Who’s up for an adventure? Because we’ve certainly got one for you!
The staff there is warm and friendly. The surroundings are beautiful and cozy (and cool!!). And the handcrafted margaritas are some of the best, most interesting versions of this beloved cocktail that you can get anywhere. And if you’ve tried to indulge in a visit here, then you know this for sure: La Cava is always PACKED.
But here’s the thing. La Cava isn’t satisfied to leave things the way they are. They’re always developing the next hot trend, the next new thing.
And today, we’re going to talk about something that would be adventurous anywhere. But when you put it within the framework of a Disney Park?
Time to check out La Cava’s newest offerings — Rim Salts in a variety of over the top combinations, new Margaritas, new spirits, and more. Ready? Here we go!
La Cava del Tequila New Salts, Margaritas, and More
On a recent visit to Walt Disney World, I was invited to meet up with staff at La Cava del Tequila — some of the most talented and fun people on the planet — to learn more about some of the new Rim Salts they’re introducing.
While you know I’ve been a huge fan of the drinks at La Cava since I sampled my first avocado margarita way back in 2009, the custom blended salts that they use to rim the glasses make them even more unique. Take a look at the colorful array.
Intrigued? I was too. Some of these have been around for a while, but some are brand new…and VERY interesting. Included in the six are Hibiscus Salt, Tajin, Poblano Pepper Salt, Black Ant Salt, Grasshopper Salt, and Mezcal Worm Salt. And, yes, the final three are actually made of crushed up insects.
So….let’s take a peek at how they’re being used at La Cava, shall we?
The Poblano Pepper Salt is my new favorite. It’s is earthy and spicy, and complements the Beet Margarita well. And speaking of…we didn’t love that Beet Marg the first time we tried it. The staff actually took it back to the drawing board and tweaked the recipe by adding additional orange liqueur. The result was a drink that was as delicious as it is gorgeous. The contrast of the red drink and the green salt is a total showstopper, both in terms of look and flavor.
You’ll also notice a new thing that La Cava is doing in this pic: these days, they’re only salting half of the glass rims. That way you get to taste the drink with and without it the salt.
So it’s been pretty interesting up to this point, right? Well, it’s about to go to a whole other level. It’s time for the insects!
The Blank Ant Salt is a mixture of dried chiles, crushed black ants, salt and sugar. (And if you’re having Black Ant Salt deja vu, it might be because we just told you about it in our review of Frontera Cocina.) If you look closely at the pic below, you can see little ant legs and antennae. No joke.
You’ll find this one used for the Top Shelf Margarita made with Casa Nobles Blanco. But you’ll also spy it on the new, unfrozen Tamarind Margarita as well as the Minty Pineapple. Speaking of — we had the chance to sample both during the tasting.
The Pineapple Margarita brings together Pineapple Juice with Zignam Mezcal, house made Mint Cordial (a combo of sugar, water, and fresh mint), and Cherry Liqueur.
This was fantastic! And potentially another new favorite! (I know, I know. There are so many.)
And it was love at first sip when I previously tried the Tamarind Margarita. But the drink is now served on the rocks instead of frozen. It’s still delicious, so don’t miss it!
So what’s my verdict on the Black Ant Salt? Welllllll…I’m gonna be honest with you. You can actually see the ant legs, and for some reason, that weirds me out. So I’m gonna have to tell you that this is not my cup of tea.
But that wasn’t the only member of Team Insect that we experienced. Because there’s also a Grasshopper Salt.
You’ll find the Grasshopper Salt used with drinks featuring Mezcal. It’s a natural partnership: Mezcal comes from Oaxaca, and you’ll see the insects featured in that region quite a bit.
For the tasting, we sampled Mezcal in what looked a LOT like a candle holder from the Catholic church I grew up going to! When I asked why I was being served a drink in a votive holder, I was told that it’s customary! Throughout Mexico, you’ll now often find Mezcal served in these vaso veladoras, which are basically candleholders used in the Catholic church. They were manufactured in Oaxaca and are often engraved with a cross at the bottom. (Those who imbibe are told to “drink until you see the cross!”)
Note, however, that though the veladora is the size of shot glass, this is NOT a shot. Mezcal is meant to be savored slowly.
The shot was served with a wedge of Orange — which goes beautifully with Mezcal — and the aforementioned grashopper salt. I sampled Salvacion Tobasiche and loved it. I enjoy the smooth flavor of Mezcal more than Tequila most of the time.
But. The Salt. Again with the bug legs. So cool. And just so super not my thing.
I do have good news for you, though. If Ants and Grasshoppers don’t do it for you, well, there are always Worms. As in Mezcal Worm Salt, which blends ground worms from Mezcal with chiles. While I didn’t see it in action, I did taste it (not bad!!) , and I’m sure that the good folks at La Cava will come up with an awesome way to use it.
Sotol Tasting and Tequila Barrel Tasting
But experiencing the remarkable rim salts wasn’t all that I enjoyed. The staff also gave me the chance to sample some fantastic other things.
We began with a Sotol tasting. If you aren’t familiar with the spirit, you aren’t alone.
As Mezcal is to Central Mexico, so Sotol is to the North. Made from the Desert Spoon or, Sotol, the drink can be traced to ancient times. And if you’re intrigued, you’ll be happy to know that it’s gaining popularity. It’s hard to find right now, but its sustainable nature and enjoyable flavor are making it trendy. That should lead to more of it here in the States, I’d imagine.
And yep — it was the perfect opportunity for me to break out my special custom AJ tequila glass, kept at La Cava just for my visits. 🙂
But it wouldn’t be a visit to La Cava without a little Tequila. Right? And we had a chance to sample some of the Best of the Best!
The La Cava staff actually goes to Mexico several times each year for tasting and buying trips. (I know. Hard job, eh?) They only buy barrels that they’ve actually tasted, and that they deem worthy of La Cava. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel pretty special!
In choosing barrels, just to give you an idea, one out of twelve barrels of Casa Noble makes the cut, while only one in eight of Patron will find a home at La Cava.
With this incredible attention to detail, it’s easy to see why La Cava del Tequila is so well loved among those who visit Epcot, and with Tequila masters. And us! Us too!
And that’s the tale of how I spent several happy hours in the Mexico Pavilion lately, on a mission that was as educational as it was fun. You should totally do the same. 🙂
And that’s what I want to hear from you now: What will you be trying the very next time you visit La Cava del Tequila? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!