Today, we are going to sample(who are we kidding, drink), five tequila drinks in honor of the most important of holidays: CINCO DE MAYO.
Hola Amigos, and welcome to Kitchen Catastrophes. I’m your author, Jon O’Guin, and I’d like to introduce you to Kitchen Catastrophe’s Alcohol Editor: JJ Hernandez. Long time readers will remember him suffering in the SAUCY MINX and FIGGY PUDDING posts back in the before times.
Photographed here continuing to suffer.
This last weekend, our friend and site logo designer Joe Seguin came to town, to make me pay him the $70 I owe him. Over the course of three days, we drank, and drank, and gamed, and drank, and gamed, and drank, until he left, and I still had my $70. EAT IT, SQUARE. Anywho, after Joe left, JJ and I went out to drink and game. The most terrifying part of this paragraph is that it is the literal sequential progression of the weekend. So, of course, I decided to spend Sunday in quiet contemplation, and maybe start a juice cleanse. Nah, JJ and I decided to drink.
I need the Red Bull for the energy to keep drinking.
Because we knew you, the American people, needed help. Cinco de Mayo is coming fast, and we all love an excuse to drink tequila. And luckily, ANOTHER of my friends had recently bought me tequila in Mexico. (My alcoholism is a team effort.) So JJ and I got together with a crap ton of mixers, fruit, and alcohols, to bring you all 5 cocktails for your drinking pleasure. With reviews from Myself, JJ, and my parents!
El Perro Salado
The first drink we made is easily the simplest, and was a concession from me to JJ. See, JJ and I have very different preferences when it comes to taste. JJ likes bitter things and spicy things. I…like basically everything EXCEPT bitter. This is mostly noted in our reactions to sweetness: JJ frequently uses the phrase “tastes like candy” as an insult. I on the other hand am perfectly fine with most sweets, though I agree there are limits.
So the Salty Dog is grapefruit juice and either vodka or Gin with a salted rim. That last step is important, because the Salty Dog is a remake of a different cocktail called “The Greyhound”, where the salted rim is the ONLY addition. The Perro Salado is just the Salty Dog with Tequila and Tonic Water.
Apparently it was called a Greyhound because it was sold at Greyhound stations. Man, the early 1900’s were crazy.
Now, I’ll give the drink this: I did not mind it in the least. I’d call it “bracing”, and I could definitely see its use as a cold drink on a hot tropical day. JJ and my father were both fans, and my mother liked it as well. Though everyone but me agreed the salted rim was a step too far. I’d say this was the second most liked drink of the bunch.
1 cup tequila
2 cups grapefruit juice
2 cups Tonic
Mix Tequila and grapefruit juice in pitcher. Add copious ice. Top with Tonic water, stir, and pour into glasses with salted rims.
Title Jon got the day off for suffering the collective hangover of four straight days of drinking.
Now, Palomas are a classic Spanish cocktail. Made of tequila and Grapefruit soda like Fresca or Squirt, The Paloma, whose name means ‘Dove’ is a nice refreshing drink for sitting out in a Castillan square, in the April heat, sipping gently between bites of Tapas. Paloma Brava, which mean, literally, “Brave Dove”, and colloquially, “Rock Pigeon”, is a touch more fancy.
But only a touch. Don’t get uppity, Pigeon.
Yeah, it’s still Tequila and Grapefruit soda, with some lime, orange, and grapefruit juice added. Taste wise, it’s sweeter than most of the other cocktails on our list, and this lead to some relatively predictable results in reviews. In my opinion, it was a perfectly serviceable drink, though probably not one I’d drink at a bar. It felt more like a Brunch drink to me. Something sweet and light to start the day. It was JJ’s least favorite drink. My father felt it was likely something my mother would like. My mother’s reaction was mixed, she was initially put off by the tart nature of the drink, but wasn’t against it overall.
1.5 oz Tequila
.75 oz lime juice
2 oz orange juice
6 oz grapefruit juice
4 oz grapefruit soda
- Combine Tequila, lime juice, orange juice, and grapefruit juice in large mug, stir gently. Top with Grapefruit soda.
