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Patio Party

Recipes for a summer fiesta, from Lucinda Hutson's new cookbook, ¡Viva Tequila!.


John Pozdro

Summertime is here! These colorful, fun, and festive recipes are designed to keep you cool. Welcome guests with Ponche de Guadalajara, a tequila-spiked punch brimming with chunks of tropical fruits and citrus served from a big glass jar (like the ones on the streets of Mexico filled with agua frescas). It’s as pretty as a floral centerpiece, and since guests serve themselves (have an ice bucket on hand), it frees the host to mingle.  For an appetizer, serve rich and creamy Salsa de Aguacate (avocado and fresh green tomatillo salsa) with corn tostada chips. 

At the table, drizzle Sassy Citrus Tequila Vinaigrette over grilled Texas redfish, snapper, drum and/or shrimp. Pass a platter of corn husk “boats” (recipe follows) mounded with spicy black beans drizzled with Crema Mexicana and a pinch of ancho chile. Accompany with your favorite Mexican green rice (with lots of cilantro) or freshly grilled summer corn on the cob.

Long-stemmed margarita glasses filled with crunchy cucumbers and watermelon balls in a zesty and piquant tequila marinade topped with an icy granita and a sprig of mint will delight guests. 

For a simple finale, serve vanilla bean ice cream from chilled bowls topped with Summer Marmalade and bites of crystalized ginger.  Accompany with small snifters (or shots) of fine Reposado or Añejo tequila to sip or drizzle over the ice cream.

Excerpted from ¡Viva Tequila!: Cocktails, Cooking, and Other Agave Adventures by Lucinda Hutson (Copyright © 1995 and 2013 by Lucinda Hutson) used by permission of the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.




  1. Ponche de Guadalajara(Guadalajara Punch)
  2. Javier's Salsa de Aguacate(Creamy Avocado Sauce)
  3. Corn Husk Boats
  4. Frijoles Sabrosos(Delicious Beans)
  5. Pretty Watermelon and Cucumber SalsaWith a Zesty Tequila Granita
  6. Pescado Margarita(Grilled Fish with Sassy Citrus Tequila Vinaigrette)
  7. Summer Marmalade

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