"Tequila is my soul mate," Lucinda Hutson exclaims. "Mexico in a bottle, its flavor is as melodic to the mouth as a mariachi tune is to the ear-bold, spicy, and full of life!" For nearly forty years, Lucinda has trekked through tequila country, distilling adventures and knowledge to present them to enthusiastic readers around the world. Her 1995 book Tequila! Cooking with the Spirit of Mexico helped usher in the boom that transformed the tequila industry. Now in !Viva Tequila! she returns to her lifelong passion, bringing us deeper into the traditions and vibrant present of Mexico, and creates fabulous, flavorful recipes for drinks and dishes made with Mexico's agave spirits. !Viva Tequila! begins with a lively tour of the history and culture of spirits made from the miraculous maguey-pulque, mezcal, and tequila. Lucinda follows her chosen elixir from fields of blue agave, to distilleries both family-owned and internationally operated, to the bewildering array of brands now available in the market. She offers advice on how to host a tequila tasting, discover your favorites, and stock your home cantina.
With imaginative garnishes and presentations, and inspiration drawn from her travels throughout Mexico, Lucinda presents recipes for dozens of drinks featuring favorite Mexican libations, while also highlighting mezcal and tequila in new and bright ways that go far beyond the ubiquitous margarita. And because no fiesta is complete without festive food, Lucinda shows you how to use agave spirits in delightful dishes that feature fresh produce, fragrant herbs, and chiles picantes, prepared with techniques from Mexico's kitchen. For occasions ranging from lavish buffets to morning meriendas, leisurely afternoon tardeadas, last-minute happy hours, or dessert socials, you'll find original recipes and traditional ones, some of which Lucinda has altered with contemporary touches, that are sure to please every palate.