Some people like wine tasting, and yet others take pleasure in the art of Mezcal & Tequila tasting! For National Tequila Day, July 24, 2014, Milagro Restaurant on Queen Street West invited a select few to sample this spirit made from the distillation of the fermented juice of the blue agave plant.
There are three categories of Tequila: Blanco Tequila is white and bottled after the second distillation, Reposado is amber and aged for at least two months in oak barrels, and finally Anejo is dark and aged in oak barrels for at least one year. Many varieties of Tequila are available at Milagro, after sipping three of the eight offered (yes I’m a tequila lightweight), my favourite was the Macramé Blanco, a smooth spirit with undertones of peach and pepper.
Of course most are familiar with the Margarita cocktail made simply with Grand Marinier and Lime. Milagro has a list of Margaritas made with Mezcal, a spirit mostly made in the Oaxaca region of Mexico and has a varied flavour profile distilled from the agave Americana plant.
Try the Margarita Oaxaquaeña mad with Tlacuache Joven Orgánico mescal, Grand Marnier, and lime.
Chef Arturo Anhalt shared his secret cocktail recipes that will keep us refreshed for the whole summer:
The “Santa Sabina” is made with 1oz Cazadores Añejo Tequila, 1/4 oz Martini Dry Vermouth, 1oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, quarter cup diced English cucumber, 1/4oz dark agave syrup, all blended in the blender high for 30 seconds, shaken well with ice in a steel cocktail shaker, then poured into a chilled martini/wide-rimmed glass with a strainer.
The “Rosa Canela” is made with 1oz Homitos Resposado Tequila, 1oz Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, 1/4oz Martini Red Vermouth, 1/2oz pomegranate juice, a whole cinnamon stick, all shaken with ice and poured into a chilled tumbler cocktail glass, garnished with a twist of orange rind and a cinnamon stick.
The “Viejo Jalisco” made with Tromba Reposado, Mole Bitters, and an Orange Twist looked good but at that point I had to stop drinking Tequila if I had any hope of making it to 7 pm! Fortunately, a Tuna Ceviche which was absolutely delicious arrived just in time: tuna, cucumber, capers, tomatillo, and red onion. The Taco Carnitas los Panchos made with pork confit, cilantro, onion, salsa de chile cascabel was even better than the ceviche! I would even go back simply for the fresh guacamole, salsa and deep fried tortilla chips they served as a starter!