Saturday, February 20, 2010

Agave love

Sample greeting here at Range:

Bartender: "Hey, how's it going tonight? Our featured cocktail is called "The Hothouse", and it has Pueblo Viejo silver tequila, basil..."

Thirsty Guest: "Ugh... you can stop right there. I can't do tequila".

Whenever our cocktail of the day features tequila, we are met with extreme reactions. Sure, many people get a twinkle in their eye and order it before we finish listing the ingredients, but often we hear something like the above comment. It makes sense, considering how many people have had ridiculously excessive, somewhat blurry, severely humiliating, dry-heave-inducing experiences centering around shots of cheap tequila. I won't get brand-specific here, but the "gold" it claims to be is really just caramel coloring, and who knows what they used instead of Agave. Fortunately, the tequilaphiles are beginning to outnumber the tequilaphobes, and that's due primarily to the fact that there are so many great tequilas now available in the U.S.

We just added Fortaleza reposado to our tequila arsenal, and man, is it tasty! Lots of vanilla and a hint of cardamom on the nose, with minimal alcohol-fume heat. The mouthfeel is silky and has ample agave-honey on the palate, with a light wood, medium-bright mineral finish. This is a great sipper, but it has enough backbone to make a smooth margarita as well.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Good Luck Olyn!

I'm a little late in posting this, but last month our good friend and barback, Olyn, left Range to concentrate on school and web design. Olyn is a great guy with a wry sense of humor and a deep appreciation for the great outdoors. In fact, I followed his advice last summer and spent five days in Malakoff Diggins State Park, which is about 50 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe. We had a fantastic time, and have Olyn to thank.
Cheers, buddy!

P.S. Just to tie this all in with cocktails, here's a little tip for all you campers out there: Metal water bottles make excellent cocktail shakers, particularly for making frosty margaritas. I squeeze and freeze my lime juice before leaving home, just to save space. Measure the tequila and agave nectar, chip off a little frozen juice, toss in a hand full of ice, close the lid and shake. Pour entire contents into a couple of camping mugs and shazam... delicious post-hike refreshments!

Camping Margarita
6 oz. reposado tequila
2 oz. lime juice
1 oz. agave nectar (cut 1:1 with water)
Serves two.