I have always had an affinity for tequila. Growing up in the southwest my friends and I would spend many weekends heading south over the border to enjoy some fish tacos, cheap beer, fireworks, and tequila. Naïve and barely over the drinking age we would grab pretty much any plastic handle of dirt cheap tequila or mescal. At that point I didn’t think much of the taste to be honest. Its main purpose was to get you drunk enough that it didn’t matter if you woke up in high tide and your tent was heading out to sea or that your friend was blasting Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child of Mine in your face until 6:00 in the morning.
It really wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I realized that Tequila was a hell of a lot more then some cheap Mexican moonshine. One afternoon eating ceviche at a restaurant on the beach in Puerto Penasco the owner offered my friend and I some home brew tequila from his village near Guadalajara. The smoothness and bold smoky flavor of that gold nectar has remained in the back of my mind until now.
If you go to any liquor store it seems the selection of tequila doubles every time you go in. Countless distilleries and entrepreneurs like Sammy Hagar of Van Halen are now manufacturing tequila that you would think an agave shortage was imminent. With all of these options tequila has become as difficult as browsing for movies at a
video store. In one of my most recent attempts at choosing a bottle of tequila I decided on a nicely packaged bottle of Paqui Blanco Tequila.
If you are not familiar with the history of tequila it really begins with Aztec people fermenting a beverage from the agave plant called octl. So Paqui, which means, “be happy” in native Aztec borrows from that ancient tradition. Paqui is a white tequila made of 100% blue agave that is aged less then two months. Unlike its sibling gold
tequila, white or silver are generally used as mixers instead of sipping straight.
Last Sunday I decided to celebrate the last few day of spring by inviting some close friends over to my apartment to enjoy my newly acquired bottle of tequila. We walked down to the grocery store and bought a dozen lemons to make a batch of refreshing tequila lemonade. The first thing I noticed was how the tequila did not disturb the flavor of the lemon mixture. Gentle, yet slightly earth tinged I feel Paqui can be mixed with countless other ingredients. After a few lemonades and a couple of games of dominos we ended the afternoon with a round of shots. In its straight form it may not be as smooth as other white tequilas but it does have a rich complex flavor to it that is very unique.
½ oz honey
¾ oz lemon juice
2 oz tequila
Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake
vigorously. Pour contents into a glass with a sugar rim to cut down on
acidity. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Review and Photos by Marc Lesser