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Posts Tagged: tequila

The various types of Mexican food we tried On Tour

Here at El Camion, our menu comprises of mostly cuisine from the Baja California region of Mexico. This Northern part of the country has links to the United States, and comprises of lots of fish, tacos, burritos and quesadillas, as well as fish and steak.

So it was fun to explore the other gastronomic delights of Mexican food when we went On Tour to Mexico City recently, and see the dishes that don’t make it as frequently across the seas. Here’s a little round-up of what we found:




Yep, that’s right – a salad made from cactus. Actually refreshing and completely delicious. It had the texture of green beans but was much more flavoursome, and was marinated with lime juice, coriander, chilli and onion. Cactus is actually incredibly good for you, having many of the same properties and nutrients as Aloe Vera (it’s from the same genus). We also had cactus pears (very tasty), and wonderful cactus juice.



Chilaquiles is a traditional breakfast dish in Mexico containing, as many meals do, tortilla chips.The tortilla chips are fried until they start to soften, then placed on a plate and topped with pulled chicken and sour cream, and served with refried beans on the side. To ensure the tortillas remain crisp, the salsa is added last – in this example it is red salsa.




Quesadillas can be eaten at any time of day (we serve some very popular ones at El Camion!) but these particular varieties were eaten at breakfast. They have a variety of fillings, including mushroom, cactus and pulled pork. What makes them quesadillas is the melted cheese inside – the name comes from the Spanish word ‘Queso’, which means cheese. Blue corn (also known as Hopi maize) is a variety of flint maize grown in Mexico. It contains 20 percent more protein than white corn, and has a sweeter, nuttier taste.




Enchiladas, for anyone who hasn’t chowed down on our El Camion variety, is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered in sauce, usually containing rice and a mix of meat and vegetables. This variety has three colours made from green and red salsa and black beans. The sour cream also adds to the impression of colours from the Mexican flag.



These tortillas crop up everywhere! Well, they are a staple item in Mexican food. It’s very popular to have them cut into strips and added to soup, such as this tomato variety made with chicken stock. Other additions include avocado chunks and fried onions.


So there you have it – a little gastronomic tour of our visit to Mexico City! If you fancy experiencing the flavours of Mexican Food yourself then come down and visit some day – and here’s a picture of our fabulous Mixed Botanas to tempt you!



El Camion are going on tour!

Well, the day has come… for a while now we’ve been giving you numerous facts and figures and wonderful information about Mexico, and next week El Camion goes on tour!

We’ll be jetting over to Mexico City to experience some of the most famous sites, places of cultural significance, restaurants and, naturally TEQUILA! So make sure to follow us on Twitter @ElCamion_Soho to keep up to date.

Below are an array of the places we’ll be dropping into, in an effort to get thoroughly immersed in the culture of this wonderful city.

A trip to the world heritage site of Xochimilco – place of Aztec canals and brightly coloured boats called trajineras, where we’ll be eating lunch in a traditional manner.


A visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum – a bright blue house that was the place she was born, lived for some time, and then died. The celebrated Mexican painter was known for her bold, personal and occasionally troubling artwork that pushed boundaries, as well as for her tempestuous love life.



A visit to the holy city of Teotihuacan (‘the place where the gods were created’) Built between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D., it is characterized by the vast size of its monuments – in particular, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. It is one of the most powerful cultural centres in Mesoamerica, and is one the archaeological sites with the longest history of exploration in Mexico.

And naturally we’ll also be stopping off at the Tequila and Mezcal museum, which we’ve already written a blog about!

So make sure to follow us for all the action from Mexico City @ElCamion_Soho – see you there!


On The Horizon… Tequila & Mezcal Fest 2015!

It’s on its way… TEQUILA & MEZCAL FEST 2015!

Last year we had such an awesome time at Tequila & Mezcal Fest and we were stoked to hear that the festival is returning this September in the new venue of Old Spitalfields Market.


There are many things we love about this festival (including the obvious: it’s all about tequila and mezcal, and we can drink it all day long without being quizzed…) but more than anything, for us, it’s about the ethos. It was born from one single objective: to educate people about how to consume tequila and mezcal.


Hey, guess what! It’s not about shooting it with lemon and salt and wooping about how much it burns! But you knew that already. What you might not know is how to pair tequila with food or the journey of tasting notes you might embark on from sipping an artisanal mezcal. Tequila & Mezcal Fest shows you all these things and more, including cocktail masterclasses and educational seminars.


Live music from a mariachi band, Mexican art and photography exhibitions and lip-smackingly good food will totally immerse you in Mexican culture – hell, you even have to pay for things with pesos! (There are places inside to exchange your English stirling for peso tokens – no need to pop off to the post office.)

