|Tequila & Cazuela's
|DRINKS - BEBIDAS! TEQUILA!
Tequila is, without doubt, the Mexican spirit which is best known outside the country. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, which is not a
cactus, as is commonly believed, but is related to the amaryllis. (other myth: worm)
A specific type of mescal, it is becoming steadily more popular.
If mescal is brandy, then tequila is Cognac and is subject to similar controls to those that are imposed by the French government on their famous
spirit - there are also parallels with the production of champagne, in that tequila production is tightly regulated and may only take place in specially
Tequila takes it name from the town where it was first named Jalisco where it was first made (the name means "volcano" in the local Indian
dialect). Jalisco is also the home of mariachi music, which possibly explains how tequila gained its image as a fun, party drink.
Types of Tequila
Joven or blanco tequila has been bottled immediately after distillation. It is usually clear, but can sometimes be golden in colour. This classification
also includes tequilas that have been aged for less than 60 days.
Reposada tequila is golden in colour and has been aged in oak for 2-6 months. It has a more rounded flavour than joven tequila.
Anejo tequila has been aged in oak for a year or more and has a rich golden colour.
Curados is the name given to blanco or joven tequila that has been naturally flavoured. Cinnamon sticks, chillies, almonds and vanilla pods are
among the whole flavourings used, but essences and syrups can also be used.
Developing a Taste for Tequila
The best way to become a discriminating tequila drinker is to try as many different brands and types as possible! Compare and contrast them in
terms of their appearance, bouquet, viscosity and flavour. Few tequilas taste of only one thing; most are a complex blend of flavours. They may
taste sweet, earthy, woody, smooth or even smoky. It is a good idea to taste a new tequila against a familiar brand to give a standard for
Drinking a shot of tequila in the classic manner, with a lick of salt beforehand and a wedge of lime after, is one of the best ways for Europeans to
sample this drink.
The method was originally adopted because the spirit was so crude that salt and lime were deemed necessary to make it palatable.
A natural progession from the tequila shot was the margarita, in Mexico tequila is often sipped alternately with a glass of sangrita, a tomato juice
flavoured with chillies and other seasonings. When the tequila and tomato are combined, the drink becomes a Bloody Maria.
This is the generic name for agave spirit. Tequila is just one type of mescal.
Unfortunately, in western Europe, the name mescal is synonymous with one particular brand of the spirit, which has a maguey worm in the bottle.
This has led to some monumental drinking sessions as individuals competed to see who would be landed with the worm (Craig!) and the reputation
of the mescal suffered in the process.
For the record, the worm was originally placed in the bottle to demonstrate the alcoholic proof of the mescal, the argument being that the
preservation of the worm (actually a moth larva) proved the potency of the alcohol.
Oaxaca is largely credited by aficionados as being one of the best areas for mescal production.
|A cazuela is a clay cooking bowl with a small handle on each side. Everywhere
you hear the name of this cooking utensil, you prepared food. But for
Felipe's Mexican drink is prepared.