mix all ingredients except green onions. Transfer to a serving bowl and mix in green onions. Add salt to taste. Chill until flavors meld, about 1 hour. Serve with tortilla chips and sliced cucumbers.
Tequila Citrus Cranberry Relishby Parker Trewin, Director Marketing
I did a version of cranberry sauce recipe that my cousin Dana Towle Wigton gave me (thanks schweets!). I had it years ago while visiting her in Maine over Thanksgiving. I loved it and have been making it every year ever since. I mixed it up by substituting nectar for sugar and adding a kick of Tequila. (If you want to get really crazy add a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper. Finishes it off with some heat.)
¼ cup water
1 package fresh cranberries
¼ cup blackberry jam
¼ cup Tres Agaves Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar
2 ounces Tres Agaves Añejo Tequila
2 tablespoons fresh grated orange peel
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Boil water. Reduce heat to at least medium. Add ingredients. Stirring frequently, wait for cranberries to pop and the mixture to thicken. (About 10 minutes.) Remove from heat. Chill to room temperature. Serve.
For the salad: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. In a large bowl add the romaine lettuce, corn, zucchini, and shrimp and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the romaine lettuce, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Coarsely chop the grilled lettuce and add it to a large salad bowl. Grill the corn and zucchini for 2 minutes on all sides until crisp-tender. Remove the kernels from the corn and add to the salad bowl. Chop the zucchini into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Grill the shrimp until the meat is opaque and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Cool slightly and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the chopped shrimp, butter lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado to the bowl.
For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and Tres Agaves Cocktail-Ready Agave Nectar until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Garnish the salad with tortilla strips and serve. Serves 4.
Today I was gonna write about the awesome home-cooked, holiday supper we had after yesterday’s sales meeting -each course featured a Tres Agaves product. But that will have to wait – check it out next week. Instead I’m reprinting a blog post done by Libation Lab’sQuinn Sweeney on the “proper” margarita.
Thanks for the words, Quinn!
As much preacher as teacher, Eric Rubin is the agave evangelist from Tres Agaves Tequila who ran our Nirvino cocktail education event last week on making a proper margarita.
Conspicuously absent were the corn syrup, sugar cane spirits, sour mix and orange liqueur. Rubin promotes a margarita comprised simply of 100% agave tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice and agave syrup. His preferred 2:1:1 ratio is a bit sweet for me, but the quality of the simple drink shines through regardless.
The key to this recipe is the quality of the tequila. You get into trouble as soon as you pick up a bottle of “mixto” tequila, which is never indicated on the bottle with an honest “49% high fructose corn syrup” but simply by omission of “100% agave”. If the label doesn’t say “100% agave”, it isn’t.
I believe that if you prefer a fruity or exotic margarita, there’s no rule against modification, but remember that quality and simplicity are crucial. Substitute sweet and fruity ingredients for some or all of the agave syrup or lime juice to to maintain balance.
Rubin however, warns against frozen margaritas: “If you just blend up good ingredients with ice it both dilutes the drink and will also separate almost immediately due to no additives. The reason frozen ones with bad ingredients have such great texture is because they use corn starch or other thickeners to give it that milk shake smoothness.”
He does allow for salt in moderation, and told me, “… it came about during a bout of Spanish influenza in 1919/20 in Mexico. Almost all doctors told their patients to put lime and salt with almost all of their food. That led to Mexican men preferring their beer this way, which led to the whole shot with salt and lime phenomenon as well as salt on margaritas.”
So to recap, a proper margarita is the product of care, simplicity and purity as you will find in the recipe below.
Stir ingredients with ice, strain into rocks glass filled with ice.
Twist a grapefruit peel over the drink, rub on the rim of the glass, and place into cocktail.
A thankfully easy drink to prepare. The ingredients were among the most exotic. Tried the Chamomile liqueur neat afterwards. Pretty dang good by itself. Would have been better and even great with a single cube of ice.
Taster notes: Anne: “Ahhhhhh, a sipping cocktail. Smokey but surprisingly clean.” Dean: “The lighter side of Scotch. I’ll have this drink in one hand and a cigar in the other, please?” Yina: “I’d call it a Rusticini.”
And then we headed to the 60’s hard-rock inspired Joplin’s Juice by Rob Albright.
1.5 oz. Tres Agaves Reposado Tequila
Dash of bitters
½ tsp. Agave Nectar
3 oz. Pineapple juice
Garnish pineapple and cherry
1. Fill shaker with ice
2. Add 1 full shot of Tres Agaves Reposado Tequila
3. Add a dash of bitters
4. Then add the agave syrup
5. Fill shaker with pineapple juice and shake
6. Strain over ice
7. Garnish with cherry and pineapple chunk.
Noticed in process that I didn’t have the amount pineapple juice written anyway. My third mistake of the evening. Winged it and went with an oz. which made the drink a tad too sweet and not as fruity as it was when I remade it the following night with the ingredients above. Yet, still everybody really like this.
Anne: “Tastes like the Carribean. Good down way too easily.” Dean: “A Tequila Mai-Tai with a hint of Vanilla.” Yina: “A sweet and sour Martini.”
The final drink was The Zapata by Barclay Spring.
1.5 oz Tres Agaves Reposado Tequila
1.5 oz Pomegranate mix
3 Dashes of Angostura bitters
1 Fresh lime
Dash of simple syrup
3 oz pineapple juice
Add all ingredients.
