Don Julio Cucumber Mint Margarita
While tequila may be Mexico’s national spirit, we’re thrilled to see its popularity recently skyrocket in the United States. From Margaritas and Bloody Marias to Palomas and Sunrises, tequila cocktails are being served up with regularity at thousands of bars, restaurants and homes across the country.
In honor of National Tequila Day on July 24th, Don Julio recommends celebrating this Mexican elixir with a refreshing (and spicy!) twist on the classic Margarita.
Cucumber Mint Margarita
Makes 2 servings
1/2 cup chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup key lime juice
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup Don Julio Tequila Blanco
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce
6 ice cubes
Salt to rim glasses
2 cucumber slices
Blend ingredients in a blender for one minute. Divide between two 6-ounce salt-rimmed glasses. Garnish each glass with a cucumber slice.
About Tequila Don Julio Blanco:
Tequila Don Julio Blanco is the base from which all of our other variants are derived. Commonly referred to as “silver” tequila, its crisp agave flavor and hints of citrus make it an essential component to a variety of innovative drinks including margaritas. It can also be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
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The Ohio Valley’s schizophrenic spring weather has had an unexpectedly positive effect on my home liquor cabinet. Since it’s been too warm for the furnace and too cool for the air conditioner, the house temp has averaged about 75 degrees for two months. And one of the most notable beneficiaries is Tequila Penasco Anejo (the bourbon has benefitted, too!).
Sipped somewhere in the mid-70s one evening, the blooming butterscotch and cooked agave nose was brilliant. A good bit more swishing elevated vegetal notes, hints of mint, lemongrass, and aguamiel. Since temperature raises alcohol volatility, I remained wary of vapor burn. Still, walking that fine line between elegant fragrance and fire was worth it.
The flavor of this spirit, rested 14 to 16 months in oak, was bright and brilliant, launching with all the predictable barrel notes of vanilla and light caramel, even touches of chocolate. Held in the mouth, the añejo delivered lush floral notes backed by cinnamon and some straw. After swallowing, that rumor of chocolate reappeared and then dissolved into bruléed sugar, butterscotch and toffee. Given a brief nap in the glass—and trust me, it’s hard to put down—this expression offered up orange peel, wood and again butterscotch, joined by coriander.
Some spirits lose their body when warm, but not this one. It was full and coated both glass and mouth evenly, always generous and soft to every surface. Vigorous swirling of the golden expression yielded numerous narrow legs lined up and evenly spaced as the Rockettes in action. Think that’s a bit much? Have a look for yourself. (Maybe it was the glass?)
Sadly, Tequila Peñasco did not supply any press information, such as what its products cost. A quick web search revealed only the brand’s notoriously wonky website and expired liquor store discount offers for the añejo, but no details. That’s unfortunate given that I’d like to know how it stacks up (at the cash register) against its peers.
Suffice it to say, though, if you find it, get it if it fits your budget. It’s a straight-up fine sipper.
Posted in Reviews, Stephen Coomes
Tagged agave, aguamiel, anejo, bourbon, bruleed sugar, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, coriander, floral, legs, lemongrass, mint, orange peel, Peñasco, Rockettes, steve coomes, straw, tequila, tequila review, toffee, vanilla, vegetal