Tequila drinks that don't taste like tequila...
Tequila and I had a very bad experience and since I work a lot with spirits and food, I hate to be one of those people who sas "No, I don't drink (insert spirit here) because I had a bad experience with it". I would like to ease myself back into tequila with some very mellow/mild tequila concoctions. Anyone have any good recipes?
At the moment, my bar consists of: Gin, vodka, Aperol, Campari, Averna, Absinthe, St Germain, Fernet Branca, green Chartreuse, Cognac, and an array of bitters and syrups.
Tequila is my favourite spirit, but my husband had a similar experience to you and can't stand it. You could try a elderflower margherita - substitute the triple sec in a normal margherita recipe for st germain (and I would suggest lemon rather than lime juice). The floral taste of the st germain seems to soften the sharpness of tequila (and while I don't particularly like this drink, my husband seems to find it tolerable). Good luck!
I would recommend a Paloma, some recipes call for grapefuit soda such as Squirt and some (ones I prefer) use actual grapefuit juice, club soda and lime juice.
I have used the Italian grapefruit soda from Trader Joes - the brand was Villa italia or something like that - and it turned out pretty good.
That's my kind of bar! I'm refining a version of the Paper Plane using tequila. Currently it's:
3/4 oz Tequila (Espolon Reposado, although a blanco would work too)
3/4 oz Campari (although Aperol would work too)
3/4 oz Amaro Lucano (try your Averna)
3/4 oz Lime.
If subing Averna, I'd add a dash of orange bitters.
Delicious. I think that you might try starting with a Reposado. The resting increased the wood and blunts the peppery spice of a blanco.
A good (re)starting tequila drink is the Diablo. Edit: I now see that you don't have creme de cassis at your bar, but it might be worth getting it for this drink.
1 1/2 oz Tequila
3/4 oz Creme de Cassis
3/4 oz Lime Juice
Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes. Top with 2-3 oz ginger beer, stir gently to mix, garnish with a lime wheel, and add straw.
I have come to the belief that EVERYONE has a tequila-related 'incident'', usually in their early drinking days, that causes them to swear it off until many years later. The discovery that not all tequila tastes like plain white Cuervo, and that there are ways to enjoy it other than 'Lime-Salt-Shot swallowed as quickly as possible-Yell WOOOOOOO at the top of your lungs' aids in this greatly.
I would suggest substituting tequila for gin or vodka in any cocktail you happen to enjoy and see how it works for you. I have long switched tequila for vodka in a Bloody Mary with very pleasing results.
FWIW, I have *never* had a "tequila-related incident." Having grown up in the wine trade, I never did "indulge" in the high school/college bouts of drinking-to-get-drunk, which all too often results in this particular (and painful) "incident."
OTOH, tequila is something I generally prefer as a Resposado and served neat . . . .
I do agree about Reposado and neat. As with any liquor that can be drunk unmixed, there are brands suitable for sipping and others suitable only for mixed drinks at best. A really good tequila is in a league with a fine cognac or single malt scotch.
Glad to hear that you avoided the 'incident' aspect.