Tequila. Obviously 3 letters too long to be considered a four letter word, but I’m sure many of you will swear in consternation as images of frat parties or spring break are conjured up from the depths of long blocked out memories of this south of the border beverage.
Now there are those who believe the seemingly prevailing opinion that there are no truly good beers that come from the country that gave us Tequila, but that in no way means that beer and tequila cannot enjoy a relationship!
Now, with Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, many of you will be flocking to your local Mexican restaurant to enjoy whimsical sounds provided by Mariachi bands, or simply to have a Margarita made in your mouth, depending on what your idea of fun is!
In the state of Puebla in Mexico, this day is celebrated as the Mexican’s army unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day.
So, with the brief history lesson out of the way, it is time to Fiesta!
The beer cocktail I selected for this holiday did not actually call for Mexican beer. The beverage, known as Here Comes the Sun, was crafted by Mixologist Jill Schulster from New York.
Here are the important bits at the end of this beer business!
1½ ounces Kah Blanco tequila (In a sweet Dia de los Muertos skull bottle!)
1 dash Angostura bitters
2½ ounces orange juice
2 teaspoons maraschino juice
1 bottle Double Take IPA (brewed in New York)
For the Cocktail:
In a shaker, combine the tequila, bitters, orange juice, and ice. Shake and strain into a pilsner glass filled with ice. Add maraschino juice, top with the beer, and put on your salsa dancing shoes!
The finished product was like an old familiar friend. It was akin to the classic Tequila Sunrise, yet rescued from your grandma’s cocktail recipe book and brought into the 21st century. With the carbonation of the beer breathing new life into a familiar beverage, the fiesta was under way!
The herbaceous-ness of the Tequila combined with the hoppy-ness of the IPA is very present on the initial sip, like a flavor hammer hitting your taste buds! But don’t be a scared little piñata; the cavalry arrives in the form of the orange, and maraschino juices, mellowing out the beverage which culminates in a rich, complex blend of flavors to enjoy the holiday with!
Now most people know that if you’re going to shake your maracas with the best of them, you need to have something to soak up the good times with. Considering this beverage had its fair share of ingredients, I went with an incredibly simple snack to go with this cocktail.
Quesadillas are a simple, delicious way to go, especially with the right ingredients! Now I’m not gonna bag on you if you like yours with Kraft Singles and Spam, but give this recipe a shot and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
The ingredients are simple; tortillas, Monterrey jack cheese, and Al Pastor! Now, Al Pastor is spiced pork that can be found in the meat section of a Mexican grocery store; it is bright red in color due to the annatto paste marinade and is absolutely phenomenal on a quesadilla!
So, whether this holiday is culturally relevant to you or you simply enjoy the drink, the food, and the celebrations of our southern neighbors; enjoy this cocktail that blends Mexican influence with American craft beer as you imbibe this Cinco de Mayo!