You’ve cleaned the house, changed the dishes, cooked up a storm, and polished the silver. At last, you’re prepped for Passover. Time to put your feet up and settle in with a nice . . . tequila?
Most people are surprised to learn that tequila can be kosher for Passover. Beer and most distilled spirits are off limits because they’re made from wheat, barley, corn, and other grains that are forbidden during the eight-day Jewish festival. But tequila is distilled from the nectar of the spiny agave plant, which carries no such restriction. That means you can actually serve margaritas at your Seder and sip tequila spritzers all week long.
In fact, there’s a whole family of spirits derived from Mexican succulents, each with its own unique flavor profile, and they’re all available for Passover. So it’s a great time to get to know these grain free spirits from south of the border.
Jay Buchsbaum of Royal Wine explains. “Tequila, sotol, and mezcal are similar in character. But like wine, they’re distinguished by the type of plant used, the terroir and region where it’s grown, and the method of production. There are strict laws about how they can be designated.”
Tequila is the most well known Mexican spirit. By law it can be made only from seven year old blue agaves from the Pacific coast region of Jalisco. Buchsbaum recommends using Cava Blanco Tequila (MRP $39.99) in a classic margarita.
Sotol, while similar to tequila or mezcal, is a Mexican spirit with a centuries old history that has its own unique flavor profile and is distilled from wild agave harvested in the Chihuahuan Desert of Northern Mexico. Hacienda de Chihuahua offers 3 varieties, all organic, hand harvested, triple distilled, and kosher for Passover — a Platinum (MSRP $34.99), Reposado ($39.99), and Anejo (MSRP $44.99). Jay suggests a Paloma made with the platinum sotol for a refreshing drink that showcases its floral aroma and clean flavor.
Royal Wine Corp. is the leading importer and distributor of kosher wines and spirits in the United States. Along with the tequila and sotol above, they introduced LVOV Beet Distilled Vodka which is also kosher for Passover and available now with an MSRP of $20.
- 2 ounces Cava tequila
- 1 ounce triple sec
- ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt (optional)
- In cocktail shaker, combine tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled.
- Fill a glass with fresh ice and strain margarita into. If serving in a salted glass, salt glass first by rubbing the rim with a piece of lime and dipping into a plate of kosher salt.
- 2 ounces Platinum Sotol
- 1 ounce grapefruit juice
- ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- Soda water
- Grapefruit wedge for garnish
- Fill a Collins glass with tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup and stir.
- Add ice, top with soda water, and garnish with grapefruit wedge.