I was a twenty-something east coast girl who moved to Los Angeles on a whim to end a brief marriage and mend a tattered heart. Not long after I arrived I talked my way into a much-coveted job with LA’s largest rock concert promoter. My new boyfriend was starring on a hit TV series. His friends and colleagues were A-List actors. Mine were rock stars, agents, and the beautiful people they trailed in their wakes.
There were parties. My god, the parties. It was there I discovered my unique – and to this day unexplained – tolerance for tequila. At five feet tall and barely 100 pounds, I could drink vast amounts of tequila with little discernible effect. My newly-discovered talent became everyone’s favorite party trick. Wagers were made and lost. I triumphed at the end of most evenings, leaving my opponents at best worse for wear, at worst unconscious. At 25, I looked several years younger, making my drinking prowess all the more perplexing and winning the drinking game bets a fait accompli. Drinking rock stars under the table was a highlight of my California years, a commentary on both my freakish skill and my lack of achievement during that brief time.
Tequila is to Mexico what Champagne is to France. Mexican law requires that in order to be labeled tequila, the liquor must come from select districts in certain Mexican states. Like Champagne, tequila runs the gamut from affordable to outrageously pricey. This list from The Business Insider names what they consider the 15 Best Tequilas in the World. If, like me, you find the idea of sipping a smooth, subtle, and nuanced liquor inviting, I would urge you to try one of these award-winning offerings.
If, on the other hand, a specialty cocktail is more your style when it comes to this south-of-the-border libation, you can never go wrong with a well-prepared Margarita. Frozen or on the rocks, salt on the rim or not, this is a drink that has universal appeal for its tart, refreshing taste and a resultant buzz like no other.
I have, for the most part, given up competitive alcohol consumption. Still, I'm a sucker for a shot - or two - of a well-crafted tequila, sipped slowly on a warm summer night. I am not immune to the charms of a perfectly prepared Margarita, preferably one poured over ice in a glass with a generously salted rim. There's something about the idiosyncratic taste of tequila that brings me back to starlit Southern California nights surrounded by loud music and impossibly beautiful people, our dreams fueled by the nectar of the blue agave.