Mazatlan margarita. Photo: ccharmon, Flickr
Named after the small Mexican town in which it's made, tequila is created from fermented and distilled agave plant. To qualify with the official title of tequila, the spirits must be produced from agave originating in one of five Mexican states: Jalisco, Guanajuato, Mayarit, Tamaulipas and Michoacan. Authentic tequila requires the drink be made of at least 51 percent blue agave, while the best -- and priciest -- tequilas are those made with 100 blue agave.
Beyond its popularity in margaritas, shots and various mixed drinks, tequila is a great addition to spike your cooked meals with extra oomph. Check out these recipes for some lively dishes:
- Pan-fried mahi mahi with tequila salsa
- Mussels with tomatoes, jalapeno and tequila
- Grilled tri-tip roast with tequila marinade and cherry tomato relish
- Tequila-lime marinated chicken
- Spicy corn and red pepper risotto with tequila-lime shrimp
- Tequila-marinated portobello mushroom sandwiches with pea pesto
- Strawberry margarita pie
- Prune-tequila ice cream
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