El Gran Malo

It was my birthday…tequila and tacos…what could be better. My son Jeff took me to El Gran Malo Saturday for my birthday.
It’s a restaurant bar on the edge of the Heights, 2307 Ella Blvd.

Infused Tequilas at El Gran Malo

Infused Tequilas at El Gran Malo

El Gran Malo, Greater Heights

Bar at El Gran Malo

Heights Restaurant Bar-El Gran Malo

I had snapper tacos and shrimp tacos. Delicious, wonderful. Everything on the menu looked good. Next time I’ll try the mango quesadillas. I am not a foodie, so I won’t expound upon the food. I’ll leave that to people who truly love their food.

What attracted me though were the infused tequilas. I am a tequila fan. That’s the only alcohol I drink. The complexities of wine with all the sugar is too much for me. The yeast and grains of beer …not good either.

So, tequila it is. Sometimes as margaritas, etc., but generally not. Sipping a good 100% agave tequila is the best way to go. No hangover the next day either.

Tequila is difficult to learn. Perhaps because we all start with crap tequila with a harsh taste and worse after-taste. Or worse…we try mezcal (eat the worm) and confuse it with tequila. Mezcal has a smoky flavor, and there are some really bad varieties of this. There is an art to tequila.

So this is what makes infused tequilas so good. You get the pure tequila, without all the sugary crap, but you get fruit flavors. Our waiter Luis wasn’t  too busy so he spent some time explaining the infusion process. There is a lot of experimentation involved: from picking the tequila (they use Sombrero tequila, very smooth but little after taste…you want to taste fruit, not alcohol), deciding which and how much fruit to use, and how long to infuse it. Some flavors like tamarino are subtle and are treated differently than pineapple for example.

The result though is what counts. Pineapple, and tamarind were delicious. Horchata was a strange one. Horchata is sold on the streets in Mexican villages, and in some Mexican restaurants here. It is a non-alcoholic refreshment made from made typically from rice milk, vanilla, cinnamon. Delicious. The horchata infused tequila was identical, but had a kick. Luis said it is an infusion of rice, vanilla beans and cinnamon. Wonderful.

Everyone has tequila stories; many people swear never to do shots again. This is a different world. Smoo0th, flavorful, civilized. Try a sampler of different flavors.

Since it is close to Thanksgiving, they even have a pumpkin infusion. I didn’t want to try it, but the waiter insisted. Just like liquid pumpkin pie. You must try it.

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