Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Today we're drinking the Margarita, a classic tequila-based cocktail.  You've probably had them a hundred times, and as more bars and restaurants serve them from scratch, you've probably noticed an improved quality to the Margarita's you're drinking.

So where did the Margarita come from?  You'll never believe this, but there are conflicting stories as to its origins.  Shocking, I know.

There's the one about a Dallas socialite who wanted to create a cocktail for a pool party - her name of course, was Margaret, and her nickname was Margarita.  Another story involves a showgirl named Marjorie King, who was allergic to all alcohol but tequila, and the sweet-ol' bartender went about creating a cocktail she could enjoy.  And finally, one story involves a Mexican bartender who forgot how to mix a certain drink, only remembering that it contained Cointreau.  As a result, the bartender threw whatever he could think of in a glass, including Cointreau - and booya, the Margarita.  All of these stories are probably bunk, but they're fun and perhaps with sharing at a cocktail party.

In any event, now that the non-definitive history of the margarita is out of the way, indulge me for a moment while I share a couple photos from Manhattan that I took this past weekend. 

First, this weekend was the time of year in which the sun sets directly in line with the streets.  The main night this was to occur was Friday, but it was cloudy as hell that day, and no sun appeared on the horizon.  Thankfully though, it improved with the weekend.  This was taken at 14th and 3rd Ave (and I thought it was particularly interesting because people flooded the street for photos - hence the reason a guy is standing there directly in front of me):

The second photo is from Sunday, when JB and I loafed around Central Park for a while.  We sat across this guy for a few minutes, and I caught a couple nice moments of him, mid-nap.

Alright, let's drink!

The Ultimate Bar Book, page 290

Classic Margarita

2 lime wedges
Kosher salt
1 1/2 oz premium silver tequila
1 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Cointreau

Rub a wedge of lime around the rim of a chilled margarita glass, and salt the rim.  Fill the prepared glass with ice, shake the liquid ingredients vigorously with ice.  Strain into prepared glass.  Squeeze the remaining lime wedge over the drink, and drop it in. 

This is a nice little margarita recipe, though I don't think all of its directions are entirely necessary.  First, I don't think you need to place ice in the glass, and second, I don't think you need to drop the lime into the cocktail.  If the cocktail glass is chilled, the ice will only melt away the fine flavor of the 3 main ingredients.  I suppose if you love lime, you could add the slice to the cocktail, but it's superfluous. 

Having said that, I think this is a excellent combination that yields a flavorful and tasty margarita.  It is tart, sweet, and delicious.  The balance of contents is excellent, with each providing a nice contribution of flavor.

Unfortunately, far too many people drink margaritas made from a mix.  Stop, please.  Margaritas may be the worst of the available mixes out there.  Some drinks lend themselves well to mixes (bloody mary mixes come to mind), though the vast majority do not.  Margaritas do not. 

A made-from-scratch margarita is extremely easy to throw together.  And, you have the benefit of adding a little more lime juice, a little more Cointreau, or a little more tequila - whatever is your preference.  The alternative, a mix, is just sugar on top of sugar.  Why drink inferior cocktails when the good stuff is as easy as this?

Enjoy this one.  Really, I mean it.  Enjoy this one at a BBQ, a dinner, anything.  This works in any environment.

The Amateur Mixologist Copyright © 2009 Blogger Template Designed by Bie Blogger Template