Let’s Chat: Eddy Buckingham of 901® Tequila

From Justin Timberlake’s exclusive birthday cocktail, to ‘The Fallon’ cocktail featured on The Tonight Show, 901® Tequila recipes are a hit with tequila novices and experts alike. It’s time now to dig a little deeper into the brains behind the cocktails that we all love. We’re bringing you a new recipe from 901® Tequila’s mixologist, Eddy Buckingham, as well as an interview digging into what he loves most about working with 901® Tequila and what inspires him to keep creating. Not to mention Eddy is sharing additional recipes that he says are sure to “wow your guests!”

NYC-based mixologist Eddy Buckingham, who just so happens to also be Justin Timberlake’s personal mixologist, has no shortage of ideas when it comes to creating the best recipes for some of the biggest events. Just recently preparing the perfect fall fashion cocktail, the Zarza. Though the inspiration behind this fall fashion cocktail was New York Fashion Week, it’s an easy to enjoy cocktail that you can mix up at any get-together, big or small. The Zarza (recipe below) is an on-trend cocktail using 901® Tequila and is made with simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and fresh blackberries – so refreshing it will satisfy any designer’s palette!
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How do you stay inspired? Do you tend to follow current trends, make up your own, or a combination of both?

Living and working in New York City offers constant inspiration. You have so many remarkable people working in close proximity to each other and it’s a great way to exchange ideas and stay up-to- date on the latest industry trends. However, while it’s important to follow current trends, it should serve more as an inspiration rather than a rigid guideline.

I like to keep asking the same two questions “What’s good?” and “What’s next?” In my work with 901® Tequila I experiment with up and coming flavors but stay true to what pairs best with the spirit. Inventive nods to the classics and cocktails with unique garnishes or one to two special ingredients are a great way to upgrade a drink without being too out there.

What is your creative process? Is there one thing you must do while creating that keeps you motivated?

I’ve learned that creativity isn’t a linear process and can’t be forced. It can be a challenge when working on deadline and have a sense of “ok, now be creative!” I find I do my best work when I have an opportunity to sit with something, consider it from a 360 degree perspective and maybe put it down for a period. It’s amazing how and when inspiration strikes.

It can take the smallest trigger: something you taste, something a friend might say or even when your head is on the pillow moments before you fall asleep. The key is to then recognize it, channel and execute that inspiration.

What is the best part about working with 901® Tequila?

I greatly enjoy working with 901® Tequila because it’s a premium spirit, yet approachable. The super-smooth tequila has broad appeal so it attracts both seasoned tequila connoisseurs and those new to the category. In my work with 901® Tequila, I get to create innovative cocktails and experiment with new flavors and trends. Each cocktail is designed to complement the spirit’s unique flavor profiles, specifically its floral, citrus and peppery notes. The spirit’s 100 percent Blue Weber Agave characteristic results in an extraordinary super-smooth taste.

Through my work with the brand I am often able to showcase these cocktail creations during major events including this year’s American Century Championship Golf Tournament and the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s a great experience to work with such a complementary product and to be able to share my creations with others, including the BINGE Magazine readers!

You create the most amazing cocktails for some of the biggest events nationwide. Is there a favorite cocktail and/or event that stands out in your mind?

A cocktail I always enjoy preparing and serving is the 901® Club, a remake of the John Daly cocktail using 901® Tequila. The 901® Club is the quintessential drink of summer as it blends both sweet and tart flavors that pair nicely with the triple-distilled spirit. When recreating classics, I play up the tequila characteristics by making simple switches such as using agave syrup instead of simple syrup.

I crafted this cocktail specifically for Justin Timberlake during the American Century Championship Golf Tournament, and it was named his summer cocktail-of-choice in 2015. The cocktail was served again during this year’s tournament along with two others, the Memphis Mule and the 901® Paloma – all three were a hit and are guaranteed to wow your guests.

901® Club
1 part 901® Tequila
2 parts unsweetened iced tea
2 parts lemonade
¼ part agave syrup

Preparation: Combine all ingredients. Stir well. Serve over ice in tall glass. Garnish with mint sprig and lemon wedge.

Memphis Mule
1 part 901® Tequila
2 parts ginger beer
Juice of ½ lime

Preparation: Combine all ingredients. Add ice. Shake well. Strain. Serve in a highball glass. Garnish with fresh lime wedge.

901® Paloma
2 parts 901® Tequila
2 parts grapefruit juice
2 parts club soda
½ part lime juice
¼ part agave syrup

Preparation: Combine all ingredients. Stir well. Serve over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with fresh lime wedge.

Zarza
2 parts 901®
1 part simple syrup
1 part fresh lemon juice
Float: Blackberry liqueur (Creme de Mure)
Blackberries for garnish

Preparation: Combine all ingredients, excluding blackberry liqueur. Shake well. Strain and serve over crushed ice in a rocks glass. Float blackberry liqueur on top. Garnish with fresh blackberries.

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