Tequila gets a bum rap. Sure, there are savvy drinkers who spend a lot of time and money tracking down prize bottles of reposado and anejo; but the bulk of the bibulous universe--accustomed to downscale mixto tequila in mass-produced margaritas dispensed by slushy machines, or seemingly endless lines of shots--still views the spirit as "to-kill-ya," associating it with countless regrettable incidents. As a result, perhaps more than any other spirit, tequila inspires a kind of negative reaction among many drinkers, who recall a bad night in college.
Fortunately, tequila is more forgiving. Decent 100-percent agave tequilas have a bright, peppery character that can really light up a cocktail. And for those whose experiences with tequila cocktails have largely entailed salt-rimmed glasses, there's an enlightening world to explore; the Prado is a good place to start.
Pairing the agave spirit with its old friend, fresh lime juice, the Prado substitutes the margarita's orangey triple sec for a dose of aromatic maraschino liqueur, with the white of half an egg added for extra body (since accurately dividing an egg white can be a pain, you can go ahead and mix two drinks and share one with a friend). Silver and reposado tequilas work equally well in this drink; just make sure you're starting with a spirit that's 100-percent agave. With a deep, layered flavor and alluring aroma, the Prado isn't necessarily a beginner's cocktail, but it can be a good way to re-enter the world of tequila.
About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 1/2 egg white
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake very hard, without ice, for 10 seconds, to aerate the egg white. Open the shaker and fill with ice, and shake again very hard for 10 seconds; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.