When the summer is in full swing and the livin’ is easy, chances are your cooler is stocked with beer from south of the border. Could it be those clear glass bottles that require a citrus infusion to kill the amoebas before drinking? I bet it is. I’ve been there myself.
But I’d like to suggest an alternative Mexican beer. One that tastes better, gets cold faster, and stacks more easily in your cooler. That beer is Tecate.
Most of us have seen Tecate. Most of us have not tasted it, though. It’s the beer in the ugly red can that someone at the table across from you is drinking in the Mexican restaurant. Starting to ring a bell?
I’ve only seen Tecate in cans, and as a matter of principle I probably wouldn’t drink it from a bottle if I saw one. The can is just one of the things that sets this cerveza in a class of its own among Mexican beers (ever see Corona or Dos Equis in good old aluminum?). Clear glass bottles tend to scare me. First of all, sunlight is the enemy of beer. It skunks it. Why do you think most beers are bottled in dark-colored glass? Second of all, I understand the risks I take when I drink any water-based product from Mexico, but do I really need to see the wildlife swimming around in there?
Another feature of Tecate that make it the iconoclast of Mexican brews is that it’s rarely served with lime. And if it is, the person serving you is an amateur—put the lime aside and save it for your tequila shot. Tecate has its own flavor, and it’s a pretty good one too. Crisp and refreshing, with just a slightly bitter aftertaste, Tecate doesn’t merely cut the chimichanga grease and tame the habañero fire, it actually complements the grease and fire. What’s more, it’s very refreshing and satisfying when consumed ice-cold on a hot sunny beach. Just make sure you have a good beer can cozy to keep it cold.
Tecate’s web site boasts that this beer “shares the pride of having the attitude of modern Mexicans.” I have absolutely no idea what that means (and I’ve given it some thought). But I do recommend that you try a few cans with your next tamale (whomever she may be)—perhaps the answer will come to you in an epiphany. Adios, muchachos.