Wow, I think my calendar did stop since my last post because here it is almost Cinco de Mayo. ..
Here is a quick quiz. When hankering for a drink on Cinco de Mayo, do you:
- Avoid tequila because of “that one time when I…” ? (then you really should see my past post on the subject).
- Embrace the tequila, but drown the taste with artificial sweet and sour mix, or worse, one of those pre-mixed, pre-frozen tubs of margaritas (“Just Add Tequila!”).
- Say the hell with it, and grab some Mexican beer instead?
I’m not a counselor, so I won’t be diagnosing where you fall on the scale of tequila-avoiders. Nor can I relate to your plight because I love tequila. Nonetheless, I do have a solution. I call it Herbaceous*, but that’s partly for lack of inspiration (do you know, naming cocktails is often harder than creating them?).
Herbaceous* mixes a couple of tasty herbs while cutting the tequila with vodka. I can’t even remember why I did this initially – did I run out of tequila? – but it works. Red and my friend PRS, both tequila shunners, like this pitcher drink a lot. The taste of tequila is still present, but softer, and pairs seamlessly with the flavors of cilantro and lemon-thyme. The overall ratio of booze to non-booze makes it light and refreshing.
Herbaceous*Bunch of cilantro (approx. 12 stems) 6 oz reposado tequila 6 oz vodka 6 oz fresh lime juice 11 oz lemon-thyme syrup 24 oz club soda
Muddle the cilantro with lime juice in a pitcher. Add lemon-thyme syrup, tequila and vodka and stir well. Refrigerate for one hour, and then gently stir in chilled club soda. Serve on the rocks in a short bucket glass. The recipe above serves 12.
Lemon-Thyme Syrup1 c. sugar 1 c. water 4-5 stems of lemon-thyme (see photo)
Boil sugar and water together until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and drop in rinsed lemon-thyme stems. Cover and steep for 30 minutes, then strain out solids and cool liquid. Makes 12 ounces. I recommend doubling this recipe so that you have the syrup ready for an ice tea sweetener – I keep this on hand year-round.
I brought this creation to two functions last summer and it disappeared quickly. Enjoy it with friends at a Cinco de Mayo gathering, and keep the recipe on hand for summer days. ¡Salud!
*Seriously, do you have another suggestion?