Ask A Baltimore Bartender: Your Best Tequila Cocktail

May 4, 2015 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Blue Agave is a staple in Baltimore for having the largest array of tequilas in Charm City, authentic Mexican cuisine and the best ingredients made in house. After some restructuring and hiring new owners in 2012, Blue Agave has gone above and beyond to utilize customer feedback and roots in the community to recapture its rank as the Best in Baltimore. It looks like the owners of Blue Agave are certainly achieving that goal, staying true to what originally drove patrons to their doors, but also implementing changes like offering a gluten free menu. Bartender Larry Romanowicz is fairly new to Blue Agave, but already operating like a seasoned professional thanks to his infectious passion for tequila and the expert team this establishment provides.
Larry Romanowicz
Blue Agave Restaurante y Tequileria
1032 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 576-3938

www.blueagaverestaurant.com

Larry Romanowicz recently moved to Baltimore after spending years as a bartender at various bars and pubs in his hometown of Minneapolis. His deft skills around a cocktail shaker, along with the supportive family feel that is exuded by the entire staff at Blue Agave, would leave customers thinking Romanowicz has been a tequila guru for years. With over 130 types of tequila to choose from, Romanowicz has plenty to work with. Romaowicz lists his favorite tequila cocktail as Blue Agave’s Spicy Guavarita, which is made with a tequila that’s been infused by habanero, serrano and jalapeno. Instead of triple sec, Romanowicz uses a blend of guava syrup, sour mix made in house, and pineapple juice which results in the perfect blend of spicy and sweet.

Lavender Passionfruit Margarita

  • Fresh Lavender
  • Tequila
  • Passionfruit syrup or liqueur

Using a mason jar or sealed glass container, garnish the bottom with fresh lavender and pour tequila over the top. These proportions are relative to preference. Seal and allow the tequila to be infused for four days. Instead of using triple sec, choose a pomegranate syrup of liqueur. For serving, Romanowicz recommends doing a dry shake, which involves combining all wet ingredients in a shaker and pouring over ice. By pouring the ingredients over the ice rather than including ice as part of the shaking process, a layer of foam sits at the top of the drink, making the margarita more aesthetically appealing.

Tequila Sunrise

Beautiful and delicious, a tequila sunrise is a favorite of those celebrating Cinco de Mayo or those just looking for a fun summer cocktail. To prepare, first pour the tequila and orange juice into a highball glass over ice. Slowly pour the grenadine around the inside edge of the glass, which will create a sunrise effect as it meshes with the other ingredients. Garnish with orange slice and maraschino cherry.
Paloma

  • 2 oz blanco or reposado tequila
  • 6 oz fresh grapefruit soda
  • 1.2 oz lime juice
  • Salt for rim

Few tequila cocktails offer the refreshing kick of a Paloma as the weather in Charm City heats up. To prepare, first rim a collins glass with salt. Sugar works as well. Fill your glass with ice and pour the tequila and lime juice over. Finally, top the cocktail off with grapefruit soda.

Related: Best Restaurants for Cinco De Mayo In Baltimore

Tequini

  • 2 1/2 oz blanco tequila
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Oliver or lemon twist for garnish

To prepare this fun twist on a classic, shake the tequila, dry vermouth and bitters in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish this recipe by garnishing with your choice of olive, lemon twist, or both.

Bloody Maria

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash of lime juice
  • 3 dashes celery salt
  • 3 dashes pepper
  • Tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (optional)
  • Celery stalk for garnish
  • Lemon and/or lime wedge for garnish
  • Pickles, olives and peperoncini

You can make this brunch favorite at home, or stop into Blue Agave on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to get their unique recipe. To prepare at home, build all ingredients in a highball glass over ice cubes. Top the ingredients with tomato juice. Stir well and garnish with celery stalk and/or lemon, or with a pickles, olives and peperoncini on a skewer.

Related: Best Bloody Marys In Maryland

Tracy Dye currently resides in Baltimore city, where she enjoys writing prolifically on topics ranging from food to dating advice and everything in between. Writing is Tracy’s happy place, particularly when it is accompanied by a large cup of coffee. Read more on Examiner.com.