Mexican Hot . . Or Not! – A Drinking (Wo)Man’s Guide To Tequila

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Camille Collins 


Nectar of the Gods!

Bacchus never had it so good!

When I think of tequila, the following things come to mind:

  • a really quaint, clean little Mexican town about 90 minutes from my home;
  • clear liquid in little shot glasses beside red liquid in shot glasses along with a plate of lemon and salt;
  • a desire to have a bullet speedily implanted in my brain the day after I drink too much.

But the holidays are upon us and with the season come the parties, which in Mexico means plenty of tequila.

Mexico Connect offers you some good articles on tequila, both the town and the beverage, which I recommend you take the time to read. If, however, you’re on a time budget let this be your quick guide to tequila – the beverage.

Some thoughts to ponder as you are wandering the aisles of your local liquor barn are that good tequila is expensive, bad tequila can kill you (or at least make you wish you were dead), however, both have a place in your home liquor cabinet.

There are two kinds of tequila – expensive and not so expensive.

Expensive tequila is not meant to be wasted on a party of 100 who want nothing more than to get smashed, it is meant for a party of 3 or 4 close friends who wish to enjoy a good drink. My personal preference runs toward Don Julio Silver from Tres Magueyes.

I always maintain two really great bottles of tequila at home – one white and one gold. This tequila is what I serve to my Mexican friends because they normally drink it straight, accompanied by some “sangrita”, lemon and salt. They say real men drink white tequila because its flavor is usually harsher, less refined than that of its half brother gold tequila. I’m a woman, so what does that say about me?

I also always have a bottle or two of what I call ” Not So Expensive” or “Margarita Grade” tequila for when my non-Mexican friends arrive. These are the folks that like margaritas, poppers, sunrises and other such sundry tequila peculiarities.

Not so expensive tequila can be wasted on as many people as your budget can afford since you WILL want to mix it with other ingredients to hide its slightly unpleasant flavor. This is why margaritas, sunrises and poppers were invented in the first place.

The following recipes have been tested by the Mexico Connect staff however, we recommend you try them for yourself at your own risk as we will NOT be held liable for any after effects.

These recipes are for the “Margarita Grade” brands of tequila, so put your Don Julio back in the cabinet and pull out some “Not So Expensive” tequila instead and have some fun!!!

The Day After

There is NOTHING like tequila.

There is also NOTHING like the hangover you get the next day if you:

  • a) don’t know how to imbibe
  • properly and/or b) drank too darn much of the stuff.

Expensive tequila rarely gives me a hangover for two reasons:

  • I don’t tend to drink as much at one sitting and,
  • It has fewer impurities than the not so expensive kind.

The tequila hangovers I have suffered at my own hand could have been avoided by following a few simple rules:

  • Avoid mixed drinks that involve tequila. Never has tequila given me a hangover when I have chosen to drink it in the traditional manner – straight, sangrita, lemon and salt on the side. When I have mixed it it’s been another story.
  • Never drink too much. Although it might take a few minutes to kick in, tequila does create the same effect as any other alcoholic beverage.
  • Never mix tequila, or any other alcoholic beverage for that matter, with any other kind of alcohol. Start and finish with tequila.
  • Never drink on an empty stomach. Try to eat something beforehand and continue during your imbibing. Stick to things with lots of acid in them – jicama and cucumber with lemon, salt and chile; pickled pigs feet or pickled pig skin tostadas; any vegetable “encurtido” or in “escabeche” ( I recommend mushrooms) and even peanuts or potato chips with lemon, salt and chile sprinkled on top.

If you did not heed these warnings then there is nothing left to do but suffer through until you can locate any of the following remedies:

  • A cold beer and two aspirins (particularly good if you are planning on doing it all over again, this gives you a head start)
  • A liter of orange juice
  • One raw egg, beaten, in one cup of orange juice with two aspirins
  • One raw egg, beaten, with 12 oz. of coke (considered by some to be THE best way to start the day), with 2 aspirins
  • Menudo (Cow tripe – read stomach – in broth served with a spicy salsa on the side. Use lots of hot chile sauce)
  • Birria (Mexican, well-seasoned, pit barbecued goat – beef or veal will not do – , served with a really spicy salsa, see above.)
  • Carne con Chile (Pork in a REALLY spicy – I mean burn your lips off – salsa)
  • Tortas Ahogadas (Only found in the central plains of Mexico, a “salty” bolillo with the insides scooped out, filled with big hunks of pork, placed in a plastic bag and drenched with a tomato salsa (not spicy) and then a REALLY hot, see above, salsa.)

These last four will not really cure you, they simply shift the pain to another part of your body so you forget about your head for a while.

After any of these remedies, please drink lots of water and take a nice long nap – tomorrow will be better.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Camille Collins © 2008
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