Try a CoronaRita for Cinco de Mayo

211_CoronaRita on the beach 4_iso_sml

When you look at this photo, you can’t help but think about partying on Cinco de Mayo. If you love partying like we do, you definitely love this holiday, and this drink can definitely add to the festivities.

The CoronaRita is a fun twist on the Cinco de Mayo standard, the Margarita, so it will definitely get some attention. Here’s the recipe:

• 6 parts Corona or Corona Light
• 1 part Tequila
• 2 parts Margaritaville® Margarita Mix
• 1 part Triple Sec
• 1 Lime Wedge

Method: In a cocktail shaker, pour the first three ingredients (please do not pour beer in the shaker). Shake vigorously until ice cold. Strain into tall glass with 1/3 ice. Top with Corona beer.

So check it out and have a fun and safe Cinco de Mayo!


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Drink of the Week: The Mariposa Mojito

The Mariposa Mojito

There was a time many weeks back when I began to ask myself a question pregnant with meaning: “What happened to all the free booze?” It’s not that I’m greedy, particularly. Believe it or not, I actually spend a little money subsidizing this column. Of course, I get to drink those subsidies, but a guy still likes to make a profit on something he actually works on, so those freebies do help a bit.

In any case, in recent weeks the very nice freebies have been coming fast and furious and the latest is something pretty much completely new to me. Mariposa Agave Liqueur is made from the very sweet nectar produced from the agave plant, the not so sweet booze produced by the blue agave plant — I think they call the stuff “tequila” — and also some vodka. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth like I do, I have to say the stuff is not bad on it’s own over the rocks and with a splash of water. It’s kind of like drinking really good, boozy honey.

Anyhow, the Heaven Hill people who produce this stuff have been promulgating a few cocktails. Since we’re just seeing the end of a truly hellish week of record breaking 105+ plus temperatures here in vivacious Van Nuys, I went for the coldest, most refreshing choice available. This one is icy and relatively low on actual booze which, as you know, actually makes you feel warmer. (Of course, it also makes you care less that you too warm.) In any case, I rather like it.

The Mariposa Mojito

1 ounce Mariposa Agave Liqueur
1 ounce white (aka silver) rum
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
2-5 springs of mint
Club soda (roughly 2 ounces)
1/4 ounce agave nectar (optional)
Lime slice (optional garnish)

Combine all the ingredients except the club soda and the garnish lime slice in a cocktail shaker. If you’re going for the extra bit of sweetness with the agave nectar — this is my addition and not included in the original recipe, by the way — then you’ll first want to shake it without adding ice. Agave nectar has not only a honey-like taste but a honey-like consistency and it needs a bit of work to become properly dissolved.

Next, add lots of ice and shake like crazy. Strain into a large-ish Collins glass or something similar filled with fresh ice (i.e., not the same ice you used in the shaker). Top off with club soda, stir and remind yourself that the agave plant is actually not, as you might have heard, a member of the cactus family. Cacti are succulents; agave is a monocot, which I gather is closer to the yucca plant and, no, I don’t know the first thing about horticulture, except what Dorothy Parker said about it.


I’ve not much more to add to this drink except that I like it as a less labor intensive, somewhat less boozy, muddling-free spin on the classic mojito. I tried, however tweaking it a bit by adding more rum. Despite the fact that I was using some of the excellent Denizen Rum I have left over from when I was using to make such great classic drinks as the Mary Pickford a while back, the larger amount of booze really didn’t help the flavor at all and only diluted the already diluted sweetness of the Mariposa. A little extra sweetness from the increasingly popular cocktail ingredient of agave nectar was quite welcome however.

Those looking for a boozier drink to make with Mariposa however, won’t have long to wait. Stay tuned.


Stars and Stripes and Tequila on this Fourth of July

Hopefully you have some great plans for today’s holiday with friends and family. We’d like to offer up a suggestion from our friends at Hornitos Premium Tequila for some refreshing drinks to add to your cookout or gathering. These Stars and Stripes cocktails were created by mixologist Laura Cruz from New York.

1.5 parts Hornitos® Anejo Tequila
½ part Agave Nectar
½ part Lime Juice
6-8 Blueberries

Muddle blueberries and lime juice in a glass. Add tequila and agave nectar. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into shot glass.

2 parts Hornitos® Reposado Tequila
1.5 parts Bloody Mary Mix
½ part lime juice

Shake and serve in shot glass half rimmed with a salt, pepper and cayenne mixture.

