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National Tequila Day: Celebrate With These Cocktails by Tap 42's Paige Nast

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We've been over this before: For every day of the year, a national food holiday exists.

Some are important, like pizza, beer, and whiskey.

Most, however, are superfluous. Do you really need a day to celebrate pizza with the works minus anchovies? We don't think so.

Today is one of the good ones. It's National Tequila Day, and to commemorate the occasion, we decided to get five inventive tequila cocktail recipes from Tap 42's beverage director and mixologist, Paige Nast -- no margaritas included.

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Te-Kill-Ya

"Our signature tequila cocktail at Tap," said Nast. "Made from Blanco tequila, fresh squeezed lime and orange, and a special house-made agave that we infuse in-house with cinnamon, chipotle, vanilla beans, and other secret spices. The rim is a mixture of salt, cinnamon, and sugar to pull the flavor notes of the tequila and spiced agave. As a note, the best way to achieve a great rim isn't using a wedge of lime; it's better to dip the rim in a shallow dish of simple syrup -- or agave for coarsely ground spices -- and then the dry mixture."

2 oz Blanco tequila

1 oz Spice-infused agave syrup

1 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice

0.5 oz Fresh squeezed orange juice

Dip the rim of a glass into equal parts cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail mixer with ice. Shake the mixture vigorously, strain, and pour into a glass with fresh ice.

Melon Thyme

"Fresh-from-the-farmers'-market cantaloupe, fresh thyme, fresh-squeezed lemon, agave, and Reposado Tequila make this drink very refreshing and light -- perfect for summer," said Nast.

2 cubes of cantaloupe, about 1" each

8 sprigs of thyme

0.75 oz fresh lemon

1 oz agave nectar

2 oz Reposado tequila

Muddle the cantaloupe and seven sprigs of thyme in a cocktail mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients and ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a glass with fresh ice.

Mexican Scramble

"A play on the classic 'bramble' gin cocktail," said Nast. "It's made from Blanco tequila, fresh lemon, simple syrup, and a dash of Framboise (a beer-tequila cocktail). The rim is a mixture of habanero salt and chili sugar, dipped in Framboise to give it color."

2 oz Blanco tequila

1 oz simple syrup

0.75 oz fresh lemon

Framboise Raspberry Lambic

Combine the tequila, simple syrup, and lemon juice into a cocktail mixer with ice and shake vigorously. Dip the edge of a cocktail glass in Framboise and dip into a mixture of habanero salt and chili sugar (available at most farmers' markets). Strain the tequila mixture into the glass. Top with Framboise Raspberry Lambic.

Tequila Old Fashioned

"Of course, a whiskey-inspired cocktail," said Nast, an avid whiskey enthusiast.

2 oz Anejo or extra-anejo tequila

1 oz Maduro-port syrup (specially made from Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Brown, port wine, and cocoa nibs)

Pour tequila and maduro-port syrup into a cocktail mixer with ice. Stir, then strain over ice. Garnish the drink with two Amarena cherries.

Tequila sunset

"A play on the tequila sunrise," said Nast. "With cilantro, kiwi, blanco tequila, simple syrup, lime, and a layer of real grenadine -- Jack Rudy, made old-style from pomegranate."

2 slices fresh jalapeño

Generous handful of cilantro

1/2 kiwis, skin removed

0.75 oz lime

0.75 oz simple syrup

2 oz Blanco tequila

Jack Rudy Small Batch Grenadine

Muddle the first three ingredients in a cocktail mixer. Add remaining ingredients with ice. Shake and strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. Top it off with Jack Rudy Small Batch Grenadine.

To help ring in the boozecentric holiday, Tap 42 will offer the Te-Kill-Ya and the Melon Thyme cocktails for $7 -- compared to $11 -- today.

Tap 42 is located at 1411 S. Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-463-4900, or visit tap42.com.



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