In Cocktails Drinks Entertaining Food and Drink Mens Issues National Tequila Day Recipes Tequila Viva XXXII

¡Viva Verano!: Viva XXXII Tequila Review/Cocktails For National Tequila Day

Odd how the Summer season plays out.  The unofficial start of Summer is Memorial Day which is three weeks before the actual start of the Summer Solstice.  Then the Fourth of July creeps in a couple of weeks after the start of the Summer Solstice and then people get invigorated, schools let out and grilling becomes the norm.  It's almost as if Independence Day is the proverbial 'first-pitch' to the Solstice's 'team entering the dug-out'.  Then Labor Day slides in and the frantic energy to salvage the rest of the Summer begins as the realization that the start of Fall is only three weeks away.  Schools start again and, for those like me, the collective consciousness of the crisp weather and memories of the impending thrust back into a ten month long trek through academia meant the end of the Summer bliss.  

Now, since August is the only month on the calendar without a national holiday, with all the ins and outs aforementioned, I have a declaration to make.  Today is National Tequila Day and since tequila makes my Summer all the more better, I'm declaring this day as the unofficial kick-off to the dog days of Summer.  Only 1/3 of the Summer has passed already so technically an unofficial holiday is in order.  So rather than pick some debatable historical day of old, let's celebrate the wonderful spirit by toasting with a wonderful spirit.  Viva XXXII is a refreshing no-holds barred tequila.  Viva compels one to 'live' and this brand promotes disrupting the tradition of charging more for the bottle than what's inside it.  The handsome transparent bottle with the characteristic printed motif of the outside gives way to wonderfully crisp and bright-tasting tequilas.  However, the tasty tequila is the star. 

I recently had the distinct privilege to discover and enjoy Viva XXXII's Reposado and Joven tequilas.  Their Reposado is aged for six months in American oak barrels.  I found it to have a slightly sweet fragrance with a nutty and floral taste, but it was clean and smooth.  The Joven is an 100% blue agave blanco tequila that's carefully blended with their three year old añejo variety.  On my first sip I noticed spicy and slightly herbal notes balanced cleanly with a small citrusy finish for a bold overall taste.   These were really nicely cured tequilas whose well-done executions could be great over ice with fresh lime or used to create delicious cocktails.  So I came across two recipes that I simply had to try and recreate and since this is a newly self-appointed unofficial national holiday, I thought creating a cocktail of my own was in order as well.

VIVA Rip Tide by Seamore’s (390 Broome St, New York, NY 10013)
  • 2 oz. VIVA XXXII Reposado Tequila
  • 1 oz. Fresh Juiced Pineapple
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ oz. Agave Syrup (3:1 Agave to Water)
Directions: Place all ingredients into a shaker and give a short “dry” shake. Then, add crushed ice to shaker. Pour ice and cocktail into a highball glass and top with a float of Angostura Bitters and Pineapple Frond.

Pineapple is one of my all-time favorite summertime fruits and the addition of it here in this drink is just amazing as it creates a wonderful culinary story of tart citrus sweetness especially with the Viva XXXII Reposado.  This makes a refreshing Summer sipper and the presence of the bitters takes down the sweet for a good balanced cocktail.  This is definitely a cocktail that you can sip like juice and not realize you've finished it in one sitting.

VIVA Crisp made by Chris Kramer @celebratedspirits of The Larchmont (5750 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
  • 2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
  • 3 fresh slices of Cucumber
  • 2-3 fresh slices of Jalapeno (deseed to control spice factor)
  • ¾ oz. Agave Syrup
Directions: Place all in a tin and lightly muddle. Do not crush ingredients just press to express oils and flavors. Add ice and give a short and soft shake. Pour all into a Double Old-Fashioned Glass. Garnish with some something fresh and fragrant. We use a lime peel and cucumber wheel. But a large basil sprig is also recommended.

This drink was a yummy balance of sweet and garden freshness.  This drink shows the depth and success of the greens.  The spicy burst of the jalapeño together with the verdant refreshing pop of the cucumber were paired lovely with Viva XXXII's Joven tequila and its herbal and peppery notes were leveled out lovely by the sweet addition of the agave and the fragrant basil.  It was an invigorating drink that reminded me of a zesty cleansing Summer salad of fresh greens with sweet ingredients thrown in for depth.  This could only be successfully done with the bold Viva XXXII Joven. 

VIVA Sorrel Sipper made by David White Bronx, New York

  • 3 oz. VIVA XXXII Reposado Tequila
  • 1/4 cup of Sorrel (dried hibiscus leaves)
  • 1/4 ounce of fresh Ginger
  • 6-8 whole Cloves
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup of organic Sugar
  • fresh Lime wheel
  • fresh Orange peel

Directions:  Prepare the sorrel first.  Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the sorrel, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and orange and let it steep for 4 to 5 hours minimum in a container that is stain-resistant (the red sorrel leaves stain).  Strain into a glass canister and then add the sugar (add more sugar to adjust for desired sweetness level).  Place ice into shaker and enough sorrel for a serving, soft shake then pour into a Mason mug.  Zest a bit of the orange peel on top, then garnish the glass with a lime wheel and skewer and orange peel on a bamboo skewer.

I'm no bartender, but I must say my foray into this celebrated Caribbean staple drink known as bissap in West Africa was pretty good.  The longer you steep sorrel the deeper the flavor but the 4-5 hour window was a good one to allow for a great cocktail.  Sorrel in the islands is usually spiked with rum or sometimes red wine, but the cleanness of Viva XXXII Reposado was nice to get the satisfying potency of the tequila while enjoying the tart herbal and floral quality of the sorrel.  Adjusting the sugar amount really plays up or down the tartness and getting that right is key to make for a nice finish with the crisp smooth full notes of the reposado.

However you choose to acknowledge the official spirit of the unofficial holiday of the dog days of Summer, make sure you imbibe in the satisfying tequilas from Viva XXXII.  
Viva XXXII is available now at your finer wine and spirit retailers with 10% of net proceeds of all purchases going to support animal abuse prevention.  Enjoy your National Tequila Day and make sure you drink responsibly.  

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