So last week was Memorial Day, the unofficial start of Summer. But what does that mean to you though? Are you scrambling to get in shape again with only about 2 weeks till the official start of summer? Did that last Monday in May mean it's time to break out the summer threads or go on the hunt for new ones? Perhaps Monday's revelry turned into Tuesday's realization that vacation time is near. Well whatever the new-ish season brought to mind, for me it made me think about how I'm going to kick back and relax. Or rather, when I'm going to find the time to kick back and relax. It always seems like Summer weekends are such a hot commodity that while, yes you certainly can relish in having a full roster of summer activities, there always seems to be not enough lazy days to just do nothing and have no agenda. Then before you know it, it's September again.
Forgive me for uttering the dreaded month of Summer's end, but what if you took the time to make the summer matter? In between all the planning for this, packing for that, sucking in that gut and searching for a spot on the beach, make time to create a lazy day of summer no matter where you are. For me, all you have to do is utter one word: cocktail. A breezy, easy, sometimes fruity, never weak and certifiably delicious cocktail helps me get through the days of trays of kumamoto oysters, fries and tabasco, reapplying sunscreen and napping seaside behind my sunglasses.
Since tequila has never done me wrong (intentionally), let me share a brand that I had the pleasure of sampling last Fall. Santera Tequila is a really honest tequila that thrives off the land. The agave that makes up the brand's Blanco, Reposado and Añejo varieties are made in Tequila, Jalisco which is in the heart of Mexico's Blue Weber agave growing region. The earthy full flavor comes from the volcanic soil from which the agave plants grow and together with the different ways in which each tequila is cultivated, a flavor profile that is distinctly Santera is created. The young Blanco is clean and fresh tasting with a smoothness that characterizes its unique filtration process. The Reposado is woodsy and a pop spicy with its being aged for up to 7 months in American oak barrels. The Anejo is seasoned and heavy but in a good way with its smoky bold flavor from being aged up to 16 months in those same characteristic oak barrels.
Santera is really a great tasting tequila with a distinct trio of varieties to make your on the rocks, blended, shaken and stirred Summer cocktails sing. Here are three great recipes with all of the Santera Tequila varieties:
Santera Margarita - Nothing shows off the classic margarita like a blanco tequila. Refreshing cold and a perfect blend of sweet and tart in a glass. Spicy salt rim optional.
2 parts Santera Blanco Tequila
3/4 parts Fresh Lemon and Lime juice
3/4 parts Agave Syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with a lime wheel.
Mustache Tickler - this cocktail has a bit of spice, so depending on your tolerance for heat, add as little or as much Sriracha Sauce as you like!
2 parts Santera Reposado Tequila
3/4 parts Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 parts Honey Syrup
1/4 parts Sriracha Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with a lemon wheel.
El Anticuado – Santera Añejo is aged up to 3 years, with a bit of extra añejo tequila added to the final blend to round out the full flavors of this spirit. Try it in your favorite whiskey cocktail like the one below or try it neat.
2 parts Santera Anejo Tequila
1 Sugar cube
5 drops Bittercube Bolivar Bitters
Large Orange Twist
In a rocks glass, muddle sugar cube and bitters. Add 1 large ice cube, tequila and stir until very cold. Express an orange twist over the glass and rim and garnish.
Santera Tequilas are available at your finer alcohol, wine and spirit retailers and as always please remember to drink responsibly.