Ancient Aztec Warriors, wielding weapons of obsidian, outfitted in armour of animal skins. Spanish Conquistadores, controlled by kings and queens to capture and colonise Mesoamerican Men in search of gold and glory. Revolutionary’s wrapped in bandoliers of bullets and sun-shading sombreros, seizing sizable haciendas from Henchmen and despicable Dons to protect the proletariat.
All have one thing in common, apart from this writer’s clear love of alliteration; at the end of a campaign, they would wind down in the evening with a beverage made from the heart of an ancient plant that takes 12 years to grow from seedling to harvest. I’m talking about the Agave Azul, or Blue Agave which from its sap is made that most loved eau de vie Mezcal, and the Champagne of all Mezcal is Tequila.
The Mesoamericans had a beverage made from the agave sap, milky white and sour named Pulque, enjoyed by only the elite classes and had special religious significance in Mexican myth and folk law. Legend has it that a lightning bolt struck a field of Agave which opened up the plant and cooked it, exposing the sticky sweet sap, and giving it the name “The Elixir of the Gods“. The Conquistadores fondness for distilled spirits forced them to experiment with the local ingredients when their rations of brandy ran out and eventually evolved into the tipple we have today.
The agave “Piña”, so called as it resembles a pineapple can weigh up to 50kg, is cut and roasted before being crushed and fermented. The resulting mash is then twice distilled and can be bottled immediately for Tequila Blanco, matured in oak barrels for a minimum of 2 months for Resposado or aged for a minimum of 1 year for that most loved of golden tequilas Añejo.
Licked, sipped and sucked the world over this sexy, salty spirit is a favourite in bars, clubs and frat houses with shots taken with lemon and spice from shakers or the necks of nubile hostesses. A must for the home bar of any would be Macho Muchacho!
Macho Muchacho Margarita Mix:
The Margarita is often made with either lemons or limes, I like to use a 50/50 ratio of lemon and lime juice and never buy pre-squeezed lemon or lime juice; freshly squeezed only! Always use the best Resposado tequila you can afford. For this recipe I chose Espolón, it’s awesome and not overly expensive.
Sweet and Sour Mix:
2 cups raw sugar
3 cups water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
15ml triple sec
60ml sweet and sour mix (ingredients above)
Salt to serve
Sweet and Sour Mix
- In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to the boil and pour in 2 cups of sugar. When dissolved turn down the heat and add 2tbsp of juice. Simmer for 20 minutes. This will convert the sucrose to sucrose and fructose. Allow to cool. After the simmer there should be about 2cups of sugar syrup remaining.
- In a 1ltr bottle, pour the remaining juices and sugar syrup. Cap and shake well to mix.
- In a cocktail shaker or Mason jar pour 30mls of tequila, 15ml of triple sec and 60 ml of sweet and sour mix. Add ice and shake until frosty. Strain into a chilled, salt rimmed glass and enjoy with a shot of tequila and wedge of lime on the side.