Introducing a summery cocktail that’s better than margaritas, and no one knows about it.
During a trip to Tucson years ago, fellow Good Faith blogger and Tucsonan Dan Gibson took me to Hotel Congress, an iconic downtown hotel. It quickly became one of my favorite places in the world, and Dan and I wound up there on every subsequent visit.
That first trip, Dan insisted I try a Mexican Ice Water, a glorious revelation of a hot weather cocktail that was also simple to prepare. Even cooler, it was a Hotel Congress original, and between the fresh lemon and tequila base, an ideal concoction for the borderlands. I prefer them to margaritas.
I’m not privy to how the rules of cocktail trademarks work, but when I returned a year later, the Mexican Ice Water was not available. The reason, according to our new bartender, was the mixologist who had invented the drink had moved on, taking that brilliant little beverage with him. I scrambled about online, and no recipe exists, at least within the first couples pages of Google results. Fortunately, after some digging, I procured official recipes for the Mexican Ice Water. Since these are no longer available at Hotel Congress, our house might be the only place serving this spectacular cocktail.
What you’ll need
A pint glass (any large glass will do)
The juice of one lemon, fresh-squeezed – If you’ve got a giant lemon, half will be fine.
1/2 oz Simple Syrup – You should never, ever buy Simple Syrup, because it’s absurdly easy to make.
7-Up – Other lemon-lime sodas work, but 7-Up is a little less cloying than Sprite.
Lime wedge – Not entirely necessary, but ideal.
Fill the pint glass with ice. Over the ice, pour in the shot of tequila, lemon juice, half-shot of simple syrup, and a dash of the bitters. A quick stir will mix the flavors. Fill nearly to the brim with 7-Up, then squeeze the lime wedge over the top and drop it in. Pop a straw in there if you like, but I just like sipping off the top. Toast to warm weather and/or humane immigration policy.