Regardless of what your drink of choice is, sometime this Saturday—which is Cinco de Mayo for those of you who don’t eagerly anticipate drinking holidays—you will knock back some tequila. It’ll go down one (or all) of these three ways: as a shot, in a cocktail or frozen margarita, or sipped in a nice glass.
Credit Steve Waters

The good news is that on Cinco de Mayo there’s no wrong way to drink tequila (except excessively). There are, however, methods to selecting and drinking tequila that will make your Cinco de Mayo experience far more enjoyable. Jason Silverman, bar manager at Agave Tequila Bar in New York City, is exceedingly familiar with those methods.
“The big problem I see, whether guys are ordering tequila at a bar or grabbing a bottle at the liquor store, is that they’re too influenced by what’s familiar. They choose tequila based on what’s popular, thinking that popularity equals quality. With tequila, that’s not always the case,” he says. “What matters first and foremost is that it’s made from 100% agave.”
“If the bottle doesn’t say 100% agave, that means it’s blended with fillers, artificial flavors, and colorings. Tequilas like that aren’t pure, don’t taste great, and will easily give you a wicked hangover.” And a smart move is to reach for a bottle that you’ve never seen before, says Silverman. “Nine times out of ten, the small, family owned distillery is going to be producing better tequila than the one whose tequila is plastered all over billboards.”
Here are Silverman’s favorite tequilas, and how you should drink each to fully enjoy the spirit and all its complex flavors—whether you’re shooting it, mixing it, or sipping it.
Shots and Cocktails
Tequilas for shots and cocktails are interchangeable–just remember to choose a 100% agave blanco/plata (white and un-aged) or reposado (golden color, aged in barrels for two months to a year). Even if you are dumping the booze into a blender with store-bought mix, pure tequila will render you a tastier drink and less of a headache mañana.
Shots: Did you know that the blue agave plants, the main ingredient in tequila, are hand tended and take seven to ten years to grow to maturity? Indeed, years of love are put into tequila—which is why you should shoot it in a way that appreciates that love. “Chilling tequila kills its flavor. As long as it’s a good tequila, it’ll be enjoyable to shoot neat, at room temperature, and you’ll experience a lot more of the drink’s flavors.” Read: Ditch the chilling, and the lime-and-salt theatrics.
Cocktail: A lot of drinking blogs will tell you to stay far, far away from pre-made margarita mixes. And yeah, there are better and more authentic ways to imbibe the spirit (see below). “But if there’s ever a day to drink slushy margarita mixes, it’s Cinco de Mayo—the point of the day is to have fun, not be pretentious,” says Silverman. So if you’re moved to blend a up a batch of frozen margaritas using mix, go ahead, but do it this way: “Add equal parts mix and tequila, and then cut it with water and add fresh lime. That way you’ll actually be able to taste the nuances of the tequila.” If you’d like to make something simpler, and more authentic, Silverman loves the following recipe.
Agave Nectar Margarita
2 oz. blanco tequila
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. agave nectar sweetener (find at your local health food store)
Mix the ingredients together in a Boston shaker with a cup of ice and shake like crazy. Strain into a cocktail glass. Having a party? Multiply the recipe times five in a pitcher, and stir in agave nectar slowly until thoroughly incorporated.
Silverman’s Favorites: Kah, Corazón, Partida, Oro Azul, Tributo
Sipping
Choose 100% agave añejo tequilas (aged for one to eight years)
Añejo tequilas are aged for a good reason: Time in a barrel makes them smoother, subtler, and more complex. It also ups their price tag—so be sure to savor añejos. “Sip añejo at room temperature,” says Silverman. “Adding ice just dilutes them and masks their true flavors.” You should pick up notes of agave, chocolate, caramel, burnt honey, yam, vanilla, or even tobacco or leather. If you foresee yourself sipping tequilas well into the future (or if you’re at a decent tequila bar) drink them in a Reidel tequila glass—it’ll help you better detect the añejo’s intricacies.
Silverman’s Favorites: Tributo Añejo, Casa Noble Añejo, t1 Tequila Añejo, Siete Leguas Tequila Añejo, Partida Añejo

Source.

via Noobsters Forums http://www.noobsters.org/showthread.php?68961-How-To-Drink-Tequila-This-Cinco-de-Mayo&goto=newpost

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