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National Tequila Day is July 24 — Plus three affordable newcomers added to summer cocktail game

July brings the heat and three special newcomers to market
July brings the heat and three special newcomers to market

Full disclosure: Monsters & Critics received free samples of the products mentioned in this article for review. However, the opinions expressed are independent and our own.

Summer is square in the middle of the season with a heat index that’s off the charts in most places. All that means is you need a beverage that stars lighter spirits and citrus additions or other fruits to cool you off and ease the pain of heat stroke.

We’ve got you covered.

Timing is everything and we have an affordable brand new tequila that gives back a percentage of every sale to an animal rescue, plus a new to market-aged rum and a surprisingly refreshing Colina Colada, a pineapple and coconut Horchata that makes incredible summer-perfect drinks, especially with that new rum.

Since National Tequila Day is happening on July 24th, Monsters and Critics sampled three amazing new brands and wanted to share with you some great tasting, budget-friendly spirit newcomers and recipes to get up on your radar and for you to try out.

Tequila newcomer VIVA XXXII Joven (About $40 retail)

Sassy bottle, stunningly crisp and clean tasting agave-forward aroma, with VIVA XXXII you get a perfect mixer tequila that has a bit of lemon peel, white pepper, and Yerba Buena notes to savor. We have the perfect new margarita recipe for you to make. We swear it’s easy and you will love it:

Bonus Intel: Viva XXXII donates 10% of their net proceeds to animal abuse prevention and regularly partner with charities that make a difference.

Blood Orange Margarita Recipe

Blood orange margarita- the surprise is adding a few bitters
Blood orange margarita- the surprise is adding a few bitters

3 ounces (90ml) fresh Blood Orange Juice
1 ounce (29ml) fresh Lime Juice
2 ounces (60ml) VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
.75 ounce (22ml) Simple Syrup or Agave Nectar
Dash of bitters (trust us, it’s amazing)

Wet the rim of a chosen glass you prefer to drink out of with an edge of a blood orange slice and then a lime slice. Coat the edge of the glass in some rimming salt (Kosher or sea) to salt the rim. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Put about 3-4 cubes of ice in the prepared salted glass.
Strain the cocktail into the glass, hit the top with a few dashes of bitters

You had us at Colada: newcomer Colina Colada is summer’s creamy indulgence

Colina Colada
Colina Colada

This new horchata liqueur, Colina Colada, ($21.99 SRP )  was originally made for a bride and her wedding guests, but is now a widely sold silky concoction of Caribbean rum, dairy cream, cinnamon, lemon and other magical flavors to drink straight up or mix up with some MORE rum for more kick.

Ron Con Horchata is an easy serve, keep it cold in the fridge, and just pour over ice or pour it into your favorite cocktails and mixed shots.  Think of this as summer’s Bailey’s Irish Cream. But way better and with the flavors of summertime.

Created by Don Colina Distillers and Rhino Global Enterprises, this newbie is hand bottled in Riviera Beach, Florida and packs about 14.5% ABV.

Colina Colada Original

1 ½ oz. Colina Colada horchata liqueur
¾ oz. coconut cream
3 oz. pineapple juice
1 whole cherry
1 slice of pineapple (for garnish)

Fill a shaker with ice, add Colina Colada and coconut cream. Shake and then strain into a wine glass filled with crushed ice. Add pineapple juice, and garnish with a cherry and a slice of pineapple.

Solera 8 Años: Dos Ron’s amber-hued legacy now sold in the USA and Europe

Amber-hued in color, redolent with rich caramel-like treacle qualities laced with vanilla and spice are the very first thing you notice about this affordable aged rum ($34.99 SRP). To date,  Dos Ron has won eight medals at the International Spirits Awards (Six Gold Medals and two  Siver Medals).

There’s a colorful history.

José Luis Morfa, also known as Don Colina, had a sugarcane farm back in the mid-nineteenth century in the Las Villas region of Cuba. Sugarcane was used in their secret family recipe to create the Solera rums, made still today from the same recipe.

Son Carlos Morfa learned the rum-making craft from his father and that distillery still stands today. The Castro Revolution took the family’s distillery away, yet Carlos’ father chose to stay and work in the distillery that his family used to own.

As a young man, Carlos was taken away from Cuba back in the early 1970’s. He was enlisted in a state-run work program and put on a plane headed for East Germany as part of a labor-for-goods exchange between the communist countries.

The Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and Carlos and his German wife opened a series of Cuban-themed restaurants in Germany, but he wanted to get back to the family business.

Not in Cuba, but in the Dominican Republic.

Carlos had the knowledge to master blend using rums already aging in their special oak casks. He fine-tuned the techniques and secret recipe his father taught him, and created Dos Ron or “Two Rums,” to honor his late father.

Hemingway Daquiri

Make sure to splurge and get the real Luxardo cherries for this one
Make sure to splurge and get the real Luxardo cherries for this one

1 ¾ oz. Dos Ron 8 Year Rum
¼ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur (basically a splash)
¾ oz. grapefruit juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. lime juice
1 Luxardo Maraschino Cherry (for garnish)
1 lime wedge (for garnish)

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lime wedge and an original Luxardo cherry.

Happy National Tequila Day, whether you decide to celebrate with one of the above recipes or something else.