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Unknown-26It’s always a pleasant surprise to find a book that provides more than its cover promises. That is the case with “¡Hola Tequila!”

Colleen Graham, a professional bartender who writes the cocktails column for, promises “Ninety creative cocktails and inspired shooters” — and that they are — in her subtitle, What she delivers, however, also includes 10 pages of how to set up a “tequila bar” that, in reality, can be the basis of any good home bar. She also provides variations on every recipe in the book, a true bonus.

In addition, Graham includes small essays on “Tequila Through Time,” the distillery process for the agave specialty, and thorough explanations of each type of agave product — tequila, mezcal, sotol, raicilla, bacanora and agave spirits.

Dotted throughout are excellent photographs by her husband/business partner Shannon Graham, nicely enhanced by the glossy paper stock and handy 6-by-8½-inch format.

This is a nicely-done book, due for release in March, that should gain a toehold in a crowded publishing niche. And, it should go a very long way to erasing the long-held but misguided lore that tequila is only for college benders. The noble spirit can hold its own against any fine liquor, and Graham holds her own against any other cocktail recipe specialty writer.

A few examples:


1½ fluid ounces tequila
1 fluid ounce unfiltered apple cider
½ fluid ounce fresh lemon juice
¼ fluid ounce créme de cassis

Build the ingredients in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir well, garish with thin apple slices and serve.


1½ fluid ounces blanco tequila
¾ fluid ounces blue curaçao
¾ fluid ounce pineapple juice
Dash of orange bitters

Pour the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a frozen cocktail glass filled with cracked ice. Garnish with a pineapple flag or a single maraschino cherry.