owned and operated in the UK by Oriole Restaurants Limited The Real Mexican Kitchen A Guide to Authentic Mexican Ingredients The Mexican Dish Dictionary The Mexican Kitchen at Home Tequila - The Toast of Mexico Authentic Mexican cuisine is an unknown entity for many of us. When asked to describe Mexican dishes, we conjure up plates of nachos dripping with cheese, burritos bursting with sour cream and meal-kit-enchiladas smothered in a tomato salsa, which are a far cry from the fresh and vibrant tastes of authentic Mexican cuisine. Mexican cuisine is as vibrant and diverse as its fascinating culture. With its various influences – from the early Mayan Indians to the Spanish, French, West Africans and Portuguese – Mexican food has evolved over many hundreds of years, combining a vast array of wonderful ingredients, fantastic flavours and unique cooking methods. The ‘real Mexican kitchen’ honours the Mexican tradition of investing time and passion into the sourcing, preparation and cooking of fresh, wholesome food. Cantina Laredo offers authentic Mexican food that is faithful to the way Mexicans have been cooking – and enjoying – it for generations. To help showcase the depth and variety of Mexican cooking, the Cantina Laredo team have put together a short guide to authentic Mexican cuisine. AVOCADOS Like tomatoes, the avocado is often mistaken to be a vegetable when it is in fact a fruit. It is believed that the Aztecs introduced avocado seedlings into Mexico during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Aztec name for avocado was ahuacatl. This name was first changed to aguacate by the Spanish, before being corrupted to alligator pear and then to avocado by the English. There are several varieties of avocado. Cantina Laredo only uses the Hass variety which is distinctive for its skin that turns from green to purplish-black when ripe. The Hass avocado has the perfect texture, flavour and oil content for Cantina Laredo’s Top Shelf Guacamole. TOMATILLOS (TOH-MAH-TEE-YO) The tomatillo, which means ‘little tomato’ in Spanish, has been grown in Mexico since Aztec times, when they were known as miltomatl. As their name suggests, tomatillos resemble a small green tomato in size, shape and appearance except for the fact that they are enshrouded by a papery husk. The tomatillo belongs to the same nightshade family as the tomato; however their flavour resembles that of Mexican food varies widely between different regions within Mexico; however fresh fish, traditional cuts of meat, and an extensive variety of vegetables, chillies and spices form the basis of Mexican cooking. You will find the following key ingredients in any authentic Mexican kitchen: tart apples with a hint of lemon, which is enhanced by cooking. At Cantina Laredo tomatillos are used in a variety of dishes including traditional Mexican Green Sauce, Mole Sauce and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa. JALAPEÑO PEPPERS (HAH-LAH-PEHN-YO) The jalapeño is one of the most commonly grown chillies in Mexico originating from the town Xalapa in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The jalapeño has a heat level that varies from mild to hot depending on its growing conditions and its method of preparation. In general however, jalapeños have a heat level of 6 (10 being the hottest). The heat level of jalapeños can be reduced by deseeding and deveining the pepper prior to eating. The jalapeño is very versatile and is used widely in authentic Mexican cooking. At Cantina Laredo jalapeños are prepared and used in a variety of ways. For instance, freshly diced raw jalapeños are used to make Pico De Gallo, roasted jalapeños are used in the Roasted Tomato and Tomatillo Salsas, and fresh jalapeños are cooked in a number of sauces including the Jalapeño Beurre Blanc Sauce and Ranchera Sauce. POBLANO PEPPER (POE-BLAH-NOH) Originating from the Mexican state of Puebla, the poblano pepper is another of the most popular chilli peppers grown in Mexico. It is a large, dark green pepper with a similar flavour to a bell pepper but with a mild heat (heat level of 3). Poblano peppers are widely used in Mexican cooking where the tough outer skin of the poblano is often removed before eating. Poblano peppers are used in a variety of dishes at Cantina Laredo including the traditional Mexican Chile Relleno, and our signature dish - the Camaron Poblano Asada. CASCABEL PEPPER (KAHS-KAH-BEL) CORN MASA The cascabel chilli pepper is