Serious Eats: Drinks
The Quick Fix: Hornitos Lime Shot
I tend to think that everyone should live in an ideal world when it comes to treating oneself to the joys of an alcoholic beverage. Bars should be fully stocked, budgets should be at most a guideline, and hangovers a figment of the imagination. However, the reality is that most drinkers (myself included) live in the real world—a messy place with bank accounts, overworked livers, and missing essential ingredients. And in this world of compromises, most of us need to take shortcuts from time to time. Enter today's booze: the Hornitos Lime Shot.
Billed as single bottle replacement for the time-honored tradition of the tequila shot with lime and salt, Hornitos takes their plata 100% blue agave tequila and blends it with natural lime flavor and salt, served up at 70 proof. The time-saver approach isn't exactly a novel concept, especially for tequila (raise your hand if you've bought margarita-in-a-bottle, thinking 'maybe this one will be good'...), but if this bottle can save a citrus-starved party from staying sober, I figure it's got a market.
Poured straight from the bottle, there's actually a beguilingly compelling lime scent coming off the glass—it's not freshly squeezed citrus, but let's say the best lime juice from concentrate you've ever sniffed. That blends nicely with the herbal aroma of the tequila, and there's only a faint whiff of something artificial. Taken quickly as a shot at room temperature, the structure of the drink stumbles a bit—it's slightly sweet with a suspiciously heavy texture—but the finish is clean and warming with just a hint of salt to carry away the vapors. The tequila is very much present in the mix, and does a good job of grounding the drink. After chilling the bottle in the freezer, the experience improves dramatically. The sweetness is more balanced, and the shot feels more well-integrated.
Is this better than a bottle of good tequila and a squeeze of real lime? No. Definitely not. However, it's head and shoulders above any other pre-bottled product I've ever tried. The agave character of the (real) tequila is preserved, and the flavoring has a light touch. A splash of tonic or orange juice elevates the booze to almost-cocktail status.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the price is right. At a suggested price between $18 and 20, it's actually cheaper than the real tequila + lime alternative. This isn't going to replace your top shelf tequila experience, but there's a time and a place for the one stop shot, and when you get there, the Hornitos Lime Shot doesn't disappoint.
About the author: Andrew Strenio is a lover of all things potable. Since sneaking his grandmother's bourbon balls, he's moved on to touring distilleries and sipping snifters. He works by day making documentary television and films for an independent production company in Brooklyn.
Sample provided for review consideration.
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