Taco Tuesday with Tequila: Contigo, El Fumador, El Macho

Hello again Taco Tuesday! Last month we paired chicken mole strawberry salad tacos with French wine. And yes Taco Tuesday is a new monthly feature here on Wine Predator!

So guess what we have up our sleeve this month just in time for Cinco de Mayo?

SQUASH TACOS with TEQUILA COCKTAILS!

I’d been feeling under the weather and something light but savory and satisfying sounded good, and my palate for wine was off so I suggested to Sue something that sounds a lot like comfort food to me: roasted squash in a taco with mango slices and homemade guacamole paired with tequila cocktails made with lots of fresh citrus juice.

And wow, did it fill the bill!

MENU

  • Appetizers:
    Brazilian Cheese Balls
    Chicken Flautas
    Chips, Salsa, Guacamole
    U Gottabee Nutz:
    Balsamic Habanero Pistachios
    Rosemary & Meyer Lemon Almonds

ENTREE

  • Roasted Squash tacos – street taco style
    –oven roasted kaboch and butternut squash
    –sliced fresh mango
    –guacamole
    –fresh diced tomatoes
    –fresh salsa
    –chicken apple sausage bits (bacon would be good)
    –crumbled Cotija cheese
    –Halter Ranch Blueberry Balsamic drizzle
    –generously sprinkled with Santa Barbara Fiesta Spice Blend
    –Balsamic Habanero Pistachios
    –Rosemary & Meyer Lemon Almonds
    –on mini-taco style tortillas

It’s fun to create a taco bar at home! Do it for your family or a gathering of friends. You could wow your guests with a choice of ground meat, fish, and squash as the base. Or put them on a chip for an appetizer!

These roasted squash tacos were not as heavy or fatty as meat tacos but were so flavorful and wonderful, especially with blackberry balsamic drizzled over the top of the tacos. This makes a nice light spring entree that gets rid of any squash you may have that’s been lying around all winter or pick some up at the store.

We made cocktails with two tequilas from Don Sebastiani and Sons, Contigo Tequila Plata and El Fumador Reposado,  “Lovely Rita” and the “Salted Margarita” both from the Wine Enthusiast May 2017 issue.

Instead of using Triple Sec, Gran Marnier, or Curacao, for the “Lovely Rita,” Sue found Thatcher’s Organic Artisan Blood Orange Liqueur which has a lighter, fresher, less syrupy flavor.

In another cocktail, we went more traditional and used fresh lime juice, Cointreau, and a garnish of lime and cilantro

In the third, we used lime juice, Ojai Pixie Juice, Blood Orange Liqueur with a garnish of lime.

And finally, Sue and Marshall loved the “Salted Margarita” which uses pickles! Recipe for that one below our reviews of the tequilas.

Contigo Tequila Plata – 

Clean, light, and easy to drink, almost untraceable in a fine juice cocktail, where you do not want the alcohol to overpower the flavors of your mixer. Pure like sterling silver with hints of lemon verbena, green notes, citrus. Sue has friends that love Patron Silver and she felt that this was so much smoother and easier to drink than the Patron — so I pulled out some to compare. Honestly, the Contigo has more flavor, more depth, and the finish is much more interesting.

You could drink this neat for a very pleasurable experience because there is so much more complexity in the nose and across the palate. The reason it is so palatable in mixed drinks is because the desirable finish and sweetness of the Contigo lends itself completely to the drink it is invited to. Contigo and Patron seem to be comparably priced. If  you want a longer finish or to introduce a little more complexity without going to a resposado or an anejo, then Contigo is the way to go.

Next time I want to try a Mayan Mule! I just bought myself a set of copper Mule mugs, and now I know what I want to put in them! I have a loaded Meyer Lemon tree, we always have good ginger beer around and four ounces or so should do it, plus a jigger of Contigo and I’m set! Sounds like a great refreshing camping drink and super easy too.

NOTE: This tequila was sent to me as a sample for my review consideration.

El Fumador – Resposado

This is a very smooth resposado, and  using this in a cocktail gives the drink depth without overpowering the drink with an alcoholic flavor. Marsh felt that the El Fumador had a much nicer flavor than the Contigo but I think it depends on what you like in a cocktail or what you’re in the mood for or what kind of cocktail you’re making. This one has rich, warm tones, like caramel and vanilla

So I would recommend two tequila cocktails –one with the Contigo and one with El Fumador!

NOTE: This tequila was sent to me as a sample for my review consideration.

El Macho – Tequila Anejo – 

We did not mix this tequila in our cocktails for the night. An anejo of this quality should sipped and enjoyed without the complications of mixers. In fact, I was showing the bottle to Marshall and he was so intrigued we actually sampled it a few weeks ago. He couldn’t get enough of it — and he’s not typically a spirits drinker!

This is a fine tequila: on the nose it is abundant with vanilla and caramel and baking spices, which makes you want to dive right in. In fact, this tequila is so refined and elegant, you just want to sip and enjoy the abundant flavors and complexities of this tequila which are revealed with each sip.

“El Macho tequila is a 50/50 blend of lowland and highland Blue Weber Agave grown in the acclaimed Jalisco appellation of Mexico. The range of altitudes from 4,200ft to 6,700ft provide diverse climates, resulting in distinct flavors in lowland agave (earthy, herbaceous) and high- land agave (sweet, citrus). When blended, they create an elegantly aged tequila of depth and complexity.”

Read more about Tequila and where and how it is grown here.

Enjoy this tequila like a fine wine or cognac, sipping, sniffing and enjoying all of the complexities of this beverage in the company of good friends and family on a warm spring or summer night.

NOTE: This tequila was sent to me as a sample for my review consideration.

Salted Margarita

1 1/2 oz blanco Tequila

1 oz dry Curacao

3/4 oz lime juice

1/2 oz pickle brine

Lime wheel or small pickle for garnish, with thick piece of orange peel

Combine all ingredients except garnishes in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into double Old Fashioned glassier fresh ice cubes. To garnish, spear lime wheel or pickle and orange peel with toothpick. Blanc on edge of glass.

Recipe from May 2017 issue of Wine Enthusiast

What should we do next month for Taco Tuesday? Subscribe and find out — but here’s a hint: I am leaning toward ROSE in time for Rose Day June 11! 

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