Brisbane’s best tequila cocktails (that aren’t margaritas)   | Gourmand and Gourmet

Brisbane's best tequila cocktails (that aren't margaritas)  

It’s a societal rite of passage. Sprinkle some salt on the wrist, divvy up the lime wedges, grab a shot glass, and cringe. Most of us will immediately feel a churn in the stomach and elicit an “oh, god no,” when someone pulls the tequila bottle off the shelf. Why? Well, because we’ve woken up with regrets, nausea, headaches, and a newfound (but lifelong) distrust of tequila, that’s why. And while we may never erase the memories of those terrible, terrible shots, we shouldn’t swear off tequila entirely. Several Brisbane cocktail bars have graced us with thoughtful and tasty cocktails that pack the punch of the Mexican spirit without the sting of regret. Nope, we’re not talking about margaritas: these are original tequila cocktails that we think will totally change your mind about that fiesta-loving beverage. Riverbar & Kitchen | Brisbane You can trust Riverbar & Kitchen to handle tequila with far more class than you ever did in your uni days, and their Kiwi Sutra cocktail might just have you regretting ever stooping to salt and lime. With zesty blend of kiwifruit, tequila, Chartreuse and lime, it’s just the refreshing hit to teach you that tequila should be sipped, not slammed, and is best paired with sparkling river views. Alquimia | Fortitude Valley A whole bar dedicated to tequila? If that isn’t an invitation to get reacquainted with the spirit, nothing is! Party like a Mariachi band with Alquimia’s El Mariachi Julep. The cocktail’s base is Gran Centenario Reposado, which is a very smooth variety of tequila. The spirit is mixed with honey fig chili (err…yum!), and tarragon. Hey, if it works, it works, and we can affirm that this drink is working it! Los Villanos | Brisbane Tostadas and tequila – can you think of a better match? When visiting Los Villanos, we recommend trying the Villanos Express. It’s made up of tequila, kahlua, vodka and espresso, so there’s no doubt you’ll be going all night… although there might be some doubt as to where you’ll be going. Laruche | Fortitude Valley This sophisticated Valley bar is the perfect spot to get back in touch with spirits of any kind. Tequila is very, very sorry for how it hurt you in the past, and it just wants to be friends again. Let it apologise with Laruche’s Tequila Belmont – a mix of tequila, vanilla, cranberry and pomegranate grenadine, and cream. What a sweetie! Tinderbox Kitchen | Fortitude Valley Go, Tommy, go! All the way to Tinderbox Kitchen where you’ll find a fruity blend of Tromba Tequila Bianco (Australian made tequila – maybe it should be called ‘oi, Tommy oi!’), passionfruit, agave syrup and lime. Whoever Tommy is, we want to be friends with him. Cove | South Bank If you like tequila coladas, and getting caught in the rain (and then running around like a maniac because, well, tequila), smack your lips together for Cove’s Tequila Colada. Made with Espolon Reposada tequila, Malibu, kaffir leaf, and coconut, it’s served shaken, on the rocks, and topped with toasted coconut shavings. You won’t know whether you should party like it’s 1999 or lie on a beach in the Caribbean. These Mexican-esque cocktails are honestly all we can taco ‘bout! Give tequila another chance and let these delicious flavours make it up to you. Words by Samantha Chariton