Adding the agave elixir to your repertoire
By Sam Bygrave
Presented by David Hernandez, GRAIN, Sydney
There’s something inescapably rustic about tequila. It’s more in the idea than the product itself. Although the spirit itself is capable of being a rareified, elegant spirit — and often is — so much of the imagery around it brings everything back to the haciendas and agave fields of Mexico — a dusty, dilapidated glamour it has made all its own.
Proof that the most sublime things in life are often the most simple, the Tommy’s Margarita is perhaps the one true tequila tipple. It does everything it needs to, and nothing it doesn’t. It’s simple to make. And it tastes best when there is no frippery involved. Mixologists, you won’t be needed today. This drink tastes good served in a glass, jar or bucket (we’re partial to a bowl, too).
They’ll even taste good mixed up in a large blender jug. That’s how they’re mixed at the drink’s birthplace, Tommy’s Restaurant in San Francisco. Julio Bermejo created the drink in 1987, switching in agave nectar instead of the usual triple sec orange liqueur found in the traditional margarita.
Agave nectar provides sweetness to the drink and rounds out the sharpness of the lime. Made from the sap of the agave plant (as opposed to the flesh of the pina from which tequila is derived) its perceived sweetness is higher than that of regular sugar (weight for weight) and is naturally low on the glycemic index – but most of all, it reinforces the agave character of the drink.
It’s a simple drink that offers more than its individual components. And there’s something that is so “tequila” about the drink, too: conceived in a humble, family-run San Francisco restaurant, made with honest ingredients — it’s captured the attention of drinkers worldwide.
And that’s no mean feat to accomplish; after all, it’s a humble drink shaken in the jug of a blender.