Mexican Cousin

Originally Performed ByPhish
Appears On
Phish Debut2003-01-02
Last Played2019-07-06
Current Gap202
HistorianMartin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty)
Last Update2016-02-09


Oh Tequila, the oldest distilled beverage originating in North America, is perhaps the best known export of Mexico. By strict regulations, to be considered Tequila, the liquor in question must be distilled from at least 51% Agave Azul (Blue Agave) somewhere in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The reputations of no other liquids are imbued with quite as much legend, mythology, and misinformation as Tequila and its “Mexican Cousin,” Mezcal. Most notably, the Blue Agave, unlike Mike Gordon, is not a cactus; it is a species of lily. The Gusano Rojo (red, red worm) your bottle may contain, unlike “Piper,” is not psychoactive; eating the worm is therefore just a supplement of protein and/or machismo. Yet mysteriously, the vigorous consumption of Tequila results in a form of intoxication that is quite unlike simple drunkenness. This state is simultaneously celebrated and bemoaned in the lyrics of “Mexican Cousin.”

This hilarious tune released on Round Room is obviously inspired by a Tequila-fueled bender, perhaps the one that included the Louise regaled on Trey’s “Cayman Review.” With its salt-encrusted tongue implanted firmly in its lime-soaked cheek, “Mexican Cousin” covers every emotion from happiness to sorrow. It is unapologetic and coarse, much like the actions Tequila can inspire; so if you can’t take it, either get lost, or give me a kiss. Musically it treads on somewhat “Waste(d)” ground. 

"Mexican Cousin" – 6/19/12, Portsmouth, VA

“Mexican Cousin” debuted to a warm welcome at the Hampton Coliseum as the encore on 1/2/03. Subsequent shots served during the 2003 winter tour (2/18/03 Denver and 2/28/03 Nassau Coliseum) were also nightcaps. With the heat upon us, the “Mexican Cousin” was mixed into early evening first-set cocktails during the two performances that followed (7/12/03 Gorge and 7/26/03 Atlanta). Surprisingly, considering the celebratory nature of the Two-by-Four runs that followed, the Tequila bottle remained shelved for the duration of 2003. There was a single 2004 serving in Mansfield (8/11/04) just prior to the "last shows" at Coventry. 

During the Phish break-up, Trey turned to it like a long lost friend and stepped up to the bar for a solo acoustic version at his 8/10/05 Lakefront Pavilion show. The following year some reposado shots of "Mexican Cousin" were also served up during three successive stops (7/15/06 Atlanta, 7/16/06 Nashville, and 7/18/06 Toronto) on the summer 2006 G.R.A.B. tour. Each of these performances featured Mike on electric banjo and Trey on acoustic guitar. 

Upon Phish's 2009 return, the Tequila was poured five times in four years, with four jiggers served up to the southeast (3/7/09 Hampton, 7/2/10 Charlotte, 10/15/10 Charleston and 6/19/12 Portsmouth) and a single shot in the midwest (8/16/11 Chicago) through 2012. The bottle remained safely ensconced in the liquor cabinet for all of 2013. 

Considering the 24/7 atmosphere of inebriation that can be found in Sin City, it was no surprise that Phish slammed an early first set tequila popper – ending a 110 show gap – during the final show of their Halloween weekend celebration at the MGM Grand Garden Arena (11/2/14 Las Vegas). Let’s party!

"Mexican Cousin" – 11/2/14, Las Vegas, NV. Video by LazyLightning55a.

The Cazadores cask was dry for the entirety of 2015; mirroring the drought conditions that persisted throughout North America for much of the year. The El Niño winter has changed all that and made moisture, both distilled and otherwise, an all-inclusive thing once again. In keeping with this free-flowing theme, “Mexican Cousin” graced the home field stage to open day three of the Phish fiesta at Barceló Maya Beach. Salud!

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