Cooking with tequila

Fire up the grill — we found your new favorite warm-weather pairing.

Here’s the thing about summer: We can eat tacos and drink margaritas every day. Every day. Tijuanan chef Javier Plascencia, one of Mexico’s high-profile culinary stars — he’s part of a movement defining Baja cuisine — shows us that tequila isn’t just the perfect accompaniment for summertime dishes, it’s an ideal ingredient, too.

“The flavors of tequila — caramel, wood, citrus — open your appetite,” says chef Plascencia, who was in NYC whipping up recipes for an event with Tequila Don Julio. “And the caramel and honey flavor profiles add complexity to the overall taste of the dish.” Plus, he explains, the wooden barrels the tequila is aged in give it a smoky quality, perfect for grilling. Try his recipe below.

Recipe: Oaxacan barbecue chicken

(Serves six)


1⁄2 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 cup Tequila Don Julio Anejo
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 tablespoon sea salt
2 cups ketchup
1⁄4 cup plum tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons mole negro
1⁄3 cup apple cider vinegar
1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 cup shredded piloncillo, Mexican brown sugar (substitute: 1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar and 1 teaspoon molasses)
1⁄3 teaspoon Mexican hot sauce (Tamazula, Valentina or Bufalo)
2 pounds chicken, cut into pieces (substitute shrimp, mushrooms, onions and anything else you want to grill)

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic and tequila. Simmer for 10 minutes or until onion is translucent.

2. Mix in the black pepper, salt, ketchup, tomato, mole, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, piloncillo and hot sauce. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Run sauce through a strainer if you prefer a smooth sauce.

5. Brush sauce all over chicken. Cook on a hot grill, brushing occasionally with sauce.

Cocktail pairing

Aztec Summer
Created by New York mixologist Leo Robitschek

3⁄4 ounce Tequila Don Julio Blanco
1⁄4 ounce apertif wine
1⁄4 ounce mezcal
1⁄4 ounce agave syrup
1⁄4 ounce fresh lime juice
Cucumber slices for garnish

1. Muddle cucumber in a cocktail shaker.  
2. Add Tequila Don Julio Blanco, apertif wine, mezcal, agave syrup and fresh lime juice into cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well.
3. Strain contents into a rocks glass with fresh ice.
4. Garnish with cucumber slice.


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.


Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…


New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.


Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.