Tequila gulped down in shots with salt and lime, followed by the worst ever hangover. Sound familiar? Then like me, you’ve been getting it wrong. In accordance to the experts down at Mustard & Rye, it’s actually a drink to slowly sip and savour, like a great rum, whiskey or bourbon. So, when I was invited for Tequila master class, I couldn’t put my sombrero on quickly enough.
It has to be 100% agave
If you want the good stuff stick with 100% agave, indicating that it’s produced from 100 % pure agave plants with no added extras. Something that isn’t 100% is known as “Mixto” which is blended with cane sugar and it’s this bad boy that gives you the morning after haze.
Know your Tequila
Tequilas aren’t all produced the same way. Selecting 100% agave is only part of the mix, next it’s about selecting the best variety, for how you want to enjoy it. This famous drink is categorised by age.
• Blanco, generally known as “Silver”, is the baby of the bunch, bottled immediately after distillation and is ideal for cocktail.
• Reposado is aged in barrels for up to a year for a smooth taste, perfect for sipping
• Anejo production is similar to Reposado, but is matured between 1 and 3 years for a more complex taste.
Forget the shot glass
Real Tequila enthusiasts never gulp it down from a shot glass, so throw away your dumpy shot glasses. Tall narrow glasses are ok, but the goblet type glasses used to drink brandy are much better. However, for anyone who is truly serious about it, there is only one choice and that’s the Ouverture Tequila glass.
When in Mexico…
In Mexico, the majority of people consume their tequila pure straight out of the freezer (similar to Vodka). The phenomenon for lime/lemon and salt, most likely adopted to cover up the severe flavouring of the mixto versions, certainly is not practiced in Mexico.
Smooth the ride
If you’d like a chaser to help smooth the flow, grab a shot of Sangrita. This blend is usually a combination of lime, orange and tomato juices with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauces. But traditionally it’s made with orange, lime and pomegranate juice and a pinch of chilli powder. Try alternative sips of Tequila and Sangrita.