a native of the Pacific Coast of Mexico, where it can still be found Masa or “dough” in Spanish is made from field corn which is dried, boiled in lime water solution, growing wild. The name cascabel means “little rattle” in Spanish and refers to the noise that the seeds rinsed, patted dry, and then ground. Water is then added to this ground corn to form a stiff dough. In make inside the chilli. This small, reddish-brown chilli has a nutty, smoky flavour and is moderate in traditional Mexican cooking, corn masa is used to make corn tortillas and tamales. heat (heat level of 4). Cascabel chillies are most commonly used in Mexican cooking in a dried form. The drying process TORTILLAS (TOR-TEE-YAS) concentrates natural sugars present in the chillies and produces a great depth of flavour. At Cantina Mexican tortillas are a type of flat, unleavened bread made from either finely ground corn masa or Laredo dried cascabel chillies are ground down and used to make Cascabel Sauce, which is in turn wheat flour. Tortillas vary in their shape, size, thickness, colour, and flavour depending on how they are used to prepare a number of dishes including the Cascabel Ribeye and Tacos Cascabel. made and the flour or corn used. The type of tortillas eaten in Mexico vary by region also, for instance wheat flour tortillas are more common than corn tortillas in the north of Mexico, whereas corn tortillas CHIPOTLE PEPPER (CHI-POHT-LAY) are far more common in southern and central Mexico. Chipotle peppers are dried and smoked jalapeño peppers. The drying and smoking process deepens the Cantina Laredo uses nine different types of tortilla (listed below), each with their own unique flavour of the jalapeño pepper to a rich smokiness and the name of the chilli changes and becomes characteristics that lend themselves to a particular use within the menu. Many of the tortillas used chipotle. Chipotle peppers can be identified by their sweet, smoky chocolate flavour and nutty tone, by Cantina Laredo are produced exclusively for the restaurant to the house recipe. with a heat level of 6. • Tostada Chips (toe-STAH-dah) – hand-cut yellow corn tortillas, which are fried, lightly Chipotles have been used since Aztec times and originate in the region that is now northern Mexico salted and served warm to every guest with Cantina Laredo’s Roasted Tomato and Roasted City. It is believed that the Aztecs smoked the chillies because the thick, fleshy, jalapeño was difficult to Tomatillo Salsas. dry and prone to rot. At Cantina Laredo chipotles are ground down to make Chipotle Wine Sauce and Chipotle Portabella Sauce. ANCHO PEPPER (AHN-CHOH) Ancho chilli peppers are dried red poblano chilli peppers. They are the most common dried chilli in Mexico and are also the sweetest of the dried chillies. Ancho chillies have a mild fruit flavour with a heat level of 3. Ancho chillies are a key ingredient in the creation of Mexico’s famous Mole Sauce. At Cantina Laredo ancho chillies are ground down and used to make Mole Sauce. • White Table Corn Tortilla – a soft corn tortilla served with Cantina Laredo’s Carnitas and used to make Brisket Tacos. • Orange Oval Corn Tortilla – a naturally coloured vibrant orange oval corn tortilla fried and cut into strips or ‘flags’ and used in Ceviche, Enchilada Veracruz, Taco Salad and Tortilla Soup. • White Oval Corn Tortilla – a white oval corn tortilla predominantly used to hand roll Cantina Laredo’s Enchiladas to order. • 4.5” Yellow Corn Tortilla – a small, round, yellow corn tortilla used to make Tacos Cascabel and Tacos al Pastor. Two tortillas are layered and served per taco. PASILLA PEPPER (PAH-SEE-YAH) Pasilla chilli peppers are the dried form of the fresh chilaca chilli. Pasilla means “little raisin” and these chillies can be identified by their long, thin shape and shiny, black-green raisin like colour. The pasilla has a deep, rich, complex smoky flavour with a heat level of 4. Like ancho chillies, pasilla chillies are a key ingredient found in traditional Mexican Mole Sauce recipes. At Cantina Laredo pasilla chillies are ground down and used to make Mole Sauce. • 6” Taco Shell Corn Tortilla – a thin tortilla which is fried to create a crispy taco shell used in Niños Crispy Tacos and Chicken Flautas. • 6” Flour Tortilla – a soft wheat flour tortilla served with Cantina Laredo’s Fajitas, and Fiesta Grill, and used to make Soft tacos and Tacos al Carbon. • 8” Flour Tortilla – a soft wheat flour tortilla