The power of food to transport us with flavors and smells is what makes eating and drinking such a personal experience. It is what endeared me to the lively and cozy Copita Tequileria y Comida in Sausalito. Sitting at the bar takes me to the beaches of Jalisco, Mexico, where a yearly tradition with friends is all about sun, ceviche, tequila, and great conversations fueled by even more tequila. In other words, it takes me to my happy place.
Of the eight cocktails on the list, it was the mighty Prado ($9, blanco tequila, lime, maraschino, agave, egg white), Spanish for "meadow," that most impressed me. Complex and refreshing at the same time, it lavishes the drinker with a frothy texture and an almost minty flavor. If a last word (gin, lime, green chartreuse, maraschino) and a margarita had a baby, this would be it.
But don't skip the margarita ($9, blanco tequila, lime, agave) -- it was the spark that led to chef Joanne Weir's restaurant. After she mixed up a batch of margaritas onboard Poggio restaurateur Larry Mindel's yacht, Copita was born. The exceptional margaritas made Tommy's-style don't disappoint. Its single, large cube of ice makes it a slow sipper, keeping the drink cold without overdiluting it.
2 ounces blanco tequila
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce maraschino liqueur
½ ounce agave nectar
1 egg white
Curled lime zest
Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, and shake vigorously for five seconds. Using a whisk or the spring from the cocktail shaker, whisk the drink to create even more foam. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a curled lime zest.
Copita Tequileria y Comida, 739 Bridgeway (at Litho), Sausalito, 331-7400.