Friday, August 18, 2006
Myself and a crew from work had dinner in Luigi Malone's in Temple Bar on Thursday 03rd August last [I know it's a while ago at this stage, bear with me a sec!] We ordered two pitchers of margaritas for the table - one classic, one strawberry - and they were absolutely de-lish. Since we will be having a house-warming sometime soon [well, as soon as we get the place redecorated coz eh I have a reputation as a bastion of good taste to uphold: no way can I let people see the house in it's current lesbo-riffic state], I e-mailed the folks in Luigi Malone's the day after to beg them for their margarita recipes... and they sent them back to me within the hour! Vay kind of them. So, if you're invited down for the partaa-ay, here's a sneak peek at what you can expect to be supping [the edibles menu has yet to be finalised but hey, we all know this is the most impartant part..!]
Pitcher* of Margarita/Strawberry Margarita**
- 100ml lime juice
- Sour Mix (100ml lemon juice + 100ml lime juice +10gr sugar)
- 175ml tequila blanco
- 75ml Triple Sec/Cointreau
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with plenty of crushed ice. Shake it up until the shaker's too cold to hold, then strain and pour into a chilled, salt-rimmed margarita or cocktail glass [or serve on the rocks or with crushed ice depending on taste.]
* pitcher size is 3l
** For Strawberry Margaritas, add 275ml of blended strawberries
What goes in...
While it's true that you can’t make a tasty margarita from a crappy tequila, it's also a fact that there's no point in using a truly top-shelf bottle of tequila in a cocktail. If you can at all afford it, do spend the extra bucks to go with a 100% blue agave tequila. The cheap tequilas you probably got drunk on in college are made with only 51% blue agave (the minimum required by Mexican law) with the remainder consisting of pretty nasty distilled spirits that are made from sugar plants. The really cheap stuff will give you one whopper of a hangover, and it doesn’t even taste that good going down.
Tequila is divided into three basic categories: blanco/silver, reposado, and añejo. Blanco is tequila that's bottled without aging, so that it retains the pure, strong flavor of freshly distilled blue agave. Reposado has been aged in oak for between two months and one year; añejo is anything that’s been aged for more than a year. A prime-quality añejo would be completed wasted in a cocktail, as all those subtleties of flavor that make it the fine drink it is would be overwhelmed by the other ingredients. A blanco, on the other hand, or a good value reposado, is perfect for making margaritas. All this is good, since it's unlikely you can afford a premium añejo anyway :p
If you’re not a tequila connoisseur, your first inclination, when you go to the offie to stock up on your margarita mixings, may well be to go with the name brand, that being good ol' Mr. Cuervo, no doubt. Sadly, though it's name is virtually synonymous with tequila, most of the Cuervo tequilas aren't particularly good. They'll make okay margaritas, but for something a little nicer, you could try Hornitos, Herradura Blanco, El Tesoro Blanco, Porfidio Silver or Patrón Silver.
How to rim a glass with salt
Use coarse kosher/sea salt, not your ordinary old table salt for rimming your cocktail glasses – it has a better flavor, and will look nicer too. I find that sea salt straight out of the canister is a bit too coarse to stick easily to the glass, so I recommend mashing it up a bit using a mortar and pestle (not too fine; just squish it around for a minute or two). Pour the salt into a small plate or a shallow bowl that's big enough to accommodate your glass. Wet the rim of your glass with a slice of lime. Dip the rim in the salt, rotating it around if necessary to make sure you salt the entire circumference.
Making margaritas for the masses
If you’re serving up large quantities of margaritas to guests, you’ll save yourself some time and effort by making up a big batch in advance (max. 8 hours beforehand). Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher or similar large vessel, EXCEPT ice. You don’t want to add ice for one very simple reason: it’ll melt, and dilute your beverage. Keep the pitcher in the fridge or on ice in a cooler. If you’re not a tequila connoisseur, your first inclination, when you go to the offie to stock up on your margarita mixings, may well be to go with the name brand, that being good ol’ Mr. Cuervo, no doubt. Sadly, though it's name is virtually synonymous with tequila, most of the Cuervo tequilas aren’t particularly good. They’ll make okay margaritas, but for something a little nicer, you could try Hornitos , Herradura Blanco, El Tesoro Blanco, Porfidio Silver or Patrón Silver.
Tips etc adapted from DigsMagazine.com