Del Rio

Tequila has long been an integral happy hour starter at my house - but mostly as a base for Margaritas.

Lately, I've been on the lookout for expanding my repertoire with this multifaceted spirit. And what I'm discovering is if you choose a white (blanco) or unaged variety, the combinations are fairly limitless.

Today's featured cocktail, the Del Rio, combines an ultra smooth tequila with manzanilla Sherry - an unlikely companion until very recently. Now I'm hearing "Sherry is to tequila as Vermouth is to Whiskey". 

Another liqueur that is fairly new to the artisanal cocktail makers arsenal but lots of fun to experiment with is this one.

Del Rio

1 1/2 oz Ocho Plata or other white Tequila

3/4 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur

3/4 oz manzanilla Sherry

3 dashes Angostura Orange bitters

Grapefruit peel for garnish

Place all liquid ingredients in a shaker, add ice, stir briskly and strain into stem glass. Garnish & enjoy!

I would stick with the border-town theme and whip up a Queso Fundido appetizer to serve with this one and few people can throwdown the TexMex better than this guy. Skip the transfer-to-serving-bowl part and use a small cast-iron skillet if you have one - one less pan to wash and much more festive.

And to that I say Si, Si - Salud!