A Tequila Primer

A Tequila Primer

The Tequila Diet: Exploring Mexican Food & Drink with the World’s Greatest SpiritChef Dave Martin

Given my relative lack of experience with tequila, I decided to begin my review at the beginning with a definition of tequila and then proceed to the next question, which focuses on the the reason why the rim of a glass used for a margarita is first moistened-typically with juice from a lime wedge- and then dipped in salt.

From the beginning: Tequila is a distilled beverage made with the blue agave plant. The area that produces the most tequila surrounds the town of Tequila, which is about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara. The regional connection is reminiscent of the regionality of French wines. Think Champagne.

Next: Moistening the rim of the glass with lime juice and then dipping the rim in salt (typically coarse salt), tempers the bitterness of the tequila. One source said that while salt is commonly used, you could use sugar or cocoa, a mix of herbs or even chili powder. The source also suggested coating the rim of other cocktails.

Another interesting tidbit: Mexicans tend to drink tequila straight (“neat”).

El Baston del Rey Tequila, which sponsored the book, produces four different tequilas-Silver, Reposado, Anejo, Extra Anejo. The second, third and fourth varieties are aged in oak for varying amounts of time, the second in Canadian oak, the third in American oak, and the fourth in French oak. Each of the recipes uses a specific tequila.

In the introduction, Chef Dave Martin explains how he lost the weight he’d gained on an extended tour of Italy by limiting his alcoholic intake to tequila and, in addition, using it in cooking. One of the points he stresses is that tequila is a stimulant, as opposed to a depressant, adding that it also increases your metabolism, which can be a positive factor in weight loss.

Whatever the plusses, taste and ease of preparation are always important factors when it comes to choosing recipes. Seasonality is also important, especially in the summer when cooking and eating outdoors is at the top of everyone’s list.

The meat in the following recipe should marinate for no more than 2-3 hours, given the high level of acidity in the marinade.

Citrus & Tequila Marinade

4 pounds skirt, flank or flap steak2 cups fresh orange juice1/2 cup fresh lemon juice1/2 cup el Baston del Rey Reposado Tequila1 tablespoon garlic powder1 tablespoon onion powder1 tablespoon pioncillo or brown sugar1 teaspoon ground cumin1 cup corn or neutral oil 2 tablespoons agave nectar1 1/2 kosher salt and black pepper blend, for grilling

Make the marinade by combining all of the ingredients. Place in a resealable plastic bag. Add the meat, press out the excess air, reseal the bag and then allow the meat to marinate for the specified time. Remove the meat from the bag.Cook the meat on the grill, stove top or in the oven.

Filed under:


Welcome to ChicagoNow.

our bloggers,
post comments, or
pitch your blog idea.

Meet The Blogger

Barbara Revsine

Pantry-to-Plate is a food-focused blog written by a lifelong foodie with an insatiable curiosity about the interaction between food, history, and culture.

Subscribe by Email

Completely spam free, opt out any time.

Latest on ChicagoNow

Chicago comedy calendar for Monday, August 8 – Sunday, August 14, 2022

from Comedians Defying Gravity by Teme Ring posted today at 6:01 pm

A Culinary Trip Through Asia

from A Bite of Chicago by Barbara Revsine posted today at 4:31 pm

An Edible Journey Through Asia

from Pantry to Plate by Barbara Revsine posted today at 4:16 pm

A Tequila Primer

from A Bite of Chicago by Barbara Revsine posted today at 2:55 pm

A Tequila Primer

from Pantry to Plate by Barbara Revsine posted today at 2:52 pm

Read these ChicagoNow blogs

Cubs Den

Chicago Cubs news and comprehensive blog, featuring old school baseball writing combined with the latest statistical trends

Pets in need of homes

Pets available for adoption in the Chicago area


It’s like the couch potato version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

About ChicagoNow



Recent posts RSS

Privacy policy (Updated)

Comment policy

Terms of service

Chicago Tribune Archives

Do not sell my personal info

©2022 CTMG – A Chicago Tribune website –
Crafted by the News Apps team

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.