Pour into a martini glass with a sugar rim (if you hold simple syrup).
Garnish with a lemon slice, lemon twist or cherry.
Received this submission too late to include in the party but wanted to include it here since it will be featured at tonight’s crawl. Not sure what Pomegranate mix was so substituted Langer’s Pom juice. Also opted for the non-sugared rim and lemon garnish. While I was hoping for a brighter show in the glass it was still pretty dang yummy.
Tomorrow I’ll look back at last night’s event. Share some pics and announce the audience favorite. Stay tuned.
With the shopping behind me I was pretty much set except I still had to secure my panel of judges. It was a given that the drinks were free – a definite recruitment plus – but part of my “homework” meant that I would be serving as “acting bartender”, which in some people’s eyes could be a bit of a minus. (As the evening wore on some of their apprehension on my bartending capabilities turned out to be somewhat justified. You’ll see what I mean as you read on.)
With some emails and well placed phone calls I rounded up 7 friends who were game. We drew straws and narrowed it down to three for my un-official, un-professional but fun, tasting panel. Here’s a brief snapshot of my trio of non-experts:
Anne: Former NYC corporate executive. Chucked it. Moved to San Francisco. Current art school student. (Let’s just say she embraces change in her life.)
Dean: Six feet five inches of fun from the Oakland Hills and not afraid to let his Midwest roots show through.
Yina: Naturalized mainland Chinese. Pint-sized frame. Large personality. Want an opinion? Yina’s got one and is willing to share it.
I explained the ground rules and that I needed my tasters to offer an opinion on each drink. A few other notes: We cleansed the palate with some stone ground corn chips. A little salty but seemed to do the trick. We also decided to make the drinks in alphabetical order. I also prepared the drinks as close to instructions as possible.
So we were off. What follows is a listing of the first two drinks, ingredients, directions, my bartender notes and the non-expert, non-official -yet animated- commentary of the drink.
The first drink up was The Redevelopment created by Mathew Frantin.
Put ice and ingredients into shaker, shake and pour into an old fashion glass.
Garnish with lime and put straws in.
Bartender notes: The Redevelopment was originally named The Conquistador hence it was first on the list. My taster’s were impatient and wanted their first drink, ah like yesterday. I was derided because “everything” took way too long. “Thanks guys. I guess free booze wasn’t good enough?” Already feeling the pressure I realized that my shaker was too big which made it hard to muddle the jalapeno. Also make sure to muddle the jalapeno first! With a smaller shaker the jalapeno flavor would have come through better. Also I don’t normally “do” straws but they were helpful for sanity sharing of drinks throughout the evening.
Taster Comments: Anne: “Could be dangerous. Tastes like Hawaii.” Dean: “Refreshingly frothy. Perfect for the pool.” Yina: “Fresh with a solid kick at the end. Just how I like it. Great hot weather drink.”
Our second drink of the night was the Fillmo’better by Sean McNeal.
1.5 oz Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila
.75 oz St. Germain
1 oz lime juice
.75 oz agave nectar
.75 oz 99 proof bananas
1 cup whipping cream
Build in a shaker glass.
Add the Tres Agaves Tequila, St. Germain, fresh press lime juice and agave nectar.
Shake the bloody living hell out of it, and strain. (My favorite instruction of the night!)
Top with the foam, which should be the consistency of irish coffee whipped cream (ie, should be able to be easily poured and layer)
More instructions for me to make sure I got it right:I like to use a flash blender, adding a pint of cream, 1.5-2 oz. agave nectar, and 3 oz 99 bananas- 99 proof banana schnapps (or to taste). In a flash blender whip for 2-3 seconds.
In a whip cream siphon, of the liter size, proportion the mixture accordingly and fill to a liter and only add one NO2 charger. Shake and test pour, shake more if need be to achieve desired consistency. Again, it should be silken smooth and only firm enough to layer on the drink.
Bartender notes: Apparently the “bartender” was sipping a bit too much of the Tequila and I didn’t exactly get it right. I forgot the lime juice. Called a mulligan and reshot the hole. Surprisingly good the first time but much better the second time out with lime to balance out the St. Germain and Nectar. I also didn’t spring for the NO2 charger. Whipped up the 99 proof bananas and whip cream and got what I think was the desired end result.
Anne: “Ah, Yum. Tart, sweet with foamy goodness. Like a Gin Fizz but way better.” Dean: “An adult banana split. I definitely Feel’mo Better” Yina: “Creamy, dreamy. Bananas emerge after lime infusion.”
In tomorrow’s post we finish it up with the final three drinks.
On our recent trip to Tequila we made the pilgrimage to La Capilla, a small corner bar that could be easily over looked except for it’s the birthplace of one of Mexico’s favorite drinks: The Batanga. Truth is the “streetside” view of the bar doesn’t display a lot of curb appeal.
But what happens inside is completely charming.
The Batanga was created in 1961 by Don Javier Delgado Corona, now the octogenerian bar keeper at La Capilla. The Batanga is basically Mexico’s version of the Cuba Libre – substitute Tequila for Rum. Here’s a clip of Don Javier making his famous drink. And on our late Friday night excursion the master, while not tending bar, was the fixture of the establishment. While his family carries on tradition of mixing up Batangas, Don Javier sat quietly in corner chair, overseeing all and quietly accepting the well wishes of those who stopped by.