Q&A with Temazcal Tequila Cantina’s General Manager
Q: It's National Tequila Day on July 24th, why is tequila worth celebrating?
A: As North America’s first distilled drink, and its first commercially produced alcohol, tequila has quite the history which dates back to the 1500's. It was a symbol of national pride during the revolution. The word Tequila is said to have various meanings – among them “a place to pay tribute.”
Q: Temazcal has the largest selection of tequila available on the North Shore; how do you help guests choose what to drink?
A: We always start by asking our guests what they prefer: sweet, hot, sour, savory, etc. Once we know their preference, we can suggest the cocktail. For example, a sweeter flavor would be our Primo (El Espolon silver tequila, 03 Premium Orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, Grand Marnier float) and for those looking for a spicy kick we would recommend our En Fuego (Jalapeño infused Tequila, Patron Citronge, fresh lime juice, blood orange puree, agave nectar).
Q: What are some of your favorite tequilas to drink?
A: I would say my favorites are Anejo tequilas. The flavor from the oak barrel from which it is aged in takes on a profile of fine scotches, which I enjoy.
Q: People are often confused by tequila's many types: Silver/Blanco, Reposado and Anejo. What are your imbibing tips?
A: Silver/Blanco tequilas are clear with no aging and are great for mixing margaritas. Reposado, or “rested” tequilas are aged for at least two months and blend well in margaritas but are also nice to sip on their own. Anejos are aged in wooden barrels for at least 12 months; some even up to 4 years. Anejos are primarily sipping tequilas and they take on the flavor of the oak barrels.
Q: What makes the perfect margarita? A: The perfect margarita starts with 100% Blue Agave Tequila (not a blend or “mixto”), and is mixed with fresh juices and purées and agave nectar; a margarita should always be shaken well before being served.
Q: Why is 100% blue agave important?
A: Tequila is made out of blue agave. Several factors come into play in the process of creating tequila, but at the very least, for a tequila to be great, it must be all agave, with no additives. Blue agave grows in a rich volcanic soil producing a rich nectar which is distilled into the most flavorful tequilas. If a tequila is not 100% blue agave, than it is a “mixto” which has added sugar, caramel and/or almond essence to make them appear gold - and aged. Even with these additives, a “mixto” is still considered a tequila.
Q: Are tequila shots ever going to go out of style? Lime and salt - yes or no?
A: While many have learned to put away the salt shaker and limes in order to actually savor the tequila sip by sip, I don’t believe tequila shots will ever go out of style – it’s more of a social thing. Our guests love to get in groups with tequila shots, limes and salt. The response is always the same with our tequila choices: "wow!”
Q: Temazcal uses a different tequila for every cocktail on the menu. What was the thinking behind that and what are some of your more unique cocktail selections?
A: At Temazcal, we hand pick each tequila to compliment the fresh juices and purées we use. The combination makes the prefect blend of tequila to flavorings. One of our more unique cocktail selections is our “Picante” which is made with Lunazul Reposado tequila, Patron Citronge, blood orange and passion fruit puree, fresh lime juice and habanero infused simple syrup.
Below is the recipe for Temazcal’s Tradicional Margarita, one of the restaurant’s most popular cocktails, to make at home:
Tradicional Margarita Recipe
1 ¼ oz. Reposado tequila
¼ oz. premium orange liqueur
¾ oz. fresh lime juice ¼ oz. agave nectar 2 fresh lime wedges
In a glass squeeze 2 limes wedges and add agave nectar (muddle). Then add the rest of the ingredients. Transfer into a shaker filled with ice and shake. Pour into margarita glass. Garnish with a lime and serve with or without salt!
For more information visit, temazcalcantina.com.