Mornings With Gina Birch

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Gin is not the only spirit good when mixed with tonic. Try tequila too. Just buy good tonic.

There’s so much more to tequila than margaritas, or shots. So in honor of National Tequila Day, July 24th, I thought I’d share some recipes for some different cocktails where tequila is the star.

I’ve even thrown in a food recipe…dessert.

When I think of tonic as a mixer I typically think of gin, then vodka, rarely tequila. However, Patron feels differently. They have this basic recipe, just make sure you buy good tonic, like Fever Tree. It’s the recipe pictured above.

  • 2 oz        Patrón Silver
  • 3 oz        Premium tonic water
  • +              Lime wedge for garnish
Combine ingredients in an ice-filled highball glass and stir. Garnish with lime wedge.

Paloma Paradise

Paloma for Tequila Day

Paloma Paradise cocktail for National Tequila Day

Paloma’s are famous for their base of Grapefruit juice, However, this one also has a little Aperol. It’s from Kim Haasarud. Founder, Liquid Architecture, Phoenix, AZ.

  • 1 1/2 oz. silver tequila
  • 1/2 oz. mezcal
  • 1/2 oz. Aperol
  • 3/4 oz. The Perfect Purée Pink Guava Puree, thawed
  • 3/4 oz. lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. grapefruit soda


Combine all ingredients (except the grapefruit soda) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into an iced highball glass. Top with grapefruit soda and stir. Garnish with dehydrated lime wheel.

Frida Kahlo

Firda Kahlo cocktail

Frida Kahlo Tequila cocktail for National Tequila Day

I love the colors of this one by Suzy Tweten, Mixologist, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2 oz. blanco tequila
  • 1/2 oz. Pomp & Whimsy gin liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. The Perfect Purée Prickly Pear puree, thawed
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain and serve in an old-fashioned glass with ice.


Food Recipes

Don’t think that tequila is only for drinking, it can also be used in food recipes. Chef Dave Martin has written a book, The Tequila Diet: Exploring Mexican Food & Drink with the World’s Greatest Spirit.

It has some fantastic recipes including this dessert.


Hatch Green Chile Truffles Recipe from The Tequila Diet book


Yields 32 / 1 oz truffles

  • 1 cup good quality semi-sweet chocolate ( a blend of 72% and 51% works great)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP Tequila
  • 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3⁄4 cup roasted hatch green chiles (finely chopped), fresh or canned
  • 1⁄4 tsp green chile powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp smoked sea salt
  • 1⁄2 cup dark cocoa powder, Dutch process
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika or green chile powder
  • chocolate sprinkles or chocolate vermicelli (find on
  • kitchen gloves for rolling
  • small cookie scoop

In a medium sized saucepan, bring cream, butter, tequila, chiles, powder & salt to a heavy scald on the stovetop to infuse the flavor of the chile. In a non-reactive bowl, pour the hot cream mixture over the fine bits of chocolate and stir with whisk without adding too much air while stirring. Place in the fridge to set-up for at least an hour or quick chill in the freezer, so that you can scoop small round truffles using scoop, then roll in cocoa mixture and sprinkles and set aside for service. Truffles can be kept in the refrigerator but should be brought to room temperature or set out for at least 10 minutes, so that you get the full chocolate flavor.

But wait, there’s more

This recent story of mine about tequila was published on Yahoo and on the cover story of this week’s Taste section in the Fort Myers NewsPress.

If you DO want some fresh margarita ideas, check out these fun gift boxes  that include both mixes as well as pre-made cocktails. And here are some lo-cal recipes too.

*Enjoy these recipes and remember to drink responsibly