July 24 is National Tequila Day. To help you celebrate this august occasion, we’re offering four recipes of tequila cocktails that range from the simple, single cocktail to a pitcher-sized party mix.
Some are from Texas. Others are just spiced as if they’re from here. And all are worth a sip or three.
Cucumber Mint Margarita
A lively dose of Tabasco Sauce gives this cool, refreshing margarita a little kick. Enjoy the ride.
1/2 cup chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup key lime juice
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup tequila reposado
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
6 ice cubes
Salt to rim glasses
2 cucumber slices for garnish
Blend ingredients in a blender for 1 minute. Divide between two 6-ounce salt-rimmed glasses. Garnish each glass with a cucumber slice.
Makes 2 cocktails.
Raspberry Picante Paloma Pitchers
This recipe comes from Guy Fieri’s latest cookbook, “Guy on Fire” (William Morrow, $29.99). As Fieri says, “Oh yeah! This is one they won’t forget. I can hear it now — “Yeah! The drink had raspberries and jalapeños, and it as so the bomb!”
12 fresh raspberries
4 thin slices jalapeño pepper
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) tequila, preferably 100 percent blue agave tequila blanco
1 1/2 cups fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 1/4 cups club soda or lemon-lime soda
1/4 cup kosher salt
Grated zest of 1 grapefruit
Lime wedges, for garnish
In a glass pitcher, muddle the raspberries and jalapeño, then fill halfway with ice. Add the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave. Take a second pitcher (the same size) and pour one into the other repeatedly to mix the drink together. Top it off with club soda or lemon-lime soda.
To make the grapefruit salt, crush the salt and grapefruit zest together with a mortar and pestle, then spread on a plate. Run a lime wedge around the rim of each glass, then dip the glasses in the grapefruit salt. Fill with the cocktails.
Prep-ahead tip: Make the base recipe (minus the club soda) in big battches, up to a day ahead, and hold it in the fridge, so when the party is on, all you need to do is pour (rather than stand behind the bar making drinks all night). Just top off each glass with club soda while you’re serving so the drinks stay nice and effervescent.
Makes 6-8 servings.
From “Guy on Fire” by Guy Fieri with Ann Volkwein
Matt’s Old Fashioned
This twist on a classic cocktail comes from David Alan’s “Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $19.99). It was inspired by a Texas classic, he writes: “For generations of Austinites, dining at Matt’s El Rancho has been a tradition that has often begun in utero. This tequila Old Fashioned variation is a tribute to that venerable temple of Tex-Mex.”
2 ounces añejo tequila
1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Dash of orange bitters
Using a swivel-handled vegetable peeler, remove a strip of lemon peel and a strip of orange peel from the respective fruits over an Old Fashioned glass, allowing the peels to fall into the glass and capturing as much essential oil as possible. Add the tequila, elderflower liqueur and both bitters. Fill the glass with ice, preferably in large chunks. Stir using a bar spoon to integrate and dilute.
Makes 1 cocktail.
From “The Tipsy Texan” by David Alan
Juan’s Tequila Sour
You’ll have to hunt through used bookstores probably to find a copy of the 1978 edition of “Fiesta,” the Junior League of Corpus Christi’s cookbook. It’s worth the hunt. Until you find a copy, here’s a taste of Juan’s Tequila Sour, as contributed by Mrs. John W. Creveling Jr. (Judy Hoepfner).
2 ounces tequila
2 ounces simple syrup
2 ounces fresh lime juice
Mix the tequila, syrup and lime juice. The proportions may be varied to suite individual tastes. Serve over cracked ice.
Makes 1 serving.
From “Fiesta” by the Junior League of Corpus Christi