As you can see from the photo above, the drinks can look very cool and would be a great edition to your holiday festivities. Now be careful with those fireworks . . .


Drink of the Week pre-5/5 Special, Part 1: La Paloma

La Paloma This week brought us a special dilemma here at Drink of the Week central. Tomorrow, you see, is May 5 and that translates into the Mexican but mostly American holiday of Cinco de Mayo, one of the most beloved yearly excuses to drink that exists in all of los Estados Unidos. Tomorrow is also, however, the annual running of the Kentucky Derby, which is also the only major sporting event I can think of to have it’s own official cocktail. The only truly fair solution, as far as I could figure, was a special pre-May 5, 2012 cocktail double bill where each drink would get it’s own properly timed place/post in the sun.

So, we lead off with a salute to the great nation of Mexico which, precisely 150 years tomorrow, defeated invading French forces — insert Franco-phobe snickers here — at the Battle of Puebla. Of course, most of the revelers of all ethnicities who will be drinking way too many way too blended margaritas tomorrow night in bars from Los Angeles and San Antonio to New York City and Chicago will have no idea about the holiday’s historic underpinnings, or the fact that the Mexicans’ unexpected victory over the forces of Napoleon III might have indirectly paved the way for the Union victory in the U.S.’s Civil War. That’s inevitable, but at least Cinco de Mayo celebrants should a decent alternative to a boozy Slurpee at the ready.

We’ve already covered the correct way to make a margarita, so that’s one outstanding option should you find a bartender classic cocktail knowledgeable enough or open-minded enough to make the drink sans blender. Drinkers who will really want to imbibe they way they do in actual Mexican and Mexican-American climes, however, may want to check out the simple, sweet and also kind of tart highball variation named, for some reason, for the lowly pigeon and the more esteemed dove. It might read like a simple variation on your basic booze and sugary soda combo, but it drinks more like a gin and tonic — a solid hot weather libation and un poco sofisticado.

La Paloma

2 ounces white/silver tequila
Jarritos Grapefruit Soda or Squirt
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
Pinch of salt

Combine tequila, lime juice and salt in a highball/Tom Collins glass. Stir. Add ice and top off with soda. If you want, instead of adding the salt to the drink, you can rim the top of the glass with it margarita-style. Stir once more and sip, saluting the brave folks who struck a blow for indigenous rule and freedom throughout the Americas under General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín all those years ago.


Today’s DOTW is brought to us very largely by Peligroso Tequila, which is celebrating its third anniversary tomorrow with a series of events in California and Hawaii and which we last encountered while making a perfectly fabulous version (up, with fresh OJ) of the Tequila Sunrise back in early March. Once again, I can say from personal experience that making a la Paloma with this toddler of a booze brand is definitely just a little bit better than using the better known mass market tequila I also happen to have on hand at the moment. While my sources within the tequila-drinking community agree it’s a very nice drink indeed when made with Peligroso Silver, some actually  prefer that theirs be made with Squirt — which is, indeed, grapefruit based. I, however, think my bird flies slightly higher with Jarritos Toronja.

And now we leave you with who else but Los Lobos and a bit of music appropriate to the spirit of all great drinking holidays such as Cinco de Mayo. Just remember, if you do get loaded on La Palomas, Tequila Sunrises, or a bottle of anything, tomorrow, keep very far away from a steering wheel. There’s nothing festive about a drunken encounter with la policia after a car accident.


Check out the new Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro tequila

Don Julio has introduced a new addition to its portfolio of ultra-premium tequilas in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the year Don Julio González began perfecting the art of tequila making – the world’s first Añejo Claro tequila, Tequila Don Julio 70. The good folks at Don Julio were good enough to send us a sample so we could enjoy their new creation. What we found was a unique flavor that tequila fans will love.

The Añejo Claro tequila combines traditional Añejo flavors that result from 18 months of barrel aging with the fresh agave flavor and silver color expected from an unaged Blanco tequila. The result is tequila with a smooth and complex flavor of an Añejo that is specially filtered to bring back the crisp agave flavor typically found in a Blanco. Once the tequila has reached maturity, it is carefully filtered through a custom process that restores the citrus and fruity agave flavor notes that are muted during the aging process to a more concentrated strength, resulting in a stronger flavor of the tequila’s raw materials. The filtration process makes the tequila return to a clear silver color while maintaining the flavor of an Añejo.

Check it out as the new Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro tequila also makes a great gift this holiday season.