Admittedly, I am no tequila expert. I like it in margaritas, and I tend to get into trouble when I drink it by itself (with the help of a little lime and salt, of course).
I think Camarena tequila -- both the silver and the Reposado - are pleasantly smooth. And Camarena's 100 percent agave, nicely mixable tequilas have a mild price tag ($20) to go along with their flavor. Arriving in Texas just this September, after their unveiling in California and Nevada earlier this year, Camarena tequilas could shape up to become a solid contender in our tequila-loving state.
Camarena will probably never be served in a snifter or on a special tequila flight, but it's a great option when you want to mix up some tasty drinks, as I did in a class sponsored by the tequila Tuesday night.
We started off with a drink popular in the tequila-producing regions of Mexico called the Paloma. Made with two ounces of the Silver, one teaspoon of maple syrup or agave syrup, ½ ounce of fresh lime juice and four ounces of grapefruit soda, it was sweet, but still refreshing. Next time, I'll probably omit the syrup, since the grapefruit soda was sweet enough already.
We made another version of the Paloma, but this one had real grapefruit juice in lieu of the carbonated, sweetened soda. I'll also make this one again, but add more tequila - I'm a lush, what can I say?
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My favorite of the five drinks we made that night was the Copa de Arandas. It starts with two ounces of the Reposado , followed by ½ ounce of blanc vermouth, ½ ounce of sweet vermouth, ½ ounce of lemon juice, ½ ounce of Italian amaro and three ounces of ginger ale. It's garnished with mint, which subtly imparts a freshness to the drink. Although it's a lot more complicated to make, it's like a Mexican mint julep.