My first experience with tequila was in the house of a rather nerdy and foul co-worker of mine at one of the first restaurant jobs that I ever had. I was just barely 19 and with no prospects for the evening and went over to party. One of my friends and I ended up sucking nasty booze straight out of the bottle and playing dungeons and dragons with said co-worker and his many roommates. After consuming a a bunch of tequila, a mixto similar to moonshine, and eating a worm, the evening got predictably blurry. I did, however, come away from the evening with a much more clear meaning for "machismo." If one doesn't feel f'ing invincible drinking worms out of a Mexican moonshine bottle and battling fake demons than I don't know what could possibly do it. Unfortunately, the next morning waking with sand in my eyes, fire in my stomach, bile in my throat and next to foul smelling co-worker my invincibility waned and I felt very, very invincible.
For a long time after this incident the thought of tequila sent my head reeling. Luckily, I can now appreciate the finer things in life and agave based spirits are one of those indeed. I would not, well...probably not ever eat a bug out of a bottle to show off to some smelly dude again. And unless already in a bad state I would never again drink bad tequila.
I am not a tequila expert but the good people at Imbibe magazine are. If interested check out this article http://www.imbibemagazine.com/almost-famous. Imbibe is the most beautiful magazine ever published, in my opinion, and should be bought in print. They have a mezcal recipe in the Jan/Feb 2011 that I can't wait to try. It is called the El Nacional contributed by bartender Casey Robinson. 1 oz. mezcal, 1 oz. Campari, 1/2 oz. Ramazzotti Amaro, 1/2 oz. dry vermouth, and 3 dashes chocolate bitters.This recipe is stirred over ice in a mixing glass and served up in a cocktail glass and garnished with a couple of drops of Laphroig and a lemon twist. Yum!!! I will keep you all posted on the results of this one. Until then buy an Imbibe mag and get inspired!