Spring has finally arrived just this weekend in Minneapolis, and I couldn’t be happier. Outdoor running weather and dry, green grass are here! What a great way to celebrate Earth Day than enjoying Mother Nature.
I’ve been craving the light, refreshing and awakening flavors of spring. So when I had the opportunity to sample Casa Noble Tequila, certified organic in 2009 (perfect for Earth Day), I knew I wanted to make drinks that would be perfect for a spring awakening and earthy flavors.
To be honest, my experience with tequila is—like many people, I’m guessing—limited to margaritas. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But I wanted to move beyond that.
So I cracked open the añejo. And I smelled right away that not all tequilas are created equal. Not that this is a shock, as I’ve sampled rum on a tour, tasting different aged rums, and enjoy aged whiskey. But I’ve never known enough about tequila to plop down money for a quality bottle. So I decided this would be a sipping tequila. I didn’t want to mix it with anything to hide the flavor. It is smooth and caramel-y, yet had a smooth, distinctly tequila taste. But it is tequila, after all, so I sipped it along a homemade guacamole and blue corn chips.
For the reposado, the middle of the three tequilas, I wanted to balance the smooth and citrus with my take on a springtime margarita. I made a simple syrup (cut two stalks rhubarb into 1-inch long pieces and simmered them in one cup sugar and one cup water for about 20 minutes until it was a syrup) and rimmed the glass with the syrup, then dipped it in sugar. For the drink, mix 2 ounces each syrup and tequila in a glass with ice. Top with a splash of club soda. So refreshing and a simple rhubarb cocktail that is both. sweet and tart.
I wanted to bring out the citrus of the unaged crystal tequila, so I featured lemon and mint—kind of a tequila mojito—in this one, with great results. The type of tequila I’m used to drinking worked well. I juiced a lemon into a glass, added almost a teaspoon of sugar (more or less to taste and cut the tartness), tore up about four mint leaves into large pieces, put in ice and poured 2 ounces of tequila and stirred.
All in all, I got to experience different types of cocktails and celebrate spring. What are your favorite tequila drinks, or what great spring drinks have you been enjoying?
Disclaimer: Casa Noble provided me with tequila to sample and a gift card from Whole Foods to buy ingredients, but all opinions and recipes in this post are my own.