When you daydream about a Caribbean vacation, what do you envision? Warm breezes, swaying palm trees, blue water, and an ice cold tasty beverage! Similar to the picture below, right? That cocktail below is a Tequila-ito — a mojito with tequila, basil, and grapefruit instead of rum and mint.
The Mai Tai and Pina Colada have certainly earned a reputation for being the preferred poolside drink, but I tend to go for a bit more brisk and refreshing liquid treat, such as a mojito. Which is why I was excited to learn that Hacienda Tres Rios had a signature drink with a unique twist to the typical sweet and minty flavor of my favorite beach beverage – a Tequila-ito. It’s like a mojito, but made with tequila. Replace the rum and mint with the local Native flavor of fresh crushed basil leaves and tequila and a splash of grapefruit soda.
I’m not usually a fan of tequila (bad college-year experiences with the lime and salt), but after a recent weekend retreat in Mexico that included a proper tequila tasting (see @SoloTraveler’s article) , an adventurous culinary adventure with bugs (ever try a cricket?), and this tequilajito recipe. I now really enjoy this blue agave–based spirit … in moderation, of course.
One morning, Chef Oscar gave us a behind the scenes tour of the kitchen at Hacienda Tres Rios and afterward led us out to his garden where he grows all his own fresh herbs, peppers and spices. I don’t have a green thumb, but I was certainly green with envy. I wish I had a garden. But I travel too much and plants don’t water themselves.
After taking in the savory scents of fresh rosemary, oregano and basil, we followed Chef Oscar to the grill by the pool where he made us some pre-lunch tequilajitos with the fresh basil I watch him pick with his own hands. From garden to grill … eh uhm … see how I’m trying to justify my alcoholic beverage before noon? It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?
When in Mexico … do as the locals do. And the locals drink tequila.
Rachelle & Kay with www.LocoGringo.com. Originally published September 1, 2010.
Tequilajito – Mojito with TequilaPrint
- 2 1/3 ounces lime juice
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 3 brown sugar packets (about 3 tbsp)
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila
- grapefruit soda
- In a tall glass, add the basil, lime and sugar and crush them together with a spoon or pestle.
- Add ice, tequila and top grapefruit soda.
- Garnish with lime and mint leaves.