The year 2020 has not offered anyone many gifts. That said, this particular weekend is charmed. Beginning tomorrow with National Tequila Day and ending on Sunday with National Parents’ Day, we thought it a great opportunity to celebrate one of the most mysterious, yet enduringly popular spirits in the country as well as parents and everyone who fulfills that role. After all, if anyone could use a tipple of Tequila, it’s these original essential workers who regularly manage work, schooling, meal times, bath times, and all of the tantrums—pandemic or no pandemic.
What Is Tequila, Anyway?
Let’s start with what it’s not: grain-based or made from a cactus. Tequila is made exclusively from blue agave (agave tequilana), which is a member of the lily family. It is technically a type of mezcal, much like bourbon and Scotch are types of whiskey.
Tequila, like mezcal, is also most definitely not a psychedelic ― although if one drinks enough, they might see pink elephants. Widely perpetuated by college students through spring break, this myth has its roots in the 1950s and 1960s. Some California sippers believed that drinking agave spirits would make them “trip” because it contains mescaline. As it turns out, they were mistaken, and just really, really drunk.
Types of Tequila
There are two categories of tequila: 100% blue agave Tequila, and Tequila mixto. Each category has five types, which are generally all about oak-aging. Just as with wine, oak aging adds texture and flavor to tequila:
- Blanco/Silver: Unaged
- Reposado: Aged for a minimum of 2 months in oak
- Añejo: Aged for a minimum of 1 year in oak
- Extra Añejo: Aged for a minimum of 3 years in oak.
How do you drink it?
Any way you want. C’mon, we’re not your parents. Just choose a bottle that lets its product shine more than its label. And if you are a parent ― or just making some parents you know a well-deserved treat ― here are some cocktail ideas.
Tequila “It’s Too Early for This”
Our take on the classic Tequila Sunrise, because the kids are already awake.
- In a chilled glass filled with ice, add first the tequila and then the orange juice.
- Top with the grenadine, creating a layered effect, and garnish as desired.
What else do you call a moody teenager?
- Combine the first three ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake to combine.
- Strain into a serving glass filled with ice, and top with the ginger beer. Garnish as desired.
Because virtual learning is stressful enough.
1 slice jalapeño
⅓ cup watermelon, cubed
2 oz Espolon Tequila Blanco
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz agave syrup
- Muddle the jalapeño and watermelon in a shaker.
- Next add the remaining ingredients and fill the shaker with ice.
- Shake well to combine, and strain into a serving glass over fresh ice.