After decades of trying to remember the correct salt-shot-lime sequence (or is it shot-lime-salt?), tequila drinkers may welcome news that a traditional drink style is not only removing the indecision, but offering a colorful alternative.
Called the "Bandera," it's one of the things that Mexican travelers, especially those in the Guadalajara region, are learning. Granted, it's not up there with cultural lessons such as avoiding tap water or realizing those young men in tattered Levi's toting automatic weapons on the street corners are only there for your peace of mind, but it does add some spice to consuming Mexico's national adult beverage.
Named for the Mexican flag, the Bandera consists of three ingredients, each served in a tall shot glass.
First up, representing the flag's green stripe, is lime juice. If you can get them -- and you usually can in reputable establishments -- go with Persian limes, which are sweeter than the American variety.
In the middle glass goes the tequila. I recommend a good reposado such as Tradicional by Jose Cuervo, though Don Julio will do in a pinch. And finally, a red shot of sangrita, which is essentially super-spicy Bloody Mary mix.
As for the proper drinking order, there isn't one. It's freestyle. Sip some tequila, then a little lime juice. Or go tequila, sangrita, lime. Mix, match, have fun.
-- Daniel Dunn