Drink of the Week: Azul Latin Kitchen’s Tijuana Toddy
In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.
If the land of hot toddies is your playground over the winter months then this week’s feature is for you. And after setting some cold temp records in the past week, it might even be at the top of your après list. In any case, it definitely hits all the high points of a warm winter cocktail.
The base spirit of this drink comes in the form of an apple and cinnamon infused el Jimador Silver tequila. That fruit and spice soak takes place over about a week, but it’s how well the infusion pairs with the citrus and spiciness of the tequila that really sets the tone. It’s joined by freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice, organic agave nectar, and hot water, then garnished with a cinnamon stick and a slice of fresh lemon.
Anytime I have a slice of fruit garnish, I’m squeezing it regardless. That bright pop of lemon combined with cinnamon stick swirls, along with the spiciness of the tequila, are evident on the nose with each sip. The tequila and citrus are the main players up front while the spices closes things out.
For me, the main two goals of a toddy are to warm you up and make you smile. Mission accomplished. That warming sensation comes in the form of very airy and slightly sweet sips that thaw all the way through. Never does it weigh too heavy or stray from its lane. It’s exactly what you might expect but it also delivers a playfulness that you might not.
If you’re one who has never ventured into the world of warm cocktails, maximizing your understanding by taking a polar plunge in the lake before imbibing might yield the best experience. Better yet, just think about how you’d feel after doing it, and then try. Yeah, that’s much better than suffering under the cold death misery grip of Lake Tahoe’s winter temperatures. Forget I even mentioned it and enjoy.
Azul Latin Kitchen is located at 1001 Heavenly Village Way in South Lake Tahoe. For food and drink menu options and additional information visit them online at azullatinkitchen.com or reach them via phone at 530-541-2985.
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