National Tequila Day is next week, Thursday, July 24. Not that we needed a special reason to celebrate this beloved nectar in the Southwest, however, we have one! Tequila is so much more than something you choke back with some salt and lime on spring break. The blue agave plant, from which tequila (a type of mezcal) is produced has a rich, storied and virtuous history. For a spirit to be labeled "tequila", it must contain 51 percent blue agave. Mexican laws state that tequila can be produced only in the state of Jalisco and limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas, but yet the United States is responsible for the consumption of 76 percent of tequila exported from those regions. Enough yammering about it, in the following column, I have given you my favorite spots to enjoy this libation that is certainly deserving of it's own day!
BLANCO TACOS + TEQUILA
Fox Restaurant Concepts certainly have a tequila wizard in their Beverage Manager, Mat Snapp, and his knowledge shines in the drink menu at Blanco Tacos + Tequila. Blanco has nearly 50 tequilas to try and even a couple of mezcals. From their great margaritas (try the blood orange one, you will NOT be sorry) to other tequila-based cocktails, such as the Cucumber Fresca, you will have no problem celebrating here. Go at happy hour, from 4-6 p.m., for half off margaritas, Mexican beers and starters.
BOCA TACOS Y TEQUILA
Besides excellent and creative tacos as well as special house made salsas that change daily, this cool little spot has a small, but the most unique tequila selections I have seen. I couldn't tell you the name of some of the tequilas I have tried here, I just know that every time I have enjoyed some there, it was fantastic.
OLD PUEBLO GRILLE
OPG has the perfect bar for tequila drinkers. They will have some great specials for this most glorious of holidays. The house margarita (on draft) with their secret recipe using Cuervo Gold will be $3 (regularly $6.95). They will also feature all specialty margaritas for half price (I have had my fair share of the prickly pear and Cadillac). For the extra daring, they have Ghost Pepper infused Tequini that will be just $5.
SIR VEZA'S/EL CHARRO
Sir Veza's is good at celebrating every week with Tequila Thursdays. For National Tequila Day, however, they got their big sister to join the party. Both restaurants (all locations) are offering half off all tequila shots and cocktails. Just get somebody else to drive the hot rod home.
TEQUILA FACTORY - CASINO DEL SOL
In between losing a paycheck or two, check out this place. It really lives up to it's name with more than 120 varieties of tequila gracing their shelves. Now that is some variety to chose from when drowning your sorrows of a bad beat in the poker room.