which is toasted to make Quesadillas. • 10” Flour Tortilla – a soft wheat flour tortilla which is filled, wrapped, and fried to make Cantina Laredo’s Chimichangas. RICE QUESO FRESCO The Spaniards first brought rice to Mexico through the port of Veracruz in the 16th century. The warm, As the name suggests queso fresco (fresh cheese) is an immature cheese. Queso fresco is in fact a moist climate of Veracruz proved to be ideal for its cultivation, and it soon grew into Mexican culinary generic name for a number of cheeses, all of which share some common characteristics. Queso fresco prominence. The rice most commonly used in Mexican cuisine is long grain white rice which has had tends to be moist and creamy in colour, with a very mild flavour and crumbly in texture. Cantina Laredo its husk removed. Removing the rice husk allows the rice to absorb flavours more easily which is uses fresco cheese crumbles as a garnish to a variety of dishes. important to traditional Mexican cooking. At Cantina Laredo long grain white rice (with the husks removed) is simmered with tomatoes, onions, SKIRT STEAK garlic, chicken stock and spices to make colourful and flavoursome authentic Mexican rice. Skirt steak is a thin, long, fan-shaped cut from the beef plate (belly) primal, and is one of the most flavourful of all steaks. This belt-shaped cut of meat is the source of the word fajita, meaning “belt” in PINTO BEANS Spanish. Skirt steak is the authentic meat for Mexican fajitas and carne asadas. Beans continue to be the staple food in Mexico, and you will find a simmering pot of dried beans in This incredibly tender and flavoursome cut is used in a number of dishes at Cantina Laredo including almost every home. Pinto and black beans are the two most commonly used dried beans in Mexico and Beef Fajitas, Carne Asada, Camaron Poblano Asada and the Fiesta Grill. are the dried beans used by Cantina Laredo. Pinto or “painted” in Spanish, refers to the speckled lines of brown on the pale skins of the pinto PORK TIBIA bean. The pinto bean is a rich source of protein and iron, and can be prepared and served in a number The pork tibia is a unique cut of meat, similar to a pork shank, used in traditional Mexican cooking to of ways. make carnitas. Carnitas are made by slowly braising the pork tibia with spices until it is tender enough to fall off the bone. This famous Mexican dish can be served in a variety of ways; at Cantina Laredo the At Cantina Laredo pinto beans are used to make Refried Beans and Borracho Beans. To make Refried braised pork tibias are topped with Chipotle Wine Sauce and served with soft corn tortillas. Beans, pinto beans are slowly cooked with onions until tender and then fried in a little pork fat for additional flavour. Borracho or “drunken” beans are prepared using pinto beans, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, spices and beer. BLACK BEANS Or turtle beans, are small, shiny black beans which have a dense and meaty texture. Black beans are traditionally used to create soups or fillings for enchiladas or tacos. At Cantina Laredo black beans are simmered with onions and salt and served partially mashed with fresco cheese. QUESO DE OAXACA (KAY-SOH DE WA-HA-CA) Cheese was an important addition to the Mexican diet when Spanish invaders introduced dairy cattle to Mexico in the 16th century. The first cheeses were based on traditional Spanish recipes, but the Mexicans soon developed several cheeses of their own. Oaxaca or Queso De Oaxaca is a white, semi-hard cheese originating from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Known as the Mexican Mozzarella, the milky, stringy texture is similar in taste to un-aged Monterey Jack cheese and is ideal for cooking as it has good melting properties. Like Champagne, ‘Oaxaca cheese’ is strictly regulated and can only be produced in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Due to UK dairy import restrictions Cantina Laredo have commissioned production of their own semi-hard, medium fat cheese which has been matched to the moisture, fat, salt and PH content to Queso De Oaxaca to ensure an authentic taste. HERBS AND SPICES Although chillies are a major flavouring used in Mexican cooking, they are by no means the only flavourings used. At Cantina Laredo recipes include allspice, cinnamon, cloves, fresh coriander leaves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, Mexican oregano, nutmeg, turmeric and a wealth of other herbs