By Valerie Heimerich
Tequila, a spirit made using the blue agave plant, is highly popular all year round, before and after Cinco de Mayo is celebrated. Tequila is a type of Mezcal, a larger category of liquors created from any of 25-plus kinds of agave; Mezcal is becoming increasingly visible in Sacramento bars and restaurants. Tequila typically has different production methods and is made in distinct parts of Mexico than other Mezcals, although there is some regional overlap. In any case, agave-based drinks are a hot item in the Capital City.
Tequila Museo Mayahuel
1200 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Así sabe México, Mayahuel’s signature tequila cocktail, includes lime, watermelon and cucumber in a glass rimmed with Tajín chile. Añejo tequila, mezcal, orange zest, Aztec chocolate bitters, and maraschino cherries are combined in the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, while the Mayahuel Fresca features tequila, agave, grapefruit juice, mint and muddled cucumber. Another favorite is the El Jefe, Amaretto, tequila, angostura bitters, rosemary and orange zest. Mayahul offers a vertical flight of tequilas or a shot of the tequila of the month, and has a Tequila and Mezcal Club,
1431 Del Paso Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815
Woodlake offers hip comfort food such as house-smoked BBQ meats, freshly baked corn biscuits and dishes made with locally sourced produce. Listed among the tavern’s list of craft cocktails are a number of tempting libations like the Rayo Del Sol, made with orgeat syrup, fresh apricot, mezcal and Milagro Silver tequila. Mezcal is also an ingredient in Mezmerized, a concoction of rum, ginger, honey and a bright but mild lemon-jalapeño shrub. Relax on the patio under the twinkling lights of an old oak tree and enjoy a margarita made with local herbs and fruits; seasonal ingredients have included cranberry puree, cucumber, elderflower and fresh apricots with an almond syrup.
The Red Rabbit
2718 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
Mexican distilled liquors feature prominently in cocktails at Red Rabbit, including the Reposada tequila, crème de cassis, lemon and honey El Colibri. As the name suggests, Everything Nice offers a delicious combination of flavors from apricots, mezcal, vanilla bitters and allspice dram. Cinco de Mayo specials have included the Cipro with mezcal, tequila, honey and ginger as well as a Oaxacan made with vermouth, mezcal and Campari. The owners of Red Rabbit are dedicated supporters of local establishments, using businesses in the Sacramento region for fresh produce, accounting, banking and meat as well as wine, beer and spirits.
Florez Bar & Grill
5900 S. Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822
The types of tequila at Florez, blancos, anejos, mezcal, reposadas and premiums, number in the double digits, and the bar offers an array of margaritas. The latter include hibiscus, pomegranate, tamarind and basil blueberry, a skinny Cadillac with Grand Marnier and another with George Clooney’s Tequila Casamingos Blanco. Another popular tequila cocktail is a classic Paloma, with fresh-squeezed lime juice and Squirt in a glass with a sugared rim, and the first Tuesday of each month is designated as Tequila Tuesday, which features shot trays and special pairings of tequila and food.
Azul Mexican Food & Tequila Bar
1050 20th St.. Suite 140
Sacramento, CA 95811
Signature drinks at Azul include a Paloma Picante, an aptly named piquant cocktail made with raspberries, serrano peppers and tequila, and the Del Mercado margarita with tequila and cucumber. Additional tequila concoctions include the mango, tamarind and Tabasco Mangoneada, a grapefruit and jalapeno Paloma and house margarita flavors including blackberry, tamarind and Caribbean hibiscus.