Ever since we moved to California, I have become aware of the wide, wide world of tequila. When we moved from Europe in 2006, we were advised not to pack any liquids in our container, due to customs restrictions and security. If even a tiny bottle of olive oil came up on the radar screen, we ran the risk of having our container flagged, opened, searched and re-packed – all at our own expense. So, in September of 2006, Christmas came early in Copenhagen as we gave all of our liquid items to our kind friends who offered to use and consume them for us. This included household products, lotions, cleansers, and cooking ingredients. This also included our wine cellar and liquor cabinet.
Once arrived and installed in our new home in Northern California, we found ourselves in a period of unfurnished limbo while our container slowly took the scenic route across the Atlantic. We reconciled ourselves to waiting for the sofa, but decided no time would be lost re-stocking a wine cellar and liquor cabinet. After all, if we had to eat on the floor, we might as well enjoy the experience with a bottle of Russian River Cabernet.
Slowly the spirits followed, especially when I would need a Cognac or Cointreau for cooking or baking. And, one warm day when we were grilling we decided to make margaritas, so I headed to the liquor store to get a bottle of tequila. Now, in Europe we have a choice of tequila: It’s either Jose Cuervo White or Jose Cuervo Gold. Expecting the same selection, nothing prepared me for the tequila shelf in the store. In fact it wasn’t a shelf – it was a department. There must have been over 30 tequilas to choose from, starting under $20 a bottle and topping off near $100. I was so overwhelmed, I had to leave the store to go home and think about it, but not before meekly taking a bottle of Jose Cuervo Gold just so we could make our margaritas.
When we threw a party a few months later, I knew I had to go back. I was calm about providing food for 30 people, and I was collected about the decor and ambience I had created, but I was a nervous wreck about the tequila. We had to have a good one! Everyone likes tequila here! (Really, they do – or is it just our friends?) Anyway, we spent a pretty penny on a bottle of Patron (should we get gold or silver and what’s the difference anyway?) But only the best for our friends, and the bottle was actually quite beautiful. In fact, so beautiful that I plan on keeping it even when it’s empty. Considering what it cost, I’m keeping something.
And, tonight we are going to a tequila tasting. Yes, they exist here. I think everyone at the event, except my husband and I, will have a pretty good idea of what they are tasting and look forward to it as a social event. I actually hope to learn something – don’t laugh; this should be interesting. And, by the way, how exactly do you “taste” tequila? Are you supposed to spit it out after you have swirled it around your mouth? Do you daintily sip it or throw the whole lot down your throat? Do you really suck on a lime? And when do you acknowledge the fact that once you have tasted one or two, you are well on your way to very merrily enjoying any and all of them? Luckily, there will be food, and I have been asked to bring a cheese platter. This is something I enjoy creating, and I am grateful to support the nourishment aspect of this party. Something tells me we will need it.