With ambassadors like Tomas Estes (founder of the Pacifico Group and creator of Tequila Ocho) and El Camion’s very own Jon Anders Borchgrevink Fjeldsrud, who worked here with the brilliant Dick Bradsell, we tequila lovers are in extremely excellent hands.

Spread the word: it’s gonna be a ball, kids!





Yes, you did read the title correctly. There is indeed an actual museum purely for the celebration of Tequila and Mezcal. And it is, naturally, in Mexico.


The Museo del Tequila y del Mezcal is located in the Plaza Garibaldi – part of historic downtown Mexico City. The museum is a sign of the renewal of this area – oh yeah, and it’s also a FREAKIN’ GREAT IDEA FOR ALL AGAVE AFICIONADOS!

You see, tequila and mezcal are as intrinsic to the heritage and cultural identity of Mexico as, well, sombreros and mariachi bands. One simply can’t think of Mexico without thinking of awesome agave. After all, they’re the two most traditional drinks.

The museum is spread over two rooms, and there are exhibitions, talks, concerts, presentations of Mexican distillates, gastronomy, lectures and loads of other cultural events. One room is dedicated to tequila and mezcal, while the second celebrates and informs about the history of the Mariachi and Garibaldi Plaza.

And you know what else? We’re betting this place has the BEST gift shop in the world.



Today is a very special day that unites agave fans around the world, as it is NATIONAL TEQUILA DAY!

Yes, today is globally recognized as the day where everyone celebrates the wonders of this gorgeous beverage distilled from the leaves of the blue agave plant. And don’t forget, Mexican law states that tequila can be produced only in the state of Jaliscoand limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit andTamaulipas. Plus, did you know that Mexico is granted international right to the word “tequila”?!!

So how will we be celebrating this wonderful day? Naturally we have to do something, since we have over 100 different types of Tequila and Mezcal (and that doesn’t even include the rare tequila cabinet!)

So the plan for today is to do specials on Herencia tequila – A small batch superior quality Highland Tequila produced and aged in the traditional way by Destilería La Fortuna.

We’ll be doing £6 margaritas, tequila flights (£14 for a blanco, repo and anejo) and another special surprise cocktail for £7… watch this space!

So come enjoy Tequila Day with El Camion, and let the good times roll!


Spotlight on: Tequila Tapatio

One of the team’s favourite tequilas at the moment is Tapatio, a tequila that has gained something of a cult status in the US. People like it because it is an excellent blanco tequila for the price, with none of the harshness that you might associate with a cheaper tequila. This ain’t one for slammin’!


Tapatio is made by the Camarena Family at the ‘La Altena’ Distillery outside the town of Arandas in the highlands of Los Altos. This is where the best agave is grown. This hand-crafted tequila is made in the same way as it was a hundred years ago – the Tahona (a stone wheel) turns round and round in a pit, crushing the agave, before being mixed in a barrel by foot by a man up to his chest in agave juice and crushed agave fibres! It is then fermented and distilled, adding the agave fibres to the distillation. The tequila is left to settle in steel tanks for one month after distillation, and when it is finally ready it is so vibrant and bursting with flavour that it is almost like drinking it straight from the still.


Such freshness is rare in an affordable blanco tequila. It has a real peppery spiciness on the palate and an intense agave flavour, without the unpleasant burn. The finish is long and sweet – pretty complex for a blanco.

Try it in the simplest way – straight and sipped.

Fact: Tapatio is a Mexican word for a person from Guadalajara, the capital city of Jalisco.

Tags: , , , , , | Filed under: Tequila

Dr Pink Chihuahua Answers… Why Do I Get Hangxiety?


We’ve all woken up from a night in Soho with a fuzzy brain, drilling sensation between the ears, and mouth that’s as dry as three day old toast left in the corner of Brewer Street Car Park in a heatwave. During those hazy few hours while we’re tossing and turning in bed, half-consdiering joining the real world, many questions will pass through our minds. And while some questions can never be answered (such as why you’ve returned home minus your shoes but with two sparkly cowboy hats), Doctor Pink Chihuahua is on hand to answer some of the most pressing. This week….

Why do I get hangover paranoia after I’ve been drinking?

You know the feeling – you come to after a big night on the tequila – sometimes slowly, sometimes sitting bolt upright in bed – and you have an overwhelming feeling of terror about what we’ve said and done the night before. Did you insult someone? Send a dodgy text message? Expose yourself in some charmless way? Even if there is no evidence that you’ve sullied your name and reputation, sometimes the feeling can follow us around all day, and ‘The Fear’ is fast becoming a real FWP (First World Problem).