and spices. TACOS Traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. TAMALES (TAH–MAH–LEES) Corn masa filled with shredded pork and spices, then wrapped and steamed in a cornhusk to keep it moist. Key to enjoying the new look Mexican food on offer at Cantina Laredo is casting aside old habits and being a bit braver! With so many weird and wonderful names and terms, you’d be forgiven for finding the authentic Mexican menu a little daunting. Do you know your tamales from your chile rellenos? Or your chimichangas from your quesadillas? The team at Cantina Laredo are here to help with this handy guide to some of the fantastic dishes, cooking styles and ingredients that make up any authentic Mexican menu. MEXICAN MENU TERMINOLOGY A lot of these sound obvious – but be careful... AL CARBON (AHL-CAR-BONE) Grilled. AL PASTOR (PAHS-TOR) A traditional dish of pork simmered in Cascabel sauce. ASADA (AH-SAH-DAH) A style of cooking, fajita beef cooked on the grill, served as a steak instead of in strips. BISTEC (BIZ-TEK) Steak. BOTANAS (BOW-TAAN-AHS) A sampler dish. CAMARONES (CAH-MAH-ROW-NAYS) Prawns. CHILLIS (CHILL-EES) Hot and spicy peppers. CHIPOTLE (CHI-POTE-LAY) A smoked, dried jalapeño pepper. CHORIZO (CHORE-EZZ-OH) Mexican pork sausage. COSTILLAS (COH-STEE-AHS) Ribs. GREAT DISHES DEL MAR (DELL-MARR) ‘From the sea’. ENSALADAS (EN-SAAL-AH-DAS) Salads. Many of these may be unfamiliar to UK diners – but delicious! FAJITA MEAT (FAH-HEE-TAH) Grilled strips of beef, or chicken breast strips with a butter marinade. BLACK BEANS Black beans simmered with onions and salt, then partially mashed. MACHACA (MA-CHA-KAH) Shredded beef, seasoned with onions and poblano peppers. Used for BORRACHO BEANS Which translates literally as ‘drunken beans’ is made from whole pinto beans stewed with jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, spices, and beer! CARNITAS (CAR-NEE-TAHS) Braised pork shank. CHILE RELLENO (CHILLY–RAY–YAY–NO) A large poblano pepper, skinned and seeded, filled with a choice of stuffing and then battered and deep fried until golden brown. FRESCO Fresh. beef enchiladas. MOLE (MO-LEH) A dark, sweet spicy sauce with a blend of chillis, onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, raisins, sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, crushed almonds, chocolate, and spices. PESCADO (PESS-KAH-DOE) Fish. PICO DE GALLO (PEE-KOE–DAY-GUY-YO) Meaning ‘the beak of the rooster’, Pico de Gallo is a CHIMICHANGA (CHIM-EE-CHANG-AH) A flour tortilla, filled, rolled up and fried. Usually topped with traditional colourful Mexican relish of tomatoes, red onions, yellow onions, coriander, jalapeño a sauce. peppers, vinegar, lime juice and spices. ENCHILADAS (EN–CHEE–LAH–DAHS) Corn tortillas dipped into hot oil to soften them; then basted in enchilada sauce, filled with choice of filling and topped with sauce. POBLANO (POE-BLAH-NOH) chilli peppers, similar to bell peppers, but sometimes a little hotter. POLLO (POI-YO) Chicken. GUACAMOLE (WAHK–AH–MOE–LEE) Avocados, tomatoes, red onions, coriander, jalapeño peppers SOPA (SEW-PA) Soup. and spices. TORTILLAS (TOR-TEE-YAS) A type of flat, unleavened bread made from either finely ground corn masa QUESADILLAS (KAY-SA-DEE-YAS) A Mexican grilled cheese sandwich! The quesadilla combines a choice of filling and cheese, placed between two soft flour tortillas and grilled until the cheese melts. QUESO (KAY-SOH) Cheese. Also the common name for chilli con queso - a hot, creamy blend of cheese, chilli peppers, onions, tomatoes and spices. REFRIED BEANS A dish consisting of pinto beans which have been slowly cooked with onions until tender, and then fried in a small amount of pork fat. or wheat flour. GUACAMOLE Serve with Tostada chips or Warm Corn Tortillas Equipment: Cutting Board, Knife, Measuring Cups, Forks, Spoons, Mixing Bowl, Chilled Serving Bowl and a Rubber/Wooden Spatula. Why not try some fantastic Cantina Laredo recipes at home? Here are four great recipes to get you started. INGREDIENTS Lime, Fresh Salt Granulated Garlic Avocado Red Onions, Diced Jalapeños Fresh, Seeds Removed, Finely Diced Coriander, Finely Chopped Tomatoes Fresh, Diced Tomato Wedge WEIGHT ½ Tomato MEASURE ½ Lime ¼ Teaspoon ¼ Teaspoon 1 Large or 2 Mediums 2 Tablespoons 2 Tablespoons 2 Tablespoons 1/3 Cup 1 Each PROCEDURE 1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the internal stone. 