¡Viva Tequila! : Cocktails, Cooking, and Other Agave Adventures by Lucinda Hutson is simply the best book ever written on the subject. Like myself, Lucinda has spent much of her life pursuing her passion for Mexican culture, food and drink – in her case with emphasis on tequila and other agave products such as mezcal, sotol, and pulque.
The book is actually three books in one! It begins with a fascinating history and description of agave liquors, from tales of the pioneer distillers to descriptions of the various terroirs that create the subtle and not so subtle differences between them. The second section includes recipes for drinks, from traditional favorites to recent more avant garde offerings. But that’s not all; Lucinda is a consummate hostess and passes on serving ideas that are both clever and artistic, even including music recommendations. The final part of the book consists of recipes for food – everything from botanas to entrees that pair perfectly with the drinks, again with suggestions designed to make the reader a perfect host or hostess.
Lucinda’s charm and sense of humor – not to mention an obviously talented guardian angel – allowed her to travel some of Mexico’s less frequented and occasionally treacherous byways, and the book is full of entertaining anecdotes and photos from those years of adventure and discovery. One cannot read it without being infused with her passion. In fact, few will be able to resist an immediate trip to the nearest liquor store to begin their own exploration of this fascinating subject!