Luv Doc Recommends: Austin Tequila Fest
Casa Chapala, Friday, November 4, 2011
If you've ever woken up shirtless with your pants around your ankles, upside down in a stranger's bathtub with a knot on your head, a missing tooth, a bloody nose, inexplicable bruises, dried snot(?), dirt, and blood splattered across your body, you've probability overindulged in tequila. If there were a goat/circus clown/homeless person/transvestite passed out in the tub with you, chances are you've sworn off tequila for eternity – or at least until you can save up enough money to get that "Bozo's bitch" tramp stamp removed. It would be reckless and irresponsible to deny that there's some indefinable, insidious component of tequila that drives otherwise reasonably sane, well-mannered people to commit acts of stupidity and depravity that would make Charlie Sheen blush. If there is though, it hasn't been detected. Still, do you think the makers of Girls Gone Wild plied coeds with pot brownies and Smirnoff Ice? Wrong. If you can somehow get a 95-pound Tri Delta to knock back a few consecutive shots of Cuervo, all you need to do is put on your dog attack suit and let the camera roll. Rest assured that some heavy shit is about to go down. If someone were brave enough to do the statistical research, it would probably be discovered that tequila is responsible for a staggering number of unplanned pregnancies, barroom brawls, and embarrassing, vulgar tattoos – not just within the Tri Deltas, but within the population as a whole. One sure sign that your night on the town is about to take a freaky turn through the looking glass is when your beer-drinking buddies decide to kick it into overdrive by ordering shots of tequila. OK, truth be told, it could be reasonably argued that's the same result as when people start doing shots of anything: whiskey, vodka, rum, absinthe, Jägermeister … although with Jäger you should assume that the night will end with you exploring your sexuality with your frat brothers. There are certain tequila drinkers who maintain that tequila is a stimulant or that it contains trace amounts of mescaline. These people – perhaps from the degenerative effects of binge alcoholism on the cerebral cortex – are stupid. Yes, imbibed in staggeringly prodigious quantities, tequila provides a full load of calories, but those calories are fairly useless as an immediate source of energy. They will, however, provide you with a nice layer of suet that might help you (or maybe your fellow passengers) survive a few extra days if your plane goes down in the Andes. Here's the bottom line: Just because tequila is made from a menacing looking plant in a dangerous country doesn't give it special powers; it just gives it a special flavor. The active ingredient is still alcohol – a depressant. Scientifically speaking, there's nothing stimulating about tequila other than the extreme stupidity that results from overimbibing. Drunks are stimulated by the belief that they can perform ordinary feats of skill and dexterity (and yes, sadly, extraordinary feats of skill and dexterity) while highly intoxicated. The results often produce memories that last a lifetime … or at least a really popular YouTube video. There are plenty of people with just such memories who literally can't even smell tequila without feeling their digestive system slam into reverse. It's unfortunate really. Why condemn a whole world of epicurean exploration just because you spent a wild night with a Sig Ep named "Upchuck" in South Padre when you were 19? Sophisticated drinkers know that tequila is the Scotch of the Desert Southwest. There are hundreds of different brands, each with its own unique flavor and aroma. Yes, many of them make a mean margarita, but others were made to be enjoyed neat, like fine single malt. If you want a quick introduction to the wonderful world of tequila, head down to Casa Chapala this Friday, where the Austin Tequila Society is hosting the Austin Tequila Fest, "An Evening of Tequila Tasting, Fun, Food and Music Benefiting the Homeless Coach." More than 45 tequila selections will be available for sampling, and there will be Mexican food, raffle prizes, and live music with the Jonas Alvarez band. Sound like a fun time? It probably will be, but you may want to take the bus. Sometimes it's hard to know when to say when.