My mother has tried to convince me on many an occasion that tequila is a stimulant. While science points to this being false, her summers drinking tequila sunrises on schooners seem to be all the evidence she needs that unlike all other alcohol, tequila is an “upper.” I confess that I sometimes feel the same the way. A casual crowd source will show that drinkers’ opinions of tequila are wildly polarized. Some say it makes them violently ill (you know who you are, man at last call buying the superfluous round of Cuervo). Others relish in the nuance of agave and prefer sipping it, chilled, not shooting it (unless of course some perfect stranger purchase you a round at last call). I’m in the latter camp.
If you still need some convincing, I give you the admittedly pedestrian gateway drink: the tequila sunrise. It was allegedly created sometime near the end of the Prohibition era at the Agua Caliente Casino in Tijuana. Droves of Los Angelenos flocked there to gamble and imbibe (legally). The drink didn’t become de rigueur until the 70’s, which is undoubtedly when my mom discovered it. Now, in her honor, I drink it when I’m on the dock awaiting the Fire Island Pines-bound ferry, which feels oh so disco.
To make Gourmet’s version yourself, half fill a 12-ounce glass with cracked ice, add 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 ponies (2 ounces) tequila, and lime juice to taste, and stir the drink well. Drizzle 1 teaspoon grenadine over the drink. Don’t stir it or else you won’t get those sexy striated colors.
What cocktail revs you up?