Traveling as a vegan can be difficult, but the one thing you can always count on is Tequila. Of course, most alcoholic drinks are vegan, but tequila is especially important because so much of food is incorporated into social activities. It’s a bit awkward ordering a salad at the pizza parlor while the rest of the group is moaning around individually carved triangles dripping with cheese. Pizza is such a group activity, it’s the tequila of food world – very few people will buy a pie just for themselves, they long to share it with an entire group, the cheese acting as a glue for the social bonding experience. Just like very few people buy an entire bottle of tequila just for themselves, or even want to order a shot just for themselves. Even when surrounded by strangers, they’ll insist on people taking a shot beside them. Wine, beer, any other drink can be drunk alone, but tequila demands audience participation.
I really do enjoy it. Not so much the taste, or the scorched warpath it leaves down the column of my throat. But I like that it’s cheap, it gets me buzzed faster than anything else, and I adore the ceremony.
For me, it’s the closest I’ll ever get to understanding the appeal of catholicism. There’s a ritualistic nature to taking a shot, followed by painstaking labor I’m able to endure only because I’ve grasped onto enough faith that beyond that point lies euphoria.
And, again, with tequila I get to continue taking part in a primary social experience. (So please God never let me find out that alcohol is bad for the environment, comes at the cost of animals, or is mass produced by starving child laborers. Yeah, I know it’s killing my liver, but that’s a non-issue.) Anyway, here’s the best way I’ve found to enjoy the ceremony:
Step One) Tell somebody you’ve never taken a shot of Tequila before. “What?!” They’ll exclaim, excited to take on some authority, assume the role of an intoxicated priest. More often than not, you’ll find a free shot sliding down your way.
Step Two) Acquire a wedge of lime and a salt shaker, along with your shot.
Step Three) Sprinkle salt on the patch of slightly webbed skin between your thumb and index finger. Feel free to continue past that point, but no need to go any farther than the knuckle.
Step Four) Take a shot. It’ll feel like swallowing all of 2017 in one burning second.
Step Five) Lick your salty hand!
Step Six) Sink your teeth into that lime! Imagine it’s a lifeline to 2020. Don’t let up until you’ve drained all the citris out.
Step Seven) Thank your priest, wander around to the other end of the bar, and repeat as necessary.