Recently I was invited to a cocktail class hosted by Duggan McDonnell of Cantina, Camarena Tequila, and the San Francisco Giants. Not only did we get to make amazing hand-crafted tequila cocktails, but we also got to check out the world series trophies and attend a game after the class. Fabulous, right?!
Duggan (who is pictured in the Giants jersey below) is a wonderful bartender and also a great instructor, so I wasn’t surprised when I learned something new and fascinating. Tequila, when made of 100% agave (many major tequilas on the market are not made from 100% agave, but Camarena is), is the only alcohol that is a stimulant.
Vodka, whiskey, gin — everything else is a depressant, but tequila is not. Explains a lot really. That must be why crazy fun things always happen when I’m drinking tequila!
We tried four cocktails: the Vintner’s Margarita (an interesting mixture of lemon, agave, tequila, and sauvignon blanc), Camarena Closer (a riff on the negroni with tequila, campari, and vermouth), San Francisco Smash (tequila, cucumber, lemon, agave, and soda), and the Diablo Splash Hit, which was my favorite. A riff on the classic Diablo, the Smash Hit uses red wine in place of cassis. It’s refreshing and tart and very good. I’m drinking one right now. Here’s the recipe, so you can join me. Cheers!
2 ounces Camarena Reposado tequila
1/2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
1 heavy barspoon agave nectar
2 ounces ginger beer
1 ounce California cabernet sauvignon
- Build the cocktail by pouring Camarena Tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and ginger beer in a highball glass in the order listed.
- Stir the ingredients together and add ice.
- Float the Cabernet Sauvignon on top.
Makes 1 drink.
Images of the event courtesy of James Waynauskas Photography.