Archives for category: Tequila


We’ve been known to have large parties a few times a year.  The sound of dozens of liquor bottles hitting the recycling is our way of letting the neighbors know what they missed.  In other words, we go through a lot of booze when we entertain, and yep, it does get expensive.

We know that buying liquor for our house can be a bit intimidating, so if you’d like to bring a bottle next time you visit, here’s a quick guide to stuff we’ll always appreciate a bunch.  It’s also a pretty good cheat sheet for reliably good booze to bring anywhere.  Most of these should be too difficult to find locally.

Around $20:

In the $20-40 Range:

In the $40-60 Range:

Impractically Expensive Shit:

We’re grateful for anything you want to bring, of course!  If you want to be creative and pick up something not on this list, here are some types of liquor we generally avoid – they just don’t get used, and we don’t mix with them:

  • Vodka
  • Flavored vodka
  • Flavored anything, really
  • Canadian whiskey
  • Irish whiskey

Now back to your regularly scheduled booze news.


You know what goes well with tequila?  No, seriously.  Do you know what goes well with tequila?  Because it always gives me hassle.  Anything I make ends up looking suspiciously like a margarita variation, or I rely on orange and/or cinnamon – which still ends up looking suspiciously like a margarita variation.

This is something I’ve been messing around with, based partially on a punch that one of the fine folks at the Blur Ball made a few months ago.

Five Hundred



1.5 oz silver tequila
.75 oz St Germain
2 dashes lemon
2 oz dry sparkling wine
Serrano pepper

Stir the tequila, St Germain, lemon, and a very small slice of the Serrano pepper with ice.  Strain into a champagne flute, top with the bubbles, and garnish with a new little slice of pepper.

Those of you in Washington State or Colorado may want to try my variation on this one, affectionately dubbed the Five Hundred and Two.  Turns out that herbal tinctures do exceptionally well in this drink.  It’s got no illusions that it can mask stinky.  The tequila and pepper just happen to complement the difficult flavors one can encounter when sampling the native vegetation of Vancouver.

That’s what people tell me, anyway.  I certainly wouldn’t know.

Birthday joy:  getting taken out to Needle and Thread for my birthday.  Double birthday joy:  having Brian make a fuss and create something even more special than usual.  With $20-a-shot mezcal.

We’d gone out a few days ago to Tilth for another friend’s birthday.  Their cocktail menu featured something called an Edgar Martinez – basically, a Martinez made with mezcal instead of gin.  It warmed my Martinez-filled little heart, and I’m still working out the proportions for how to re-create it.  (Stand by.)  So I asked Brian what proportions he’d use.  That somehow ended in me getting an original concoction that proved both his mixology skills and the point of paying for good booze.

Brian mentioned something called a Oaxacan Old Fashioned, which sounded interesting, so I looked it up.  Hmm.  Just mezcal, reposado tequila, agave nectar, and Angostura bitters.  Sounds kind of like sweet tequila, to me.  But whatever.  I gave it a shot today.  And yes.  It was sweet tequila.  Bleah.

This is what I did to avoid throwing away good liquor.

The French Oaxacan

1.5 oz reposado tequila (I used Cazadores)
.5 oz mezcal (I used El Zacatecano, Edgar Martinez’s brand, cuz I’m cheap)
.5 oz Dolin blanc
.25 oz agave nectar
2 dashes Angostura bitters
one dash mole bitters
10 drops Bitters Old Men “Smoke Gets in Your Bitters”

Put everything but the smoke bitters in a shaker with ice and stir.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  Float a thin orange wheel on the top and drizzle the smoke bitters.  Think about how lucky you are that this didn’t end up tasting like brown crayons.

The smoke from the mezcal is still there, but I think next time I’d do 1:1 reposado to mezcal.  (The smoke bitters were an effort to ratchet it up; you could probably leave them out if you went even bigger with the mezcal.)  The Angostura gives it a bit of spice, and the Dolin blanc makes for a kind of sweet, floral finish, which oddly works.  The mole bitters carry the middle with a bit of creamy chocolate.  Or all this could be bullshit.  What do I know?  I wouldn’t throw it out of bed for eating crackers.

By the way, the Smoke Gets in Your Bitters is something new I found.  It’s mostly Lapsang Souchong tea.  Drizzling a few drops of this, brewed very strong, would probably work, too.

I’m still working on that Edgar Martinez, and I’ve also been fooling around with an Earl Grey tea-infused gin, courtesy of the wonderful Gregg at Knee High Stocking Company.  More when I recover from all this tequila.

I’m not a big fan of Hurricanes.  They’re rarely made well, and even when they are, they’re a bit sickly sweet for me.  One of our regualar bar-visiting friends is fond of them, but I’m always a bit ashamed when I make one for him.  The recipe I’ve been using is just too cloying, and I hadn’t played around with adjusting it yet.

I was thinking about this, and also thinking about my days hanging out with pro wrestlers.  Don’t ask.  I always liked the high-flying lucha libre style, and the Hurricanrana is still one of my favorite moves.  Watch it.  It’s really cool.  It’s Rey Mysterio Jr.  Go on.  I’ll wait.

What would a Mexican version of a Hurricane look like, then?  Like a Hurricanrana, of course.

2 oz Reposado tequila (I used Cazadores)
1 oz orange juice
1 oz lime juice
.5 oz passion fruit syrup (Trader Tiki’s)
.5 oz cinnamon syrup

Shake ’em like you mean it, then garnish with a half orange wheel in a cocktail glass.  I don’t think this would hold up to rocks.

The cinnamon, orange, and tequila are seriously well-matched.  Might try dusting the orange with a little cinnamon sometime just for aroma.  This one went on the house menu without delay.