Tag Archives: summer drinks

Summer Drinks Series: Tequila!

Bottles of Tequila for sale

For those of us in Texas, we’re all pretty familiar with tequila, or at least drinking it. Margaritas, frozen or on the rocks, salted or not, is one of the most popular cocktails in the United States, especially come summer time. We write songs about it (Margaritaville anyone?), create popular cocktails with it, and even cook with it. However, even though we might be pro’s at consuming tequila, and dealing with the morning after, not many of us are familiar with tequila’s production or history. So here’s a couple things you might not have known about your favorite drink.

Tequila was first exported to the US by Jose Cuervo, when in 1873 three barrels were shipped to El Paso, Texas, a number that rapidly increased throughout time. Similar to Champagne, Tequila has denomination of origin, meaning that under regulations and laws, tequila can only be produced in certain areas of Mexico. The most popular area being Jalisco. Mexico takes their tequila seriously, so it comes as no surprise that it is the country’s national drink. It is created from the blue agave plant, and unlike many liquors, is primarily aged within the plant, and not in casks. The plant takes around 8 to 12 years to mature before being harvested, and if the tequila is aged, anything beyond 4 years can lessen the quality of it.

Blue agave plant (left) Blue agave painting (right)

In Texas, one of the most popular tequila drinks is the Texan Martini (also known as the Mexican Martini). The cocktail was actually created here in Austin, at The Cedar Door Bar and Grill, some twenty years ago. Now, this strong drink can be found pretty much everywhere in Austin, with some of our favorites being at the Cedar Door, Trudy’s,  and Baby Acapulco. For those that want to make this drink at home, try this tasty recipe:

 Ingredients:

Servings: 1

2 fluid ounces tequila

1 fluid ounce Cointreau liqueur

1 -2 fluid ounce Sprite

1 fluid ounce orange juice

1/2 lime juice

Directions:
Shake all ingredients and strain into glass rimmed with salt; add stuffed olives, enjoy!

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Summer Drinks Series: French Rosé Wine In Texas

It might not yet be “officially” summer here in the U.S., but for those of us in Texas, we know that it definitely feels like summer. What better way to greet (or tolerate) the change in weather, than to kick off our “Summer Drinks Blog Series!”

In following our successful French wine tasting with The Austin Wine Merchant, we thought we’d kick off this series with the French classic summer wine choice, the Rosé.

Now, before we lose all of our American male readers, did you know that in France, the rosé is the most popular summer wine choice amongst both men and women? It has even surpassed white wine sales. Yes, the drink might be pretty and pink, making it look sweet to us Americans, but it’s flavor is crisp and fresh, and “et très français…” (and very French…)

Usually, a rosé is a type of wine that has the color of a red wine, but only enough to turn the wine pink. This is done through leaving the grape’s skin in contact with the juice for a short period of time. However, depending on the type of grapes or method used, a rosé’s color can range from pink, to light orange, to an almost deep purple hue. Typically in France, a rosé is light pink in color, with a fresh taste geared for summer drinking.

Bottle display of Rosé wine in France, Summer 2012

The rosé that we recommend is from the wine company “Domaine des Corbillieres”. This is a refreshing pale rosé, with a slight hint of spice: The perfect drink to hold up against the Texas heat. You can purchase this rose from The Austin Wine Merchant for under $12.

The Domaine des Corbillieres vineyard in the Sologne wine region, France. 

Cheers, Santé, Salud, Salute!

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