It’s an especially good query to ask not solely your bartender however rhetorically: “What ought to I combine with tequila?”
Possibly you may have a bottle of reposado tequila at residence that you simply don’t keep in mind shopping for, or an añejo that you simply’ve been instructed you must sip neat — which doesn’t at all times sound ideally suited, notably on a day when the temperatures hit three digits — or that Cristalino your buddy introduced over as a result of it was “enjoyable.”
Even in case you simply have an affordable bottle of blanco tequila, you would possibly assume your decisions are restricted to a Margarita or a Paloma. These are glorious decisions! However admittedly overplayed.
The reply is that there’s little or no you can’t combine with tequila, however you want to concentrate on what kind of tequila you’re utilizing (an unaged blanco? A closely aged añejo?). After which you must see each what you may have readily available and what matches your taste profile.
First, some easy floor guidelines. “In relation to mixers for tequila, at all times pay attention to the standard of the product and you should definitely pair it with a high quality mixer,” says Pamela Wiznitzer, Beverage Director at The Lookup Rooftop. “For those who’re utilizing any juices or citrus, attempt to make it recent squeezed or squeeze it your self. Aged tequilas have numerous flavors from the barrels and plenty of reposados and añejos might be loved with minimal mixers — assume extra alongside the strains of splashes of soda waters, coconut water or a squeeze of citrus.”
Now, you will get extra complicated — combining tequila with different spirits, subbing tequila in non-agave basic cocktails, and many others. However the wonderful thing about tequila is that it’s not solely versatile, however it holds up properly in drinks which have only one or two different elements, and possibly ones that you’ve got within the fridge proper now.
With all this in thoughts, we requested 4 dozen bar professionals about the most effective mixers for tequila. We additionally added a couple of concepts that we’ve scrounged up over time throughout our journeys to Mexico (and our native agave-forward bars). We promise, by article’s finish, you’ll have a brand new use for that tequila bottle. Even when it’s a Cristalino.
What can I combine with a blanco tequila?
“Tequila loves recent juice, particularly lime, and grapefruit, and notably Blanco/Silver,” explains H. Joseph Ehrmann, proprietor of San Francisco’s Elixir Saloon and the VP of Mixology at Recent Victor, a brand new line of recent mixers. “The inherent citrus flavors in most well-made tequilas brighten the earthy vegetal taste of the agave.”
And when you can merely add a grapefruit soda and make a Paloma, blancos might be enjoyable to experiment with, says Alicia Russell, the lead bartender at Panzano in Denver. “Attempt one thing yuzu or bergamot,” she says. “I additionally had a juice-based drink in Mexico referred to as verdita [pineapple juice blended and strained with jalapeños, mint and cilantro] that’s my favourite do-it-yourself mixer to make and add to a blanco tequila or mezcal margarita with lime and agave.”
“Blancos go very properly with citrus particularly grapefruit and lime,” provides Dan Calin, the Beverage Director at Boston’s da LaPosta. “Stone fruits, tropical fruits and berries are likely to go very properly, however don’t be afraid of utilizing vegetal notes like oregano, sage, cucumber or peppers.”
What can I combine with a reposado tequila?
“Reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for a brief interval, giving it a smoother and barely extra complicated taste profile,” says Santiago Ferreira, the Bar Supervisor at Resort Barriere Le Carl Gustaf in St. Barts. “It really works properly with mixers that complement its delicate oak notes.” For a reposado, Ferreira recommends ginger beer, pineapple juice or an Previous Normal (with a 1:1 honey syrup in lieu of a sugar dice or easy syrup).
Yow will discover some attention-grabbing selection in a longer-aged tequila. “When you get into tequilas which have undergone an getting older course of, particularly older expressions like añejos and additional añejos, you get right into a territory just like brown spirits like whisky,” says RT60 Common Supervisor Josef Grznar. “They get their taste from sitting in barrels for years and leaching flavors from these barrels which have notes of caramel, honey and vanilla. These aged expressions pair amazingly in additional spirit-forward cocktails like Previous Fashioneds however they lend themselves to highballs, which normally are related to whisky drinks. An añejo tequila and Coke is a straightforward mixture that brings these caramel notes to the forefront. Reposado tequila and ginger ale can also be a pleasant highball.”
However don’t restrict your self to soda. As Grznar suggests, his favourite añejo tequila pairing is with vanilla ice cream in a boozy milkshake.
“With the heavier oak affect, añejos are higher sippers with just a few mineral water to lighten the tastes,” says Kai Wilson, Beverage Supervisor of Chicago’s Mercat a la Planxa. “That mentioned, an añejo Sidecar variation works fairly properly.”
What can I combine with a Cristalino tequila?
Cristalinos — the considerably derided, unofficial spirits class for aged tequila that’s gone by a filtering course of to look clear — truly work properly in cocktails, given their smoother profile and clear look. “We love pairing Cristalinos with our house-made ginger soda or strawberry ginger if we’re feeling extra energetic,” says Daniel Frazier, the GM of The Pharmacy Burger in Nashville. “The brilliant flavors with added age complexity make for a really pretty drink. We additionally love so as to add Cristalino to an Aperol spritz to provide it an additional kick.”