2. With a knife score the inside of the avocado into ½” lines turning the knife length wise and cross wise to form ½” squares. This will help with mashing the avocados. 3. Finely chop the coriander and the jalapeños (remember to remove the seeds). 4. Dice the red onions and tomatoes into small pieces. Keep the tomatoes separate as they will be added later. 5. Gather and measure the granulated garlic. 6. Take the avocado half and place a spoon between the skin and pulp of the avocado. Remove the pulp and place into the mixing bowl. Do the same with the rest of the avocados. 7. With the two forks mash the avocados to make a chunky paste. 8. Add the lime juice, salt, garlic, onions, jalapeños and coriander. Mix well with rubber/wooden spatula. 9. Add tomatoes to guacamole and gently fold until mixed thoroughly. 10. Transfer the guacamole to a chilled serving bowl. Garnish with tomato wedge and serve with corn tortilla chips. HINTS AND TIPS 1. If you are unable to get hold of fresh jalapeños, try substituting with fresh green chilli peppers available at your local supermarket - these will work too. 2. If you like your guacamole extra spicy, do not remove the seeds from the jalapeños. 3. Wear plastic gloves when cutting the jalapeño peppers as they can be hot. 4. Always use firm and ripe tomatoes. WHERE TO BUY All ingredients should be available at your local supermarket. PREP TIME 5 minutes SERVES 2-3 people SHELF LIFE Use immediately CHIMICHURRI SAUCE CASA RITA MARGARITA Use as a sauce on grilled salmon, grilled prawns, steaks or a dressing for salads Equipment: Cutting Board, Knife, Measuring Utensils, Cocktail Shaker, Lemon/Lime Squeezer, Mixing Cup and two Serving Glasses. Equipment: Cutting Board, Measuring Cups, Spoons, Blender, Garlic Crusher or Pestle and Mortar, Rubber/Wooden Spatula, Small Plastic Container with Lid. INGREDIENTS Fresh Garlic Cloves Salt Coriander, Finely Chopped Vegetable Oil Lemon Juice, Fresh Cayenne Pepper WEIGHT MEASURE 3 Each 1 Teaspoon 70g ¾ Cup 6 Tablespoons ½ Teaspoon PROCEDURE 1. Mince the garlic cloves. Add the salt to the garlic. Mash the salt into the garlic to form a paste using the back of a spoon. 2. Measure and add the finely chopped coriander, vegetable oil, cayenne pepper and garlic salt paste into a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Do not over blend. 3. Slowly add the lemon juice to the mixture and blend well until the mix is emulsified. Do not over blend the mixture or it will become very oily. 4. Pour the contents into a plastic container with a lid. Refrigerate until ready to use. WHERE TO BUY All ingredients should be available at your local supermarket. PREP TIME 15 minutes SERVES 9-10 people SHELF LIFE 48 hours, refrigerated INGREDIENTS Reposado Tequila Cointreau Fresh Lime Juice Simple Syrup* Ice WEIGHT *Simple Syrup Sugar Hot Water MEASURE 100ml 40ml 85ml (approxmately 7 limes) As Below As Desired 3 Tablespoons 3 Tablespoons PROCEDURE 1. Gather the reposado tequila, cointreau, fresh limes, sugar and hot water. 2. Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar to 3 tablespoons of hot water in a mixing cup. Stir thoroughly until all the sugar has dissolved. 3. Squeeze your fresh lime juice making sure that all pips are removed. 4. Measure and add the reposado tequila, cointreau, fresh lime juice and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Add ice as desired. Shake to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. 5. Strain and serve immediatley over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge. HINTS AND TIPS 1. Always use fresh lime juice as this will provide a superior quality product. WHERE TO BUY All ingredients should be available at your local supermarket. PREP TIME 5 minutes SERVES 2 people SHELF LIFE Serve immediately CEVICHE Equipment: Cutting Board, Knife, 1 Litre Plastic Containers with Lid, Rubber/Wooden Spatula, Sauce Pan, Measuring Cups and Spoons. 11. Gather and measure all the ingredients for the vegetable mix. Place into mixing bowl and mix well. 12. If serving immediately, combine the seafood mix with the vegetables. Mix thoroughly. INGREDIENTS Seafood Grey Mullet/Tilapia, Fillet Scallops Prawns, Medium, Boiled Lime Juice, Fresh Sea Salt, Course Cholula Sauce Vegetables Capers, Drained Olives, Finely Sliced Red Onions, Finely Sliced Red Bell Peppers, Finely Sliced Coriander, Finely Chopped Tomatoes, Diced Jalapeños, Canned, Finely Chopped, Seeds Removed Oregano Vegetable Oil WEIGHT MEASURE 14. If not using immediately, keep the seafood and vegetables separate and only combine when ready to serve. 