Tequila: The Proper Way to Drink It.
Ah, the art of you can go back to the traditional method of drinking with salt, tequila,and lime, via the lick, sip consumption of a premium liquor. Who says that I have the right to tell you how you should drink your tequila. I must admit, I have tried the many different brands of Tequila. Whether you sip it, serve it with lime and salt add it to margarita mix, drink it room temperature or serve it chilled, Tequila is meant to be savored and enjoyed. If you want to really appreciate the full bouquet and body, try it at room temperature. Tequila is meant to be enjoyed neat. Taste it like a fine wine. It would be a shame to miss out on its full body, its aroma and its wonderful taste. Once you have appreciated its character and flavor, you can return to the salt, tequila, and lime – the lick, sip and bite- method.
The traditional way to drink tequila is using a tall, narrow shot glass, ‘caballito”. It has been claimed that Añejos are better served in brandy snifters in order to appreciate the nose, by my favorite way to consume it is the traditional way. The caballito is said to be modeled after the original bull horn that tequila was drank from. It is the perfect size and shape.
The same rules apply when drinking a premium Mezcal. Enjoy the rich, smoky flavor. Why rush a good thing.
Coolers and drinks such as margaritas may not have any real tequila in them. They are usually syrupy concoctions of alcohol and flavouring. In 1997 Herradura recognized a growing market for margaritas and introduced their own pre-mixed drink including grapefruit juice and real tequila. Other distillers have since followed their lead and the demand for these sweet drinks in the market. These however are not traditional Mexican drinks. They are attempts to cater to a fad in the North American market.
Some people think that the more traditional way to drink tequila is as a shot with salt on one hand and a bite of lime following the shot. Few people drink it this way. Some people do however put lime juice in their tequila or bite the lime before sipping it. Many restaurants in Mexico bring you a small tray with your favorite brand of tequila, a caballito with a sangrita chaser, salt and half a lime. It is a good practice to have the waiter bring the tequila bottle right to your table and have it poured in front of you. Some places might say that they keep a fair stock of brands, but they do not and will serve you something different than what you ordered.
Remember that when you open a bottle of tequila, you subject its contents to oxidization, just as you would a bottle of wine. This will rob the tequila of its agave flavours in a matter of a few weeks to a month. You can also lose alcohol to evaporation. Your tequila will not last indefinitely. You must drink it soon - within 1-2 months - otherwise it starts to lose its wonderful zest.
However you choose to drink your tequila, make sure to choose the one that you like and enjoy it thoroughly. There is really no right or wrong way to drink, sip or a right way to drink, sip, or guzzle tequila. After all, it is a matter of taste.
About the Author: Don Tekela has been in the search of the perfect Tequila for the past 20 years. He currently resides in Mexico, the tequila capital of the world.