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Column: Mexican food and tequila tasting

Different levels of quality and sweetness in tequila

One cannot live by bread (or wine) alone, so once in a while, I like to try something different.  So when I was graciously invited to a tequila tasting at the Little Mexico Cantina, I did not pass up the chance!

You can see my previous article in the Richmond News on tequila, or my video to learn more about tequila. 

I have always been intrigued by tequila and now that I am a bit more knowledgeable about it, I understand that tequila is produced from the Agave plant in Mexico, and that there are different levels of quality and sweetness.

Since Tequila is made in Mexico, the perfect food pairing with tequila would naturally be Mexican food.  I was invited to the Little Mexico Cantina in Steveston to try some of their tequila cocktails - tequila, Mexican food, Steveston…who could resist!

I met the owner, Scotty Olak, who just took over ownership of the restaurant about two years ago, at the height of COVID restrictions.  Scotty is an experienced restauranteur who is actually from Scotland.  He revamped the kitchen, the décor and the menu.  For those who haven’t visited the Little Mexico Cantina in some time, it’s time to visit again, as the refreshed décor is inviting, clean and family-friendly.

What I like about their menu is that it has a wide variety of dishes and big portions.  They have something for meat-eaters, seafood lovers and vegetarians and many of their dishes are big enough to be shared.  I also appreciate that they have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails since many people don’t drink alcohol.  The Little Mexico Cantina’s non-alcoholic cocktails are just as delightful and creative as their alcoholic ones.

Anyhow, back to the tequila cocktails.  At the Little Mexico Cantina, they infuse their tequila with various flavours and these flavours rotate on a regular basis.  I love this idea, as for someone who doesn’t really enjoy high alcohol drinks, flavouring the tequila makes it much more palatable.  It also changes the taste profile and allows you to have more food pairing options, and it is definitely something I could not make at home.  The Little Mexico Cantina offers a flight of infused tequilas.  I tried several, including jalapeno and strawberry.  My favourites were the fruity and tropical infused tequilas, like roasted apple and chilli, and pineapple.  The infused chilli or jalapeno tequilas are an especially nice pairing for rice and bean-based dishes, which have a more neutral taste profile.

Don’t forget to check out their award-winning Picante Pina Margarita, which is made from pineapple and jalapeno-infused tequila, Triple Sec, pineapple and coconut cream.  The cocktail is huge and gorgeously presented.  If you ask nicely, Scotty will share with you his newest Margarita creation, which he thinks (and I agree) is even better than the Picante Pina.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so for more information about my tequila tasting night, visit my latest YouTube video.

Until next time, happy drinking!

Tony Kwan is a lifestyle writer.  Lawyer by day, food and wine lover by night, Tony aims to give you an insider’s guide to the best that life has to offer.