tequilaBy Joanne Weir
Ten Speed Press, $16.95, 144 pages

Tequila is more than just the key ingredient in a margarita. Joanne Weir, a James Beard award-winning chef and author, sets out to prove this in Tequila: A Guide To Types, Flights, Cocktails, And Bites, a slim and gorgeous cookbook sure to increase your appreciation for this byproduct of the agave plant.

The book opens with a brief history of tequila, including some fascinating tidbits on the origin of the salt-and-lime pairing and the practice of knocking back shots. Weir then explores

the distillation process and the different types of tequila, before diving into an impressive range of recipes, including both cocktails and food, from some of the top chefs, bars, and restaurants across the country. The drinks are inventive; there’s a variation of the classic margarita sweetened with agave nectar, a salud mojito (half-margarita, half mojito), and a tea-quila highball.  The food recipes are similarly impressive, ranging from guacamole soup to slow-braised pork with tomatillos and tequila, and even tequila-infused variations on spaghetti and meatballs and cupcakes.

This beautiful cookbook, chock full of colorful photos and mouthwatering recipes, proves just how versatile tequila really is. After finishing this book, you’ll never want your liquor cabinet to be without it.

Reviewed by Mark Petruska