Toasting the dog days of summer with Tequila, Mezcal and Cachaça
I’ve always found it exceedingly interesting how my tastes for certain spirits changes with the seasons. As much as I love a good barrel proof bourbon, you (almost) couldn’t pay me to drink one in the summer heat.
When it’s hot out, when the sun is shining and when it’s so humid it’s hard to tell whether I’m sweating or it’s just the soupy air sticking to my skin, I crave spirits that come from south of the border. (And no, it’s not just because we’re vacationing in Tulum right now.)
Leaving out rum for the moment, here are three spirits that pair great with any hot summer day (at the beach, at the pool, or anywhere really).
Tequila. A perennial favorite that often gets a bad rap by college kids doing one too many shots. Tequila comes in a few forms – silver, anejo and reposado. For me, nothing beats a good silver tequila over a large ice cube to sip on a hot day. Espolon is a great brand at a great price.
Mezcal. I’m fond of calling mezcal the scotch of Mexico. It’s got the same smoky flavor characteristic of many scotches, but is not so overpowering. It’s traditionally served straight up with some salt and orange slices on the side, but can also be enjoyed over a large ice cube or in cocktail form.
Cachaça. Cachaça is an interesting spirit made from sugarcane juice. It has typically only been used in tropical drinks – the caipirinha being the most popular – however, with the resurgence in interest in craft spirits, you can now find quite a few brands to choose from. I find it to have a little bit of a grappa flavor.