225g 115g 115g ¾ Cup ¼ Teaspoon 2 Tablespoons HINTS AND TIPS 1. Try using other seasonal local fish if grey mullet/tilapia are not available, for example cod. A fleshy fish is recommended to absorb the lime juices. 3 Tablespoons 6 Each WHERE TO BUY 1. Cholula Sauce – online. Just look up Cholula Sauce under any Search Engine. 2. Canned jalapeños are usually packed in jars in supermarkets. 3. All other ingredients should be available at your local supermarket. 85g (1 Large) 85g (Half) 2 Medium 20g Garnish Avocado Slices Lime Wedge Corn Tortilla Chips 13. The dish is now ready to be served. Garnish with avocado slices, a lime wedge and serve with corn tortilla chips. 3 Tablespoons ¾ Cup 5 Each 1 ½ Teaspoons 3 Tablespoons As Needed 1 Each As Needed PROCEDURE 1. Remove waste tract from prawns by slitting down the back with a knife to reveal. 2. Add water to a pan. Bring to the boil. Add prawns and cook for 4-5 minutes. 3. Remove prawns from boiling water and refrigerate immediately for approximately 10 minutes to cool. 4. Only proceed to next step once prawns have cooled down. 5. Gather the grey mullet/tilapia, scallops and pre-boiled prawns and place on a cutting board. 6. Cut grey mullet/tilapia, scallops, and prawns into ½” chunks. Scallops may not need to be cut if they are small. 7. Place the seafood into a 1 litre plastic container. 8. Measure the fresh lime juice and pour over the entire surface of the seafood. 9. Cover with plastic lid and place into the refrigerator for 12 hours to “cook”. 10. After 12 hours drain off the juice. Add Sea Salt and Cholula Sauce to the seafood. Mix together using a rubber/wooden spatula. SEAFOOD PREP TIME 10 minutes, 12 hours refrigerated SERVES 4 people SHELF LIFE 24 hours, refrigerated. VEGETABLES PREP TIME 10 minutes SERVES 4 people SHELF LIFE 18 hours, refrigerated It’s a surprise to many people that there is more to drinking tequila than slammers! In fact connoisseurs of tequila would rather sip than “throw one down the hatch”. They will argue the merits of their favourite brands with every bit as much passion as a whiskey enthusiast debates the merits of a single malt. Different brands and types of tequila suit different foods and occasions. WHAT IS TEQUILA? COOKING AND MILLING Tequila is a unique alcoholic drink with its own individual flavour, produced by fermenting the juice of The harvested pinas are then cut up and cooked in large ovens or autoclaves. While the agave is the blue agave (ah-gah-VAY) plant which is indigenous to Mexico. As champagne can only be produced cooking, a sweet liquid is extracted from the plants mass. This liquid is diluted with water and placed in in the Champagne region of France, tequila can only be produced within certain designated areas, fermentation tanks. The dark brown cooked agave is then removed from the cooking vessels and moved primarily within the state of Jalisco. to the crushing-juicing equipment where the fibrous pulp of the agave is crushed expelling the juice. After the agaves have been fully crushed, the juice is placed in fermentation tanks along with the diluted THE KINDS OF TEQUILA juice from the cooking process. There are two basic types of tequila namely 100 percent agave tequila and ‘mixed’ tequila or mixto. As you would expect, ‘100 percent agave’ tequila is distilled entirely from the fermented juice of the agave plant. Mixto is distilled from a mixture of agave juice and other sugars. FERMENTATION After being separated from the fibre, the juice is placed in fermentation tanks with water, and yeast is added. Natural fermentation usually takes between seven and ten days. In addition to the two basic types of tequila, there are four classifications based on what happens to the tequila after distillation. Combining these four classifications with each of the two types would DISTILLATION give eight varieties of tequila, but in practice gold tequila is always a mixto, so there are actually After all the sugar has been converted to alcohol, the reaction ceases and the fermented ‘must’ is then seven varieties: emptied into a holding tank to await first distillation. The recommended method of distillation is the pot, THE FOUR TYPES OF TEQUILA ARE: • Blanco or plata (‘white’ or ‘silver’) – White or blanco tequila is a clear liquid which, in the or alembic still, and two distillations are the recommended norm. AGING AND BLENDING bottle, usually looks