Category: Tequila Cocktail Recipes

After trying and rejecting the typical margarita, we decided to go upscale with the so-called “pure” margarita. This cocktail is called pure because it uses 100% agave tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice and agave nectar. There’s nothing artificial to spoil the taste of good tequila and refreshing juice.

This is also the kind of margarita that they make at the SFT Tequila Bar in Sayulita, Mexico and they know what they’re doing.

“Pure” margarita recipe:
1.5 oz tequila
1 oz lime juice
¾ oz agave nectar
¾ oz spring water (optional)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we decided to make a tequila drink that’s sure to sweeten up your mood. It’s called Phoenix Rising and it was created by Liz Baron at the Blue Mesa Grill in Texas and is highlighted in Joanne Weir’s “Tequila” book.

It’s simple to make with just four ingredients — orange juice, pitted cherries, agave nectar and blanco tequila. The muddled cherries give it a rosy tint.

We used the relatively new PaQui Silvera, which has enough character to stand out from the fruit.

This drink is pleasantly sweet and packs a punch — perfect for l’amour. Enjoy!

-Taste Tequila

Comisario Anejo - we didn't like it. (picture taken with an iPhone of the bar mat, which boasted this particular tequila.)

Comisario Anejo - we didn't like it. (picture taken with an iPhone of the bar mat, which boasted this particular tequila.)

It’s a Sunday night, and Grover and I were craving a nice tequila after dinner. We decided to head to a Mexican place in our neighborhood that is virtually impenetrable on a Friday or Saturday night, but just might have two free stools on the Day of Rest. Turns out, it did.

We quickly scanned the bar and found two tequila brands we had never tried before – Comisario and Don Ramón. I’ve seen Comisario popping up on retail shelves lately, but had never tried it. Don Ramón was completely new to me; its beautifully etched bottle is replete with a diamond stopper that calls out “Drink me.” The bottle is so finely made it appears as though a genie might pop out, offering me three tequila wishes. I digress…

Grover ordered the Comisario Añejo and the nose was not very fragrant. It had a soft, caramel and buttercream odor. Once in the mouth, however, it was a train wreck of pungent flavors that ends with a long, peppery finish.  (According to its website, Comisario contains papaya, caramel custard, nougat, grilled pepper, mineral and mocha flavors). I was not a fan.

Fortunately, the bartender (whose name will go unmentioned, to protect his generosity) offered us a taste of the Don Ramón Añejo, which had just arrived in the establishment that day. The diamond stopper was tricky to get out, and Grover had to use a corkscrew to extract the plastic piece that was blocking us from the sweet agave. Fortunately, he managed to dislodge the plastic without injury and the bartender poured two generous shots, and one for him.

Don Ramón Añejo has a soft, sweet nose reminiscent of the natural honey flavor of the agave, with a spicy finish that retains the agave flavor and does not pick up too much from the barrel. It is balanced and a little more pungent than most añejos. Overall, we declared it a success—Grover said he would buy a bottle for home.

It seems that Sundays are a nice, relaxed day to sample some new tequilas. So, what are you drinking tonight?


**UPDATE: A new, and even better (in our opinion) sangrita recipe has been discovered. We even made a video of us following the recipe!

We’ve already mentioned sangrita in previous posts, but in this one I’d like to share one sangrita recipe that tastes pretty good.

But first, a few points about sangrita…

Sangrita, tequila's best friend.

Sangrita, tequila's best friend.

- It’s difficult to find sangrita in a bar.

- Most places that say they have it think you are saying “sangria,” and they don’t really have it.

- If a tequila bar doesn’t have sangrita behind the bar, then it’s not a *real* tequila bar.

- It is rarely on the menu – you just have to ask for it.

- When a white boy like me asks for it, I sometimes get a smile and a nod from the bartender, and I feel like a member of an exclusive authentic tequila drinker club who just uttered the secret password that lets him know that I’m not to be messed with.

- It comes in various recipes, and since it is almost always made right there in the bar, you never know what you’re going to get.

- Some of the best sangrita we’ve ever tasted was at the San Angel Inn, an amazing restaurant in Mexico City.

- Some of the worst sangrita we’ve ever had was served to us in a bar in Tlaquepaque, believe it or not. It came from a bottle made in some mass-produced factory and it looked like sugar water with red food coloring, and it tasted like it. We could tell it was not to be touched just by looking at it. I, of course, tried it anyway, and it was truly nasty.

- Bartenders take pride in their sangrita mixes, and every one seems to think they’ve got the best. Of course this is not true, but when you are sitting in front of a proud bartender who is watching you drink it, you should say something nice about it even if it tastes bad. Get him/her mad and he/she may cut you off.

- We always ask for it, but seldom get it.

- Sangrita should be spicy, but not TOO spicy. Remember to preserve a few taste buds for the tequila. If it is sweet (some are, some aren’t), it should be slightly sweet. If you want sweet, there’s always Coke or Pepsi. :-)

- Places in San Francisco that have sangrita: Tres Agaves, Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, Cava 22, Tropisueño, and Colibri.

Of all of these, we felt that Amado, the bartender at Cava 22, makes the best.

He gave us his recipe, and we went right home and whipped up a batch.

We made 32 ounces of sangrita using Amado’s recipe as a guide.

Mix the following things together:

16 ounces tomato juice
16 ounces Clamato (plain)
3 tablespoons of lime juice
2 tablespoons of orange juice
1 pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon of Tabasco
1/3 teaspoon of horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of those ingredients together, then put it in the refrigerator for 2 days. Yes, two days!

Remember, there is no one perfect recipe. As we continue our worldwide tequila tasting tour we will continue to request sangrita, and when we find a good batch we will try to wrestle the recipe out of the bartender.

If we succeed, we’ll share it with you.

- Grover

**UPDATE: A new, and even better (in our opinion) sangrita recipe has been discovered. We even made a video of us following the recipe!