Here at YGT we’ve recently been heavily into all things Mexican. Whether it’s homewares, food, music or fantastic illustrations and crafts, it’s likely that we’ve been loving it. Having just returned from our sunny summer holidays, and trip to Primavera Sound Festival, we were pretty excited to hear about another event of a similar name, which took place here in London. It’s theme was appetisingly Mexican.
La Cantina Primavera, all about fresh thinking and new beginnings, was a night of unique flavours and sounds hosted by i-D in collaboration with Don Julio and creative chef and food writer Gizzi Erskine. Gizzi’s inventive remixes of traditional Mexican dishes and drinks are pretty special. As far as celebrity chefs go, Gizzi is equal parts inspiring and down-to-earth but don’t take our word for it. Try one of the recipes she created and served up for yourself.
Tequila is a hugely diverse spirit that’s by no means limited to the classic margarita, so the menu at La Cantina Primavera was bursting with unique flavours and contemporary twists. Whether pale, golden, sweet, tangy or with a little kick, the many variants of Don Julio’s aromatic agave nectar can be used to whip up seriously tasty creations. Our favourite tipple from Gizzi’s Mexican menu, the Don Julio La Primavera cocktail is easy to drink and make which is partially why we love it so much.
Perfect for summer days followed by alfresco fiestas and balmy evenings, this moreish cold drink requires an especially smooth blanco tequila and a bunch of fresh green ingredients for the best taste experience. Balancing sweet, sharp and savoury perfectly, this recipe is a keeper. So, here’s how to throw one together in your kitchen at home, work or even in the studio if you’re about ready to say hello to the weekend.
You Will Need
50ml Don Julio Blanco Tequila
50ml Cloudy apple juice (go as basic or as up-market as you like for this one)
15ml Cucumber juice (whizz this up in a blender, juicer, bullet or mash up by hand if you’re feeling brave)
20ml Freshly squeezed lime (grab a few of these from your local shop)
15ml Agave syrup (you can pick this up in most supermarkets and health food shops)
A dash of elderflower cordial
Cocktail shaker ( if you don’t have a traditional shaker, just use a large plastic cup and plastic or glass tumbler)
Strainer (if you don’t have a cocktail strainer lying around just use any small strainer or sieve you can find)
A few handfuls of cubed ice (we know you have ice)
In the order listed above, unceremoniously add all of your ingredients into your cocktail shaker or tumbler above then add some cubed ice. Make sure you fill your shaker all the way to the top with ice otherwise the ingredients will become diluted as you shake the cocktail which will result in a watered-down drink. We see you shaking your heads with utter disdain.
If you’re using a makeshift shaker, squidge the tumbler and plastic cup together firmly so that the glass rim of the tumbler becomes lodged inside the cup. You do not want the two to separate so make sure they’re secure. If you’re using a normal cocktail shaker then get ready to give your ingredients a shake. Throw the mixture around for around 5 to 10 seconds and then strain into a ice-filled tumbler-style glass or jam-jar if you’re big on presentation. This is a super-simple recipe that can be doubled to make two drinks at a time. It’s also a truly delicious and refreshing pairing of smooth white tequila and elderflower.
Cucumber lends this cocktail a really interesting flavour and prevents the mix from taking on an overpowering sweetness; as Gizzie says, ‘Don Julio Blanco is already pretty sweet for a tequila and is best enjoyed in small sips’ (or from a plastic shot glass with a sachet of salt). Pop another slice of cucumber in your glass to garnish or, if you fancy something a little more adventurous, go for star-shaped cucumber slices. Try not too drink this baby too fast, we know it’s extremely palatable.
For an insight into the creation of the many drinks and recipes created by Gizzi and her team watch the La Cantina Primavera video. Discover how to put a new twist on a few classic Mexican treats and get inspired. We love the way that everything about this unique event was geared towards reinventing the way we think about drinking tequila, helping us to recognise, recreate and experiment with great flavours on our own time. We totally prefer to mix, sip and enjoy and after trying the La Primavera recipe, you probably will too.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth