“Tequila and citrus are a no-brainer, I would guess that 98 percent of the world’s tequila ends up crossing paths with citrus,” says Pete Christensen, bar manager at Seattle’s Westward. Luckily for agave lovers — and as the weather turns — citrus comes into season and Seattle has a new tequila in the market. Handcrafted from 100 percent pure Weber Blue Agave, Azuñia Tequila is the exclusive U.S. export of distillery Agaveros Unidos de Amatitán, which produces tequila from its second-generation, family-owned and-run estate in Jalisco, Mexico. And it matches naturally with fresh-squeezed citrus juice.
In this spin on a classic Paloma — aptly named Birds of Paradise for the feathered friends that grace the Lake Union dock Westward perches on — Christensen features Azuñia’s blanco tequila with a house-made blackberry-lime shrub. “Azuñia in particular has a heavy, earthy and herbal backbone that plays with the blackberry in our shrub and the habañero in Scrappy’s Firewater bitters,” he adds. “The tequila leans away from the peanut butter and popcorn thing that ruins a lot of other tequilas for me and stays really fresh and clean.”
Birds of Paradise
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ounce Azuñia blanco tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce house-made blackberry/lime shrub
1/2 ounce pamplemousse liqueur
1 dash Scrappy’s Fire Water bitters
Garnish: half-wheel grapefruit
Pour all ingredients into a mixing tin, ice, cap and shake. Pour into a salt-rimmed bucket and garnish with a half-wheel of grapefruit.