15 March 2007


Since it's been unseasonably warm this past week, why not take a break from wine and enjoy a refreshing margarita? But I'm not talking about one of those fluorescent green slurpees you get from the local Tex-Mex joint. Here's a fully fresh, well-balanced margarita shamelessly adapted from Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill.

I followed that recipe, except I used only a splash of water and added in some orange juice. And if company's over, I'll float an orange slice like I did today (you can barely see it in the picture). I'm not big on salted rims, but I did sprinkle a bit on the orange slice.

For the tequila, I used a bottle I got on clearance. I'm not a tequila snob, and while I've had some amazing anejo tequila once or twice, I don't particularly care for the flavor on its own. So while purists will tell you to use nothing but the $100 a bottle tequila for anything, in reality the citrus flavors are so strong as to render any delicate subtleties invisible. I lucked out with this $15 bottle of Dos Dedos that happened to be 100% blue agave, but generally any "gold" tequila will work well. Pick a silver if you want a cleaner taste. Just avoid the dirt cheap stuff that smells like paint thinner.

For the brandy part of it, I used Gran Gala, an inexpensive Italian version of Grand Marinier.

Fresh lime juice is a must, and though it's a matter of personal preference, I think the bit of fresh orange juice evens it out well. I also like to chop up some of the citrus peels and throw them in the shaker to help release some of the essential oils.


Grace said...

Back in the day I used to be quite a fan of Tequila. A couple my favorites were Gran Centenario Anejo (around $55 a bottle) and Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia ($100+ a bottle). I had expensive tastes and a college student budget so I didn't drink much of either.

Tequila and I are no longer friends. We had quite the falling out when I lived in Costa Rica. Now that I think of it I also had a falling out with Guaro there.

Alaina said...

My favorite modestly priced tequila is Espolon. In my opinion, sipping a glass of Espolon Anejo neat is a truly delightful experience. For my margaritas, I use Espolon Silver.

Also, Grand Marnier is a little thick for my taste. There's nothing wrong with the old stand by--a dash of Cointreau.

Thank you, Benito, for making me long for a margarita. Now I'm tormented by my lack of tequila.

Jen said...

2-3 servings? Not at my house.;-) Thanks - now I know what's for dinner tonight.

Jen said...

Ah, yes, this was muy bueno! Thanks for the recipe.

Benito said...

Glad everyone enjoyed this--I will file away the ladies' love of margaritas for future reference.