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Three Cocktails for National Tequila Day

Today is National Tequila Day and there’s no better way to celebrate the Mexican spirit than with a delicious cocktail.  And while tequila – which outsold gin, whiskey, brandy and Scotch with over 11.9 million cases sold in the United States in 2011 – is often served as a shot with a squirt of lime or served in a sticky-sweet neon green margarita, it’s one North America’s oldest spirits and is treated as seriously south of the border as fine wine is in Europe.

And with good reason: authentic tequila needs to be made from blue agave and produced in designated areas in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas. Furthermore, if it’s not made and bottled in one of Mexico’s 150 distilleries, then it’s not tequila, as Mexican law refutes that manufacturers of blue agave spirits in other countries abstain from selling under that name. The strict guidelines are a contrast to tequila’s humble beginnings, dating back to the 13th century when Aztecs created the beverage by squeezing the sweet juice from prickly agave plants. As legend has it, the Spanish conquistadores reached for the fermented agave spirit when they ran out of their brandy and refined it with distillation production techniques still in use today. So whether you chose a crisp blanco to mix into a cocktail or sip on an aged añejo tequila (to learn the difference between tequilas, check out tequila expert Ruben Aceves’ tasting tips here), there’s no better way to begin discovering tequila than on National Tequila Day. ¡Salud!

Three Cocktails for National Tequila Day 2012 herradura cocktails edited food NBC Latino News

Nothing compliments mango’s sweet, honey notes quite like the spice of chile accompanied by the bright citrus of lime, making this unique cocktail a winning recipe that’s ideal for any casual gathering or celebration. Check out the recipe here.

Three Cocktails for National Tequila Day el angel wordpress edit food NBC Latino News

In celebration of Mexico’s history, acclaimed mixologist Junior Merino created an expertly blended cocktail that pleases the palate featuring Mexican tequila and fragrant hibiscus flowers. Check out the recipe here.

Three Cocktails for National Tequila Day passion fruit margarita photo courtesy br hospitality groupwordpress edit food NBC Latino News

The classic margarita gets a sexy makeover with this margarita, thanks to the bright, tropical flavors of passion fruit juice. It’s a favorite at New York and Florida Mexican eater Dos Caminos and is perfect for summer’s steamy days. Check out the recipe here.

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