Ever try licking cinnamon before shooting an ounce of tequila? How about substituting a grapefruit slice instead of lemon, when it comes time to chase that shot down?
If your answer to both of those questions was a puzzled and resounding “No”, then you just might be missing out. On Friday night, we ventured to Mexicali Rosa’s and sampled three infamous Tequilas in some of the most unique ways that tequila can be experienced. We abandoned tradition and instead, opted to pursue experimentation, putting our trust in the hands of our Tequila Connoisseur. It was an intensely enjoyable decision. Our sense of taste was guided through a minefield of dichotomized, but complimentary combinations of flavours. As for our Tequila Connoisseur, we were glad to have Eric center stage once again, this time presenting us with the fascinating history of Milagro Silver, Milagro Reposado, and Hornitos Anejo.
Eric is one of Halifax’s most knowledgeable bartenders at night and one of the city’s most entertaining Buskers by day. At this Mexican Mayhem event, he was more than happy to combine these two amazing skill sets into an incredibly exciting, fact-driven and fun-filled tequila-tasting-tour-de-force. When asked what he does as a busker, he enthusiastically began juggling half a dozen lemons and limes as if it was as natural as breathing. The show-stopper however, came after he announced he was also a contortionist, capable of popping both shoulders in and out of socket on a whim. This is an ability he theatrically demonstrated with the aid of a broomstick, to our gasping guests who simply could not understand the mechanics of his muscular or skeletal physiology.
As for the drinks, once we had a margarita in each of our hands, we began our tequila tour by remaining close to traditional roots; shooting a sample of Milagro Silver from a salt rimmed shot glass, and swapping a lemon slice, for a wedge of lime to finish it off. Why did we remain so traditional with our first round? Well, this line of tequila has only existed a few years, yet has received global acclaim. The amount of gold that Milagro has been awarded over the past two years would make the King of El Dorado envious. We simply wanted to taste this liquid as naturally as possible.
From there, we dove into Milagro’s Reposado, with an ingeniously devised twist: the shot glasses were rimmed with a cinnamon-sugar blend that mediated the tequila’s robust-but-smooth natural flavour. Once again, we neglected the lemon wedges, this time in exchange for a sweeter citric fruit; an orange. This odd combination was an instant crowd pleaser since it maintained all the exhilaration and sharpness of a traditional tequila shot, but had been tamed down, reducing any harshness or burn.
The next round however brought that burn right back into action as we sampled Hornitos Anejo; an aged Tequila with a prominent smoky start, and a strong flavourful finish, rich with spices and even richer once the rims of the shot glasses were coated in chilli peppers! There was no escaping the heat from this potent combo, and everyone loved the challenge it posed. But in the end, there wasn’t a drop left in any of the glasses.
Luckily, Mexi’s had granted dreamr guests special pricing on all 2oz Margaritas and if you’ve ever had one of their signature Mango Margaritas, then you know it’s the perfect way to cool down immediately after consuming a few too many spices. They were the perfect addition to our Nacho Platters and Tacos, and one of our guests actually got invited up to join Eric and participate in a “step-by-step how-to-make-a-margarita” lesson. Then, after sampling a few Mexican beer (Corona, Dos Equis, and a special Garrison Jalepeno Ale) we were ready to continue on towards our VIP Fireplace Lounge at Pacifico Dancebar. You can browse the photos down below, but what happens in Pacifico, stays in Pacifico, so you’ll just have to join in on our next tasting to see how much a few shots of tequila can affect dancing at a night club.