June 22, 2016 | By Gary Gruver
Tequila, or as some people in the spirits industry refer to it, the “agave spirit,” has always dominated the cocktail pyramid for what seems like years, with a little daisy of a cocktail, the margarita. Every year, the margarita is printed more times over on cocktail lists than any other cocktail in the nation. The margarita is a great classic, but sometimes it can overshadow the versatility of the spirit. For instance, there is the way a grassy, citrusy highland Tequila can highlight a summery drink; or how the earthy, robust red bell pepper, lowland Tequila can stand up on its own in a heavy spirited cocktail. Here are two cocktails that I think do just that:
Citrusy Highland Tequila
(The bright citrus notes in the highland Patrón Tequila really play well with the mandarin flavors in Aperol.)
1 ½ oz Patrón Roca
¾ oz Aperol
½ oz Lemon juice
½ oz Simple syrup (1:1)
2 sprigs Fresh thyme
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice, strain over fresh ice.
Garnish: Sprig of thyme and 3 dashes of orange bitters.
Robust Earthy Lowland Tequila
(A fancy old fashioned – trust me, it works.)
2 oz Casa Noble Añejo (I like this one because of the intense vegetal notes.)
¼ oz Rich Demerara or turbinado syrup (2:1)
3 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
3 dashes Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
Method: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass over large ice cubes, strain up in a cocktail glass.
Garnish: Zest of lemon peel