Tacolicious is named for its delicious and impressive array of handheld, stuffed soft tortillas (err, tacos), but it could easily be renamed Tequilalicious in honor of its long and lovely tequila menu. We hung out with bartender Enrique Jaramillo, who has been in the States for 15 years and kindly gave us all the ins and outs of when and how to drink tequila. For instance, Jaramillo, whom we just adore, recommends keeping tequilas before or after dinner. “Because of the high alcohol content, having it with a taco with spicy salsa, it’s not going to feel very nice on your tongue.” We also like Jaramillo because he kicks so much butt. Well, at least he teaches other people how to nurture that skill. When he’s not slinging tequila, he’s up in Sonoma County teaching martial arts to adults. 2031 Chestnut St., San Francisco, (415) 346-1966, www.tacolicioussf.com
Where are you from originally? I’m from Mexico. Guana Juato, Mexico. That’s central Mexico.
How long have you been in San Francisco? About six months.
Oh, so you’re brand-new? Kind of. I used to live in Sonoma County.
How’d you get into bartending? I love cooking, working with ingredients and stuff like that, but you don’t make that much money working as a cook. Bartending is the closest thing to working with ingredients, getting interaction with people and making a little bit more money.
What’s the focus of the cocktail program here at Tacolicious? We’re focusing on tequila and tequila drinks, but we still want to have different options ... use some rum, we have a couple of vodka drinks, whiskey and stuff like that. It’s brand-new right now, so most of the stuff we have is tequila-focused, margarita-like flavors. But we’re still trying to make those drinks as fresh and as simple as possible. I think that’s what works the best. Once you start putting too many ingredients into a drink, it starts to taste too complex, too complicated.
If you are going to have a cocktail, what will it be? If I am going to have a cocktail, it will be a margarita. If I’m just going to have a drink, it’ll probably be straight tequila. Tequila is one of my favorites.
Tequila has kind of a bad rep among many. Is the clientele here skeptical of it? No. Since we put out the menu, it’s been a lot more helpful.
Ah, because you have all the tasting notes next to each one. Yes, we have all the descriptions so people don’t feel intimidated by it. People don’t really know how to order, so having this list and a description really helps them. We have close to 30 different tequilas and growing.
What’s a good sipping tequila? It would be a reposado or an anejo. Something nice and mellow that’s not going to be that oaky.
If you could serve a drink to anyone, who would it be? Anyone. I don’t care. I really don’t care.
There’s no one you’ve ever wanted to meet? No writer or actor? No. I’m not a big fan of that. Whoever sits at the bar and wants to drink [I’ll serve them.] If you finish the drink, then I feel good about it. If someone is sitting there and not drinking their drink, I feel bad about it.
If Honey Could Drink
- 2 oz. Corralejo tequila
- 3 thick slices of cucumber
- ½ oz. lime
- ½ oz. agave syrup
In a pint glass, muddle lime, cucumbers and agave. Add ice and tequila. Shake and pour over ice. Salt rim of glass if desired. Garnish with a cucumber slice and lime wedge.