Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tequila and Taco Trucks for Cinco de Mayo

If there is one restaurant trend in the country that is worth celebrating, it has got to be the magnificent rise of the Taco Truck. Long a staple of construction site cuisine, taco trucks are now getting mentioned in the same circles as exciting new restaurants in big cities like New York and San Francisco.

Espolón Tequila has long recognized that late into the night, after the bar hopping has ended, the call of the taco truck is undeniable. Those in the know flock to the best taco trucks across the country to satisfy their cravings and indulge in real Mexican street food.

Inspired by the nightly ritual of "Drinks First, Tacos Later," Espolón Tequila asked three top mixologists from New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco to craft what could be the country's first Taco Truck Cocktail Pairing – just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Espolón Tequila and taco trucks have cult-like followings, so teaming up in honor of Cinco de Mayo can only be described as a match made in taco heaven.

Below are cocktail and taco recipes so you can easily recreate these pairings for your own Cinco de Mayo celebrations.



Bebida de Puebla

Created by Eric Alperin
The Varnish, Los Angeles


2 oz. Espolón Tequila Reposado
.25 oz. Benedictine Liqueur
.25 oz. Coffee Liqueur
.5 oz. Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry - Los Arcos
Lemon Peel


Directions:
Stir all ingredients with ice in a chilled mixing glass. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Spray and garnish with a lemon peel.

The subtle, smoky flavors of this cocktail pair exceedingly well with hearty pulled pork, while the mildly sweet seasoning of the meat is echoed in the additions of coffee liqueur to the cocktail.



This cocktail could also pair exceptionally well with a classic ground beef taco, seasoned with just a hint of cumin.

Background:
Famed mixologist Eric Alperin created this cocktail to compliment a taco truck trend made famous in Los Angeles— the Korean-style BBQ taco.





Sidra de la Mula (Apple Cider Mule)

Created by H. Joseph Ehrmann
Elixir, San Francisco


1.5 oz. Espolón Tequila Blanco
12 oz. Bottle of Sidral Mundet
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 squeeze of a Lemon Slice

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a 16 oz. cup of ice and stir.


The flavors create a light and drinkable cocktail, perfectly paired with the complex citrus notes of the Pollo Asado Tacos at El Tonayense Taco Truck.

Background:
H. Joseph Ehrmann set out to create a cocktail that was simple, refreshing and truly matched the look and feel of El Tonayense Taco truck—one of San Francisco's most visited mobile hotspots. Created in the style of the "Ginger Mule," Ehrmann has substituted Sidral Mundet, a popular apple-flavored, Mexican soft drink, for traditional ginger beer.



Bucking Borracho

Created by Adam Schuman, Beverage Director
Fatty Crew, New York


2 oz. Espolón Tequila Reposado
.25 oz. Ginger Syrup
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Lime Juice
2 dashes Blended Chocolate Bitters (equal parts Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate and Bitter Truth Xocolatl Bitters)
1.5 oz. Ginger Beer
Lemon Slice
Mint Sprig

Directions:

In a shaker mix tequila, ginger syrup, lemon juice, lime juice and chocolate bitters with ice. Shake and strain into an iced highball, leaving enough room to top with chilled ginger beer. Garnish with lemon and mint.

The rich and complex flavors of the braised lengua tacos are perfectly paired with the slightly sweet, slightly sour Bucking Borracho cocktail.

Background:
Adam Schuman, beverage director for NYC's Fatty Crew, is well versed in pairing cocktails with unusual spices and ingredients. If there was any doubt that Chocolate Bitters, tequila, ginger syrup and, yes, beef tongue go together, whip out your shaker and call up El Diablo Taco truck for an order of their signature Braised Tacos de Lengua.



Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork Tacos

Los Angeles, CA

Makes 6 servings


Ingredients:

2 ½ lbs. boneless pork tenderloin
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
¼ cup brown sugar
2 jalapeños, sliced into rings
1 red onion, roughly chopped
8 small flour or corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:
Heat oven to 300° F. Place the pork in the center of 2 large sheets of aluminum foil and season meat on all sides with the salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Spoon the sugar over the pork, turning to coat. Scatter the jalapeños and onion around the pork. Fold the double layer of foil around the pork and seal edges tightly. Place in a baking dish and roast until fork-tender, about 4 hours. Let cool. Unwrap the pork, and pour juices into separate container. Use a fork to shred the pork, placing shredded pieces in a large bowl. Pour the cooking juices, onion, and jalapeños over the pork and toss. Squeeze lime over pork mixture. Spoon pork mixture onto individual tacos and wrap. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime.


Pollo Asado Tacos

El Tonayense Taco Truck
San Francisco, CA


Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tbs. black pepper
2 tbs. garlic salt
Salt to taste
Hard taco shells
Toppings to taste

Directions:
Combine chicken, orange juice, pepper, garlic salt and salt in a bowl. Refrigerate and let marinate overnight. Sauté chicken in a hot pan until cooked through. Dish into taco shells and garnish with your favorite toppings.


El Diablo Braised Tacos de Lengua

El Diablo Taco Truck
Brooklyn, NY


Makes roughly 7-8 tacos


Ingredients:
½ beef tongue, cleaned
2 ½ cups water
2 cups beef stock
½ white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 jalapeño, sliced
2 tomatoes, halved and sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ bottle dark Mexican beer
1 tbs. vegetable oil
Salt & pepper
Queso Fresco
Lime
Corn Tortillas
Salsa

Directions:
Season beef tongue generously with salt and pepper. Sauté onions, garlic, jalapeño and tomatoes in a heavy pot with vegetable oil for 5 mins. Add water, beef stock and dark beer to sautéed vegetables and bring to boil. Add beef tongue and chopped cilantro to a heavy pot and salt to taste. Simmer covered until tender, turning tongue once. Braise for about 3 hours. Cool uncovered in broth. Remove tongue and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Dress with queso fresco, onions, cilantro and a wedge of lime. Serve on a corn tortilla and top with salsa.






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