The Original Design of the Perfect Margarita – Simply Sublime

January 18, 2011

Why is it so difficult to get a good margarita? Seems like all these bars with their fancy concoctions and infusions try too hard to reinvent that which is so perfect in its original form. Don’t give me the sweet and sour mix or the carbonated fizz, please don’t add sugar or simple syrup, just keep it simple!
While introducing Heather and Tricia to Mexico this week, Tricia thought that I should post the perfect margarita to which I introduced her last year and she has enjoyed ever since – here we are in paradise and Heather staged a photo shot right on our balcony of the ingredients (using Controy instead of the traditional Cointreau) the perfect picture!
So finding the perfect margarita….down here in Mexico we even find this frustration – perhaps the masses have forgotten the simplicity that is so fine – paired with a cultivated sweet-tooth, common margaritas are often waaaay too sweet. Jalisco, the very state in which the precious nectar of the agave root was first extracted and distilled to create this Mexican treasure – tequila – offers many variations on the theme. Yet the original libation created in Mexico City is simply an equal combination of tequila, Cointreau and fresh lime juice served on the rocks.
Another option of the orange flavored French liquor, Cointreau has been made less expensively here in Mexico in their version called Controy. The other French liquor with an orange flavor, Grand Marnier is often substituted – rather successfully. But the real deal is with the Cointreau.
Whether it’s in a fancy stemmed broad blue or green hand blown margarita glass, big bulbous heavy barbell of a vessel, or even a pilsner like the one I had in the Houston airport at Pappadeaux’s last Saturday, the trick is all in the ingredients. KISS – equal parts tequila, Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Usually, traditionally, it is served on the rocks in a short cocktail glass…whether you salt the rim or not is personal preference – but salted is the way it all started. Here in Mexico you often see a small plate slightly larger than the diameter of a slice of pineapple – with a slice of juicy pineapple. It is that and not water or a damp cloth which is used to moisten the rim before twisting it in the dish of course salt.
And then there are the various types of tequila…first it must be 100% agave. There are blends which add sugar cane (like rum) and other ingredients which are NOT 100% agave. Read the label! It can only really be called tequila if it made from 100% agave. Got it? There are three types of tequila white (new, clear, silver), reposado aged a bit and añejo aged a bit more. Not like the years we see in scotch…12 years, 26 years…but they are often aged in whiskey kegs – the oaky barrels discarded after years of service then re-used to age (for a much shorter time) the tequila which takes on the warm colors and rich tones from the other distillations. The flavors are nearly limitless and the tastings for fine tequila are as subtle, rich and varied as the finest wines. The price can vary too – with incredibly well regarded shots going in the hundreds – now THAT’S a shot!
Many people prefer the crisp silver tequilas in their citrusy margaritas while others prefer the warmer, smoother flavor of the aged versions. However you like it – remember the mantra for a great margarita – what is it? KISS – equal parts tequila, Cointreau and freshly squeezed lime juice – simply sublime.


2 Responses to “The Original Design of the Perfect Margarita – Simply Sublime”

  1. Muchas gracias! Now I know!

  2. patti h Says:

    easy peezy…thanks for following!!!!!!!!!!!

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