If you’ve had the chance to travel to Mexico, you’ll know it has a rich culture and tradition. If you dropped by a Mexican bar, you may also know that Mexico offers a tantalising array of cocktails that have captivated the hearts of drink enthusiasts globally.
In this article, let’s take a look at some of the more famous Mexican cocktails. We’ll also profile the type of tequila that works best in each cocktail.
The Margarita, undeniably the most famous Mexican cocktail, is a symphony of flavours, balancing the tartness of lime with the sweetness of orange liqueur, all brought together with the crisp, clean taste of Tequila. To create an authentic Margarita experience, a premium Blanco Tequila is recommended. Blanco, also known as ‘Plata’ or ‘Silver’ Tequila, is bottled immediately after distillation, preserving the pure flavours of the Agave plant.
A classic choice for Margarita aficionados is the El Cristiano Blanco Tequila. Its smooth and nuanced agave profile, coupled with hints of citrus, makes it an ideal base for a Margarita. This Tequila elevates the drink, ensuring that each sip is a refreshing and genuine taste of Mexico.
Paloma, often overshadowed by its famous cousin, the Margarita, deserves its own spotlight. This refreshing cocktail combines Tequila with grapefruit soda, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness. The key to a perfect Paloma lies in its Tequila – and for this, a Reposado Tequila is an excellent choice.
Reposado, which means ‘rested’, is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months, imparting a golden hue and a smoother, richer character to the Tequila. Tequila Corralejo Reposado stands out for this cocktail. Its ageing in American oak barrels adds a subtle complexity to the Paloma, enhancing the grapefruit notes while bringing a warm, inviting smoothness to the drink.
The Tequila Sunrise, with its gradients of colour mimicking a sunrise, is not only a visual treat but also a delightful blend of flavours. The cocktail’s layers of orange juice and grenadine syrup create a sweet and fruity base, which is then livened up with Tequila. For a Tequila Sunrise, an Añejo Tequila is a sophisticated choice.
Añejo, meaning ‘aged’, spends a minimum of one year in oak barrels, developing a deeper colour and complex flavours. Tequila Los Arango Añejo, with its rich notes of caramel, vanilla, and spices, complements the fruity sweetness of the cocktail, adding a luxurious depth and making each sip a memorable experience.
The Michelada, a beer-based cocktail, is a testament to Mexico’s creativity in cocktail crafting. It combines beer with lime juice, assorted sauces, spices, and a pinch of salt. While not a Tequila-based cocktail, it’s a staple in Mexican cocktail culture. For those keen to experiment, adding a dash of Blanco Tequila can add an intriguing twist to the Michelada, enhancing its bold and savoury profile.
Tequila’s Artisanal Craft
Behind every great Mexican cocktail lies the art and tradition of Tequila production. From the harvesting of the blue agave in Jalisco’s sun-drenched fields to the meticulous distillation processes, each type of Tequila brings its own story and flavour profile.
Tequila is crafted from the Weber Blue Agave, a spiky succulent akin to Aloe Vera. At the heart of this plant lies the ‘piña’, a core bulb crucial to Tequila production. Tequila makers harvest the piña, then bake it to perfection, extracting its rich juices. These juices are then fermented in barrels with yeast, transforming the agave essence into the versatile spirit known as Tequila.
This meticulous process yields a beverage that enhances a multitude of cocktails or stands proudly on its own, enjoyed neat.
Find out more about the Tequila making process here.
Choosing the right Tequila for your cocktail is not just a matter of taste, but a nod to the rich heritage and skilled craftsmanship of Mexican distillers.
Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or new to the world of Mexican cocktails, there’s always something new to discover. Cheers, or as they say in Mexico, ¡Salud!