July is rapidly coming to a close and you need an excuse to celebrate the summer. National Tequila Day is at hand, and what better way to appreciate a great spirit from South of the Border?
Though the origin of this wonderful Mexican libation has been lost in translation, this does not mean the sweet nectar extracted from the blue agave plant is not worthy of a party. So this Thursday, July 24, remember to cruise down to your local Mexican restaurant or stop by your neighborhood liquor store and pay tribute to tequila.
In your pursuit of tequila heaven, you will notice there are two major categories of tequila: 100 percent Blue Agave and Tequila Mixto. Blue Agave tequilas will usually be advertised as “silver” or “white” tequila and can be easily identified, as they are completely clear in color. Blue Agave tequila is usually un-aged to enhance the intensity and bring out the natural sweetness of the spirit.
A Tequila Mixto, on the other hand, contains a minimum of 51 percent Blue Agave. The remaining 49 percent comes from other sugars. The sugars flavor the tequila and change the color into either a gold, amber or mahogany color. Tequila is then grouped further into different types that can be either 100 percent Blue Agave or Mixto, such as Joven, Reposado or Anejo.
Vickie Hurley, owner of Riley’s Wine & Spirits in Hixson, says that Cuervo Tradicional is the best-selling bottle of tequila sold at Riley’s, but that they are also seeing Don Julio 1942 and Patron Silver fly off the racks this summer.
For a top-shelf bottle, try Cabo Wabo (also available at Riley’s), which usually ranges from $35-50 per bottle.
Hurley believes that no matter what drink you’re concocting for the holiday, stick to 100 percent Blue Agave tequila. “The better the quality of the spirit, the better your drink will be,” explains Hurley.
Whether you’re shooting the classic tequila shot with a chase of salt and lime or sipping a margarita on the rocks, going all out and starting the day off with the tart taste of a Tequila Sunrise, or adventuring off the beaten path with a Paloma or Tequini, the important thing is you’re not letting this great excuse for a good time go to waste.
This Thursday, kick back and appreciate the fact that we are privileged enough to have tequila—and live in a country that has a day to appreciate it.