Remember that you heard it here first! Tequila IS the next vodka! All kidding aside, I love tequila and I have to say that I have found it a wonderful stand in for vodka or rum on many an occasion. The white/silver version or "blanco" or "Plata" as they are commonly referred has a wonderful tequila flavor without much of the smoky bite that you may have come to associate with more aged versions. I even like to drink them straight, just over rocks with a few wedges of lime for a cool and refreshing drink. Mixed with one of the new "boutique" tonic waters, a silver tequila creates a icy version of a vodka and tonic that's different and perhaps a bit more interesting than it's predecessor!
Many of you are now familiar with the Mojito, that classic blend of mint, rum and sugar that was supposedly one of Ernest Hemingway's favorite summer drinks! Here's one that I've made with Patron Silver Tequila and I've substituted light agave nectar for the more traditional sugar syrup. I love agave nectar as a sweetener in a mixed drink primarily because I prefer it's flavor to simple sugar syrup and it has the benefit of already being in a liquid state. Also, agave nectar is a sweetener with a low glycemic load so it sweetens your cocktail without packing the one /two punch that sugar adds to alcohol. This translates to more enjoyment and less of an accidental hangover in the morning! You can find agave nectar in most grocery store but look first in Whole Foods for the best selection of natural and organic ones. Accept no substitutes because with organic you really CAN taste the difference!
To make one Tequila Mojito you will need:
A tall glass
About a dozen plus leaves of fresh spearmint ( I love alot of mint so use as much as you want!)
A large jigger full of Patron Silver Tequila ( You can use any of the Blanco Tequilas for this, but I love the Silver Patron best!)
Two Tablespoons of FRESH lime juice
Agave nectar to taste
Take the fresh mint and rub it along the rim of the glass and then tear the leaves dropping them into the bottom of the glass. With back of a long spoon, muddle a fancy word for gently crush!) the mint with the agave nectar. For this I'd start without about two tablespoons of the nectar. You can always add more. Fill the glass with crushed ice, add the lime juice , Tequila and give a stir. Some people add a bit of soda to their mojito's, I do not. I prefer to sip this drink and the soda dilutes the flavors in a way that is unpleasant to me. Try a bit of soda if you like and let me know what your preference is. Add one very tall mint sprig to the glass for garnish, find a comfy hammock and enjoy!