much like water. It may be bottled immediately after distillation or When tequila leaves the still after the final run, it is as clear as water. This first stage of tequila is called allowed to rest in stainless steel tanks for a period of time no longer than 60 days, while blanco. The blanco tequila may be bottled immediately or put into wooden containers for aging. awaiting bottling. It may be 100% agave or mixto. Typically tequila is aged in oak barrels which give reposado and añejo tequilas a smoother consistency, • Reposado (‘rested’) – Reposado must be placed in wooden storage tanks or barrels for a deeper colour, and a more complex oaky flavour. period of not less than two months. Reposado may be 100% agave or mixto. • Añejo (‘aged’) - Añejo tequila must be aged in wooden barrels no larger than 600 litres, TEQUILA AT CANTINA LAREDO for a period of time no less than one year. Like blanco or reposado, anejo may be 100% Cantina Laredo is known for its love of tequila and offers a range of over 30 of the world’s finest 100 agave or mixto. percent blue agave varieties, as well as a couple of the world’s very best mixto tequilas. These are • Gold – Gold tequila is unaged, but treated with additives to achieve some of the same effects as aging. The additive is predominantly caramel (burnt sugar). Gold tequila is always a mixto. HOW IS IT MADE? sourced (and tested!) by our dedicated team who encourage guests to develop an appreciation of the spirit akin to that of the whiskey connoisseur. TEQUILA DINNERS AT CANTINA LAREDO At every Cantina Laredo, monthly tequila dinners are organised to encourage people to learn more HARVESTING THE PINA about the famous spirit which was first made almost 700 years ago and is still produced today from The first stage of the tequila making process is harvesting the swollen, juicy stem of the blue agave hand-harvested agave plants. The bar menu includes a ‘tequila flight’ during which guests can taste sometimes called a pina, because it resembles a pineapple although it is much larger and typically and compare three different varieties. weighs between 35 and 75 kilograms. The jimador (harvest worker) cuts the plant free from its roots, then removes the spiky leaves from the pina before taking the harvested pinas to the tequila factory. CAZADORES REPOSADO Colour: Very pale straw colour. Aroma: Moderate caramel and smoke aromas, with slight hints of agave, pepper, fruit, and floral elements. Flavour: Moderate agave and some pepper. Finish: Sweet, long finish. Aged: Rested for more than 2 months in new, small, American white-oak casks. PATRÓN SILVER Colour: Clear silver. SOME OF THE TEQUILAS STOCKED AT CANTINA LAREDO Aroma: Good agave nose with hints of vanilla, dried pineapple, nutmeg, and mildly earthy/wet DON JULIO REAL Flavour: Sweet agave flavour with hints of roasted citrus, dried flowers, and dusty mineral flavours. Colour: Majestic golden hue. Finish: Balanced bitter-sweet aftertaste with a sweet, long finish. Aroma: Rich, sweet aromas of caramel and toffee layered with a fresh vanilla fragrance and hints of red Aged: Bottled immediately after distillation. concrete aromas. fruits like cherry mixed with caramel and almonds. Chocolate tones along with cinnamon and a light touch of wood. Flavour: Attractive dry fruit flavours, cooked agave and peach are the first flavours perceived. Enticing vanilla flavours layered with caramel, chocolate and coffee undertones and a slight herbal essence create a refined, yet unforgettable sensation. Finish: Sweetly seductive with lingering vanilla impressions and a hint of oak for a warm, SAUZA SILVER Colour: Clear. Aroma: Hints of white pepper and fresh citrus. Flavour: Sweet taste with hints of fresh cut oak and pepper. sensuous finish. Finish: Ends with a hearty warmth. Aged: Painstakingly cared for in American white-oak barrels for three to five years. Aged: Bottled immediately after distillation. CABO WABO AÑEJO Colour: Amber-gold colour. Aroma: Full vanilla and caramel nose. Flavour: Woody notes on the palate complemented by hints of honey and chocolate. Finish: Long, smooth, delicate finish. Aged: Matured in American oak barrels for 14 months. Cantina Laredo Unit 22, St. Martin’s Courtyard Upper St. Martin’s Lane London. WC2H 9DL Please also visit our website www.cantinalaredo.co.uk and connect with us via Twitter @CantinaLaredoUK or Facebook Cantina Laredo UK.
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