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.
As some people know, there are three different expressions of Tequila: Blanco, Reposado and Añejo. But let’s be frank (and less pretentious): expression just means age or aging.
Blanco Tequila, like a lot of white wine, is aged very little or (as is the case with Tres Agaves) not at all. Reposado is aged between 2 and 12 months and finally, Añejo is aged anywhere from 1 year to 3 years.
But the real question is which one is right for you? We’ve created this little quiz to help you figure it out.
1. The favors I like most in food are: a. Herbal, earthy, spicy b. Caramel, soft, cinnamon c. Vanilla, pepper, citrus
2. The cocktails I go for are like: a. Martinis or any spicy cocktail b. Manhattans or Old Fashioneds c. Palomas or Cosmopolitans
3. I mostly prefer: a. Having my alcohol in cocktails b. Sipping my alcohol neat c. Somewhere in between
If your answers were:
Mostly A’s. Purer than driven snow, your answers suggest you are a Blanco person. Blanco provides the most herbal expression of tequila and so is great for mixing in a wide variety of cocktails including ones that are spicy or blend with other herbal types of liqueurs.
Mostly B’s: It seems like you like a bit of a mix because you lean towards Reposado. Because of its aging, Reposado gives you the best of both worlds – a bit of vanilla from barrels and some of the agave plant’s pepper notes. That makes it great for both fruit-focused cocktails or sipping neat.
Mostly C’s You may be someone who likes bourbon or other whiskeys because it seems you lean towards Añejos. Because they are aged the longest of the three expressions we are discussing here, Añejos pick up more flavors and color from the barrels, which makes them a bit richer and more mellow (just like whiskey). That makes Añejos great for darker cocktails or sipping on ice.
There are no wrong answers and we hope that this quiz encourages to try all sorts of Tequila. Just try and make it Tres Agaves Organic 100% de Agave Tequila ok?
Planning to Visit Tequila? Try Guadalajara on your way.
If you’re looking to get to know Mexico beyond the standard fare of Mexico City and beaches, look no farther than Guadalajara. It’s the second-largest municipality in Mexico and has been a hub for Mexican culture for years (did you know mariachi was born in Guadalajara)? And of course, the town of Tequila is only a 45-minute drive away.
The capital of the state of Jalisco, Guadalajara has a rich history, present in its incredible architecture. From cathedrals to churches and plazas, you can spend hours checking out the Instituto Cultural de Cabañas (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and the Catedral de Guadalajara, constructed in 1561. For a city founded in 1452, Guadalajara has done a remarkable job preserving its historical architecture – so don’t miss it!
Not enough culture for you? Ok, head to the neighborhood of Tlaquepaque, a beautiful, vibrant art district whose main streets feature dancers, merchants selling trinkets and handmade artwork, and street performers. Let’s see your haggling skills on display!
While you’re there, grab a margarita (or other Tequila cocktails), or even a shot at El Parián de Tlaquepaque. This square is filled with bars and restaurants and so is a great place to grab a drink and listen to some of the Mariachi bands playing for various patrons. Feel free to ask for a song, but use those haggling skills to negotiate a price upfront.
And don’t forget, after a long day, find yourself some authentic Mexican cuisine. We love Santo Coyote – the atmosphere is incredible and you can’t go wrong with their dessert buffet. Just make sure you leave room for their Tequila cocktails.
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.
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.
The Negroni, and its cousin the Aperol Spritz, is the “it” cocktail right now. But just what is it and where did it come from?
It all starts with the creation of Campari in Italy in 1860. The inventor, a cafe owner in Novara, Italy, infused fruit and a secret spice blend into alcohol to create this now-famous liquor. The drink became popular, with most people adding sweet vermouth to lessen the bitterness of the original drink.
Americans coming to fashionable Milan in the early 20th century also took to the drink but preferred their aperitifs with soda water. The resulting concoction became known as an Americano. Cue Count Camillo Negroni.
In 1920 Negroni was at his favorite Florentine cafe when he asked the bartender to make his Americano stronger. The bartender switched out the soda for gin and the result was what we know as the classic Negroni.
Tequila has long had a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding it, which has resulted in it having a certain reputation. But now it’s time to clear up those myths so that you can enjoy tequila in all its glory.
Contrary to popular belief, a bottle of Tequila should never have a worm in it. Some low-quality mezcals contain worms, but it’s best practice to never drink any bottle with a worm in it. By the way, in reality, the worm isn’t really a worm at all, it’s the larvae from a butterfly caterpillar. The more you know.
Tequila is Guaranteed to Give You a Hangover
No, only bad Tequila is more likely to do that (and only if you drink too much of it, which you should never do). There are two main ways to make tequila: one where 100% of the alcohol comes from the agave plant (100% de Agave Tequila), and another where only 51% of the alcohol needs to come from agave (Misto). It is the Misto that can make your head hurt, mostly because the non-agave alcohol content is frequently of poor quality to keep the price low. The moral of the story: always buy 100% de Agave Tequila (and if you could make it Tres Agaves, that would be nice)
You should only use Blanco for cocktails:
While a Blanco is most popularly used in cocktails, really any Tequila varietal can make a great cocktail. Try mixing our Reposado in your margarita for a little darker, smokier taste. You can also sub in. tequila for other alcohols in cocktails: try making a Manhattan with Añejo instead of whiskey.
Tequila is produced from any agave, anywhere in Mexico
It’s actually a lot more specific than that. Tequila can only be made from the Blue Weber agave, which (by the way) is not a cactus but a member of the lily family, and closely related to yucca, beargrass, and sotol. What’s more, there are only five states legally permitted to produce Tequila. While the majority of Tequila comes from the state of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas have municipal districts sanctioned to produce Tequila.
All Tequila Tastes the Same
Definitely not! Just like wine, Tequilas have terroire, an element of taste that comes from the environment where the agave was grown. Tres Agaves is made from agave grown in the Tequila Valley. The plants are older, the soil is more volcanic, and the weather is hotter and wetter. This results in spicier tequilas with a strong citrus element. In contrast, Los Altos (The Highlands) area, has soil that is rich in iron and weather that is both cooler and dryer. This results in slightly sweeter tequilas with hints of vanilla and fruit.
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.