GQ: Vamos a beber (y comer)!
There should be more to your Cinco de Mayo than Corona and Doritos. 9 easy steps to celebrating Mexican history in muy auténtico style. Despite the proliferation of artisanal agave spirits, we still view tequila through a pretty narrow lens here in the States. Sure, there are cocktail bars that serve it with fresh-squeezed juices and assorted bitters over hand-cracked ice, but more often than not the word "tequila" is followed closely by the word "shots." In Mexico—outside the shirtless, Corona-soaked culture of Spring Break—tequila is a part of daily life, something you'd be more likely to sip before dinner than shoot in a bar. There's a woman at the forefront of the movement to bring tequila to our daily lives in the U.S., and her name is Bertha Gonzalez. She's the co-founder and CEO of Casa Dragones Tequila, and a Maestro Tequilero, the highest distinction in the industry. And she's adamant that we start thinking of agave juice as something besides party fuel. "In Mexico," Gonzalez says, "I drink tequila with my grandmother." It helps that Casa Dragones, her 100% blue agave sipping tequila, is as clean and smooth as they come, with the kind of everlasting finish you'd expect from a carefully cellared Burgundy. You take a sip, get caught up in conversation, and realize minutes later that you can still taste its notes of vanilla, pear, and roasted agave. The only possible improvement is to accompany each sip of Casa Dragones with a sip from a separate glass of sangrita—an acidic, vegetal mix of tomato, citrus, and cilantro which is engineered as a compliment to the tequila. Any restaurant worth its salt in Mexico has a house sangrita recipe; the same goes for families who take cooking seriously, which is why every living female relative of Bertha Gonazlez had a hand in Casa Dragones' proprietary sangrita. Yes, it looks like you're double-fisting, but the sip-sip ritual lends a nice rhythm to your drinking, and turns tequila into a tipple you could bring home to your grandmother.