It must be annoying being a tequila distiller. You wait eight to 12 years for your raw ingredient, the Agave tequilana plant, to grow. After the painstaking work of taking off the leaves and cooking the plant for 72 hours, distilling the resulting syrup twice and then ageing the final product for three years, you sell it to someone who's going to neck the liquid in vast quantities and then blame you for the hangover.
Tequilla distillers will tell you the highest grade of the product barely gives you a hangover at all. That claim, like the tequila, can be taken with a pinch of salt, but if your experience of the drink revolves around vague memories of student life, you may be surprised at the quality and sophistication of the drink and its counterpart, mezcal, made from Agave americana.
Tequila can actually be a sipping drink as well as a cocktail base.
Wahaka, a mescal brand famous for its worm, has powerful smoky, tobacco aromas and flavours and is, it's claimed, the only white spirit in the world with such qualities.
It can be consumed with the traditional lime juice and salt, but it can also be accompanied by guava, pineapple, grapefruit and pomelo. The worm can be ground into a salt, one of several varieties - chilli powder and lime or chamoy sauce (a mix of apricot, peach and tejocote) are other combinations.
The Blue Bar at the Four Seasons (tel: 3196 8888), which is hosting a Mexican promotion until the end of August, has several versions of the classic margarita on its menu. The name is the Spanish word for daisy, but if that word implies sweetness and innocence to you, one sip of a margarita Huichol will undoubtedly change your mind.
50ml Copa Imperial organic tequila reposado or, if unavailable, a 100 per cent agave tequila reposado
10ml Grand Marnier
Dash of fresh lime juice
Dash of simple syrup
2 thin slices of Serrano chilli (or a medium hot green chilli)
Salt half the rim of a chilled margarita glass and set aside.
In a shaker, muddle the Serrano chilli with the sugar and lime.
Add the tequila, Cointreau, Grand Marnier and ice.
Shake it vigorously until your shaker begins to frost.
Pour the contents into the salt-rimmed margarita glass.
Garnish with a few slices of Serrano chilli and a small chilli on the rim.