Wednesday, December 8, 2010

You Put de Lime in de Coconut but Not in de Beer!

The other night I asked the bartender to put a lime in my bottle of Rolling Rock. He looked at me with incomprehension.

“You want me to put lime in a Rolling Rock?” There was suspicion in his tone.

I assured him that it was perfectly legal even though it wasn’t Corona. He did his best the-customer-is-always-right shrug and jammed a fetid little sliver of lime into the mouth of the bottle. I didn’t really want lime in my beer; I was just messing with his head.

I don’t know why Americans think that Corona, and only Corona, must be served with lime. Mexicans certainly don’t. Mexicans only put lime in a beer bottle to keep insects out. They are careful not to squeeze the lime. They don’t like the taste of lime in their beer any more than they like the taste of inebriated insects swimming around in it. It doesn’t matter if they are drinking indoors either. Most Mexican buildings don’t have screens.

When Mexicans do choose to put lime in their beer it doesn’t matter what brand of beer they are drinking. Most likely it is not Corona. Corona is not a popular beer in Mexico. It is mostly produced for export to the United States and, as such, it is crafted to be tasteless. It’s amusing that Americans think they are drinking real authentic Mexican beer when they have Corona. But then what can you expect from a county that celebrates Cinco de Mayo? In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in only two small villages and wherever there are a lot of U.S. tourists. Many Mexicans have never heard of it. Those who have think it’s an American holiday.

Mexicans don’t drink tequila the way Americans do either. If it’s good quality tequila they sip it slowly, like Cognac, savoring the rich and subtle flavors. If you try a premium tequila, such as Don Julio Añejo, and you think you detect a slight taste of whiskey or bourbon, you’re right: tequila is aged in oak casks which have previously been used in the production of American whiskeys such as Jack Daniels. Lesser quality tequila is usually drunk along with sangrita, a sweet, spicy drink made from orange juice, grenadine, and hot chilies.

If you’re not in a sipping mood, the correct method for slamming a shot of tequila is as follows: Have ready fresh limes, quartered, and a bowl of salt. Pour good quality tequila (save the cheap stuff for margaritas) into shot glasses. Throw the entire contents into your mouth and allow it to sit on the tongue. Then dip a lime wedge into the salt and suck the juice into your mouth. Enjoy the exhilarating sensations.

My ex introduced me to a charming variation of this technique for use with someone special. Proceed as above but only one of you should suck on the salted lime. Immediately thrust your tongues into each others mouths while the tequila, lime, and salt are still present. Kiss deeply. You need only do this a few times before you will be swearing your undying love to each other.

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