25 Sep


September 11, 2014 – The Republic Steakhouse

3/4 oz. lemon juice
Dash grenadine
Dash triple sec
1/2 oz. tequila
1 1/2 to 2 oz. orange juice

Stir over crushed ice in a collins glass.

Hussong’s tequila. Very much like the other beachy drinks (Fat Sailor, Fireman’s Sour) in that it is refreshing and balanced between sweet (Ryan added a little extra grenadine on top) and tart with a nice boozy kick. Hussong’s always makes me taste smoke, which was a nice note in this cocktail.

I had always wondered about the name “Hussong’s.” It doesn’t sound particularly Mexican, so why was it the name of a tequila? I’ve learned that the name comes from the oldest and best known cantina in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Hussong’s Cantina has one of the coolest origin stories.

Hussong’s founder, John Hussong, was born “Johann” in Forhsam, Germany, in 1863. Johann immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1888 and changed his name to John. In 1889, the discovery of gold south of the border lured John to Ensenada. John made a living hunting and trading supplies up and down the Baja coast. In June 1891, while on a trading expedition to El Arco, John’s carriage flipped over, and his companion, Newt House, fractured his leg. John brought Newt to recuperate at Meiggs’ Bar, which back then was Ensenada’s only watering hole. Two days after John and Newt arrived at the bar, Meiggs attacked his wife with an axe. When Meiggs was sent to jail, his wife fled to California. When he got out of jail, Meiggs went in search of his wife and asked John to mind the bar until he returned. Neither Meiggs nor his wife ever returned.

After operating the bar for nearly a year, John purchased and remodeled the building across the street, which was a Southern Lane stage coach stop that bookended the route between Los Angeles and Ensenada. In 1892, he obtained an alcohol license and started operating the John Hussong Bar. His license is still #002 and the building is still located on Ruiz Avenue. Today, Hussong’s Cantina is in the very same building in which it is was founded, and little has changed since it opened.

Ma ixpāntzinco (Nahuatl)

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Posted by on September 25, 2014 in Tequila


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