Tequila is to Mexico as beer is to Germany, or wine is to France. These drinks are so deeply ingrained within their country of origin’s history and culture that it’s almost impossible to take the tradition away from the drink. But hey, no one’s stopping us to take an old favourite, throw caution to the wind and create an exciting new mix at home.
Tequila has garnered a reputation as a shot you take before finding yourself stumbling towards the nearest kebab shop in the wee hours of the morning. But at Touché Hombre, where tacos are aplenty and the tequila is free-flowing (with over 80 kinds on rotation at the bar), they dispel all preconceptions about tequila.
Johnnie Kai, manager at the neo-Mexican joint and tequila expert, says “tequila is so diverse and it’s a damn shame most people down that dirty old combo of questionable tequila, salt and lemon – you want to able to sip and savour tequila, not just slam it down.”
Kai, who appropriately describes tequila as “vivacious,” says tequila’s best friend is infusions and citrus-based cocktails. “Anything like grapefruits, lemons, limes or oranges really embraces the flavours in tequila, and it mixes well in classic cocktails as much as modern mixes,” he says.
Depending on where it is sourced from, tequila can have a whole range of flavour profiles, from tart and fruity to smoother caramel and vanilla profiles that go down easy. This is what makes tequila so user-friendly – there are so many kinds to choose from, you’re bound to find a kind that suits your palate.
Touché Hombre’s food matches the kind of tequila they serve. But, again attesting to tequila’s versatility, Kai says he’s also come across tequila used in cooking as a marinade, in fresh strawberry salsas, tequila hot wings, on sea scallops or pork... the list is endless.
Next time you feel like tequila, don’t drink the spirit in one gulp. Savour it; you might still end up stumbling to the kebab shop, but at least you’ll have taken a tastier journey there.
In honour of this overlooked beverage, here’s a quick recipe Kai whipped up for us. The best part is, you’ll probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry.
Shake all the ingredients together with ice and strain into a small glass over shaved ice. Garnish with a wedge of pink grapefruit.
233 Lonsdale Street
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