So you don't get schooled by a tequila snob at your own table, here's a quick 101. Gold tequilas, or mixtos, have added sugars and colorings and are for mixing only. Platinum or silver tequilas are 100 percent agave and unaged; they're a mixing upgrade. Reposados, literally "rested," are aged in casks for up to a year and are nice for sipping. And extra-aged, or anejo, tequilas spend three to four years in barrels -- quaff these in a snifter.
Less expected than a margarita but just as easy to make, our Paloma Cooler is lively and laid-back at the same time. It gets its light, bubbly flavor from Mexican grapefruit soda (which is also great on its own) and a platinum tequila. The "drunken lime" floater is a cored-out half lime filled with a shot of a reposado tequila. And a cold, crisp Mexican beer always goes down suave.