What’s the most effective basic cocktail the place you may swap in tequila?
Tequila is extremely versatile — and the aged expressions work properly as a whisk(e)y substitute. “With añejo or reposado tequilas, the apparent selection is to make a Negroni or an Previous Normal,” says Danny Astorga, the Beverage Director of The Press Room in Chicago. “However in case you make a Manhattan variation with reposado, that’s a recreation changer. Mixing reposado tequila with candy vermouth and bitters is an efficient combo that isn’t simply scrumptious but additionally balanced.”
Can I take advantage of pre-packaged mixers with tequila?
Whilst you ought to attempt to maintain issues recent on the residence bar as a lot as doable, there are many stable mixers. A couple of we advocate: Mixly, Q Margarita Combine, Supasawa, Recent Victor, Filthy.
Are you able to combine tequila with different spirits?
You imply, past the margarita? You actually can, says Joe Shaw of Bartender Planet. “Rum and tequila are a match made in heaven,” he says. “They work properly collectively in cocktails as a result of each have complicated flavors. Tequila has a novel earthy, candy taste profile. And rum, created from sugarcane, can add a unique sweetness and a little bit of a tropical taste, which might steadiness out the harsher edges of the tequila.”
And if you wish to make your margarita extra attention-grabbing … however nonetheless recognizable? Do a cut up base of tequila and your favourite mezcal, which ought to add some extra character to your drink (earthy, smoky, vegetal, and many others.).
At The Vine in New York, Beverage Director Jason Hedges makes use of a multi-booze tequila drink, a riff on a Negroni. “It’s referred to as the Pink Proper Hand,” he says. “It makes use of reposado tequila, Bonal, Aperol and orange bitters.”
“Attempt a blanco with Genepy, a herbaceous liquor that enhances the terroir of the agave,” suggests Nelson Dow, the lead bartender at Chicago’s Asador Bastian. “For a reposado, combine with a Cognac-based Pineau des Charentes, which might additionally see time in oak barrels, so as to add a honeyed sweetness.”
What’s the best tequila mixer doable?
“Glowing water with citrus notes and glowing juices can assist to boost the flavors of tequila,” says Lynnette Marrero, an award-winning bartender, founding father of SpeedRack and Companion and Chief Mixologist of Delola, a brand new line of bottled spritzes. “You see this typically with the basic Paloma. I additionally prefer to maintain round some easy tepaches just like the model De La Calle, for a easy one and one.” (Trace: For these, use a blanco tequila.)
“If you will get your palms on some freshly pressed watermelon juice or make an agua fresca at residence, you should attempt it with some tequila,” says Paul Kushner, CEO of MyBartender. “It’s the style of summer time, and the inexperienced freshness of melon hits all the fitting notes with summery, natural tequila. Serve over crushed ice with a sprig of mint.”
“All summer time I make quite a lot of lengthy course of shrubs from just about any fruits that come our manner,” says Megan Coyle, head bartender at DC’s Lutéce. “Including an oz or so of, say, a blackberry or rhubarb shrub to a tequila highball is a straightforward option to elevate the cocktail whereas showcasing the flavors of the native market.”
One ignored mixer? Guava juice. “It pairs properly with agave spirits like tequila as a result of its sweetness and refreshing and tropical nature,” says James Baugh, Director of Meals & Beverage at Drift Inns. “And different fruit juices, notably citrus, are used typically to boost guava’s taste inside a cocktail, permitting for a brilliant summer time drink.”
And personally, it’s been talked about earlier than — tequila, Coke, lime. It’s referred to as a batanga, and it’s the central drink of La Capilla, a tiny gap within the wall within the city of Tequila that’s additionally among the best bars on this planet.
Different concepts: Ginger beer, coconut water, or the more and more widespread Ranch Water recipe, which we now have under from Jared Masucci, a Mixologist at Austin’s Chapter Social and Spirits.
Prep Time: 1 min
- 2 oz tequila (blanco or reposado)
- .5 oz lime juice (roughly half a squeezed lime)
- Richard’s glowing water
- Salt or tajín rim (elective)
In a glass stuffed with ice, pour within the tequila and lime juice, then fill the remaining with glowing water.
What doesn’t combine properly with tequila?
The consensus right here is that creamy or heavy mixers (which embody dairy merchandise) don’t make for an awesome mixture with tequila of any type. And even some fruity/citrus flavors generally is a turn-off. “Personally, I don’t like fibrous fruit juices like peach, apple or pear with tequila,” admits Manny Flores, the proprietor of Que Hospitality in North Carolina, whose eating places function a tequila-heavy cocktail program.
That mentioned, there was one dissenter from our tequila panel. “All mixers work with tequila,” says Wiznitzer. “Even cream — attempt a tequila White Russian! Simply keep in mind what you utilize, tequila is loaded with taste, so don’t drown it out.”
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