El Diablo Glotón
This specific drink is an adaptation of a more popular drink, because nowhere in Port Orchard was carrying crème de cassis, which is the traditional liqueur for an “El Diablo”. So instead of the red-currant based liqueur, we used Loganberry liqueur, and I renamed the drink to “The Wolverine Devil”, because I rarely miss a chance to be a nerd on multiple levels.
I apparently do, however, miss the chance to take pictures of the finished drink. Goddamn it.
The drink was probably the coolest LOOKING of all the drinks, though you’ll have to take my word for it. Interestingly, it was also generally the best received. Everyone at least “liked” it, with JJ announcing he was “really digging this”, and my dad giving it a firm “That’s pretty nice.”
3 oz tequila
1.5 oz lime juice
1.5 oz loganberry liqueur
- Combine tequila, lime juice, and loganberry liqueur in glass. Fill with ice, and top with ginger beer.
Now, this post, like your average college stay, wouldn’t be complete without some experimentation. So the next two drinks we present are going to be original productions by JJ and myself.
JJ: Tequila Inquisition
JJ’s drink started with a simple idea: If Mojitos are basically just margaritas with mint and rum, what herbs could be used to reshape tequila drinks? JJ instantly leapt on my most ancient of enemies, Rosemary. What followed was rough a third of a tequila bottle used to eventually formulate the following concoction.
And this one we didn’t take pictures of the ingredients. Jesus, it’s like alcohol limits your memory or something.
Humorously, there was some confusion in regards to my family herb garden, and several of the trials ended up using lavender instead of rosemary.
Now, at this juncture, I have to confess that the rigor of our experimentation and review process was declining. By now we had been mixing and drinking tequila for roughly 3 hours, and each drink had at LEAST one shot of straight tequila in it. As such, only JJ and I, to my knowledge, tried his freshly created Tequila Inquisition (“For those who need to confess”). JJ’s response was, and I quote: “Maybe I’m biased, but this is my favorite.” Personally, I was pretty okay with it, though I warn you, I’d call this a sipping drink by necessity. It is INTENSELY flavored.
3 oz tequila
.75 oz tonic
2 sprigs (or roughly 10 leaves) Rosemary
.75 oz simple syrup
1.5 oz lime juice
A splash of aged balsamic vinegar
- Muddle the rosemary in the tequila and tonic. Then add syrup, lime juice, vinegar, and ice, and stir to combine.
Jon: Pampas Grass Cutter
I will make some small boast in regards to this drink: JJ spent 1/3 of a bottle working his recipe. I sat down, stared at the ingredients for a minute, and made mine in one shot. My premise arose from a similarly simple goal: Continue the trend of cool and refreshing, with things I like. So I knew I wanted to top off with cucumber soda, And I wanted midori for the color. So I made a sweet green drink.
I named it the Pampas Grass Cutter, because I hate Pampas Grass. It feels like spiders.
JJ’s reaction was a sneer and a muttered “You son of a bitch, what have you done?” when he smelled the drink (It is definitely sweet, and smells like it as well.) His follow up was surprising given that starting point: “You could sell this. I can see people who aren’t me buying this at a bar. Toss in some vodka and gin, you’ve got a trash-can competitor.” Personally, I agree the pear nectar takes it a touch too far in sweetness, but Pear Juice is a pain in the ass to find, (and is apparently even thicker than the nectar) so I called it a win.
3 oz reposado tequila
1.5 oz Lime juice
1.5 oz Midori
1.5 oz Pear Nectar
- Fill glass 1/3 with ice. Add tequila, lime juice, midori, and pear nectar., stir to combine. Top with Cucumber soda.
So those are five fun cocktails for your potential CInco de Mayo parties, or really any party. So enjoy yourself this summer, and cut back with some Kitchen Catastrophes cocktails.
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As always, thanks for reading, and have fun out there!
NEXT TIME: I DIDN’T PLAN THAT FAR AHEAD. PROBABLY SOMETHING HEALTHIER THAN USUAL, TO MAKE UP FOR THE STUFF WE’RE GOING TO MAKE THIS SUMMER.