So why do we get this awful suffocating feeling? According to the…

“Alcohol both quells and heightens anxiety because of its effects on the central nervous system. Initially, drinking elicits a feeling of euphoria as the alcohol stimulates the release of serotonin. The consequence is a sedated and relaxed state; similar to one induced by anti-anxiety medication. However, once the alcohol leaves our bodies the serotonin depletes, provoking the onset of Hangxiety.”

And have you noticed that, as you get older, these feelings are increasing? This is entirely likely – older people are more susceptible to Hangxiety because they metabolise alcohol faster. And unfortunately there’s no cure, short of the usual – drink water in between drinks, pace yourself, and maybe don’t have that Jaeger at 4am ‘as a nightcap’. What we recommend? Taking photos with your mates during a night out – that way you can look back on the hilarity that ensued and lift your mood slightly, safe in the knowledge that you weren’t the only one plastered on a Wednesday night…

A Mezcal Tommy’s made by Jonnie

Our Tommy’s Margarita is one of our bestselling cocktails. You guys love the sweetness of the agave syrup, which rounds the sourness of the lime and peps up the tequila kick. We’d recommend it anytime!


But for some time now our bar guys have been experimenting with mezcal cocktails, and fast becoming a firm favourite is the Mezcal Tommy’s.


Instead of 60ml of tequila, we use 60ml of Mezcal – we like to use Del Maguey Vida, a double distilled, organic, single village Mezcal that is beautiful to mix. At a slightly lower proof than Del Maguey’s other mezcals, it is smooth to drink, with the fruity flavour of the agave still very much there. Then, it’s 30ml of lime juice and instead of triple sec that you would use in a regular margarita, we use 15ml of agave syrup.



Fill a rocks glass with ice and when all of the ingredients are in the shaker, shake!


Watch Jonnie shaking his Tommy’s right here:

Jonnie’s Mezcal Tommy

Then, as Jonnie just did, you strain it over the ice in your glass and add a lime wedge on the side.




There you have it – a Mezcal Tommy’s! It’s everything you love in a Tommy’s Margarita but it’s smoky, woody and a little more complex – just like Jonnie. Enjoy one of these next time you visit us in The Pink Chihuahua!


The Origin of the Tequila Sunrise

There are a few tequila cocktails that are famous worldwide, and that we serve diligently and proudly at El Camion. The Paloma, the Margarita and, of course, the TEQUILA SUNRISE!


So what’s in this gorgeous drink that makes us think of beaches and tropical islands? Well, it’s tequila, orange, and then a drop of grenadine, making that lovely graduated colour effect. This is where the name Tequila Sunrise comes from.

So where did it originate? People might tell you there are two possibilities, but in actuality, there are two versions of the drink.

In either the 1930s or 40s, Gene Sulit invented the ‘Tequila Sunrise’ at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. However, this recipe contained tequila, creme de cassis, lime juice and soda water. Not the delicious version we love and adore!

The more popular version that we serve was created in the early 1970s by Bobby Lazoff and Billy Rice while working as young bartenders at The Trident in Sausalito, California. At the time, this bar-restaurant-music venue was the largest outlet for tequila in the USA. And it also seemed to be the place for parties – in 1972 the Rolling Stones kicked off their American tour at a party there and Mick Jagger had a Tequila Sunrise, developed a taste for it, and then started necking them with his whole entourage. As a result they ordered them all across America. Subsequently, in 1973, Jose Cuervo realised this was an opportunity to sell more bottles and put the recipe on the label.


These days they’re still wildly popular, great as a long drink and with a fruity kick. Feel you haven’t had a love affair with the Tequila Sunrise yet? Come in and order one!


Spreading the Cocktail Love…

One of our bartenders has been a busy Bea… not content with whipping up cocktails and shaking up a storm in El Camion , Bea Bradsell has been spreading her cocktail prowess by helping to design drinks on other bar menus!

In between rocking up Soho, making local radio appearances and constructing a brand new libation list that will be live very soon, Bea created The Blanch Bradsell Project that is featured on the menu of amazing bar Hidden in Cala San Vincente, on the North side off Ibiza.

Hidden? More like heaven. We wouldn't mind having a drink in the sun...

Hidden? More like heaven. We wouldn’t mind having a drink in the sun…

Working with her pal India Blanch, Bea created the cocktail that is, of course, tequila based! The ingredients of The Blanch Bradsell Project are:

Reposado Tequila

Chase Elderflower Liqueur

Fresh Mint

Chilli infused Agave syrup

Lime juice

This is the cocktail, complete with Chris Edwards, who owns the bar with Amanda Blanch