The act of drinking such rotgut was a performance in heroism. It would begin with the in drawn breath. The anticipatory swallow readied the tongue and throat for the caustic liquid. Shoulders were squared. Resolve tightened your hand around the shot glass.
A lick of salt and your eyes would close to the inevitable. You had made your decision. The full shot was tossed back. A gasp of recognition. Then the salvation of cleansing lime juice....Another round!
But now we have tequilas that are as smooth, complex and enticing as a beautiful cognac. Needing a salt lick and then chomping down on a lime wedge like a piece of leather during unanesthetized surgery is no longer necessary. Or even tolerated.
With the truly exquisite tequilas one can obtain now, presentation and thoughtful pairing are required.
12 limes, ends trimmed, cut crosswise in half
2 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
5 tablespoons grenadine syrup
1 teaspoon (generous) salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
Premium tequila (and I do mean PREMIUM!) HAHA!
Squeeze the limes in citrus juicer to extract as much juice as possible. Use 3/4 cup for recipe. Save remaining juice for another use. Using scissors, cut out as much of the membrane as possible. Freeze lime halves.
Mix all other ingredients together. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
Serve the tequila and sangrita in the frozen lime halves to your guests.
Dance! All night.
Oh...and fuck Bette Midler.