GSN Alert: February 22nd – National Margarita Day

1953_12Interestingly enough, the first printed recipe for the Margarita shows up in the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine (pictured at left) Here’s what they had to say about it: Drink of the Month – “She’s from Mexico, Senores, and her name is the Margarita Cocktail–and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative.”

1 ounce tequila
Dash of Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt–pour, and sip.

Anyone today would certainly recognize that recipe, albeit in a more definitive form (more Triple Sec, no lemon, and no crushed ice).

But, the origins of the Margarita go back much further, probably about 25 years earlier.  No one knows for sure who created the drink, but my favorite theory about the name is that it was originally called a Tequila Daisy.  The Spanish word for daisy is Margarita, and a Tequila Daisy was basically a Margarita (tequila, orange liqueur, sour mix).  In any case, it has become one of the top 10 cocktails of all time.

Here are some modern versions crafted just in time for your celebration:

GildedHareThe Gilded Hare (Courtesy of Matt Grippo at Blackbird in San Francisco)
1.5oz Suerte Blanco Tequila
.5oz Gonzales Byass Amontillado Sherry
.5oz Cinnamon Syrup
.5 Grapefruit
.5 Lime
5 Drops of Bittermens Hellfire Shrub
This winter influenced margarita is a tad complex. Suerte Blanco tequila, amontillado sherry, lime, grapefruit, cinnamon and habanero. Big bright tequila flavors up front and a warm lingering finish of spice and wood with just enough kick to warm your mouth without the burn.

image012 Lemon Basil Margarita (Courtesy of Cointreau)
1 1/2 oz. Blanco Tequila
1 oz. Cointreau
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
3 basil Leaves
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice. Shake and strain over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with basil and lemon wheel.

drinkCRUZ Citrus Margarita (Courtesy of CRUZ Tequila)
2 parts CRUZ Silver Tequila
¾ parts agave nectar
1 lime squeezed
½ lemon squeezed
½ orange squeezed
1-2 parts filtered water
A couple sprigs of mint
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

image001Cucumber Lavender Margarita (Courtesy Tortilla Republic, West Hollywood)
2 oz. Casa Noble Organic Tequila (or other 100% agave silver tequila)
2-3 ½ Inch Cucumber Slices, muddled
1.5 oz. Fresh Squeeze Lime Juice
0.75 oz. Lavender-Infused Simple Syrup
(soak 4-5 sprigs of lavender in simple syrup for 2-3 days, or purchased at Farmers’ markets and specialty grocers). Shake. Pour into a 12.5 oz. glass on rocks. Garnish with cucumber and fresh lavender blossoms.

image006The Milagro Blood Orange Margarita (Courtesy of Milagro Tequila)
1 ½ parts Milagro Silver Tequila
¾ part Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
¾ part agave nectar
Pour all ingredients in a Boston Shaker with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a salt-rimmed rocks glass. Garnish with orange and lime wheels.

image003StrawBeerita (Courtesy of Licor 43)
3 oz. chilled beer, lighter-style lager
1 oz. Licor 43
1 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. lime juice
3 Strawberries
Lime
Directions: Cut strawberries and a few lime slices and muddle in a shaker. Add tequila, Licor 43, lime juice and ice and shake. Pour mixture into a margarita glass and top with beer. Garnish with a strawberry slice and lime wedge.

GSN Review: Tres Agaves Tequila & Organic Margarita Mixers

GroupShot_Wht_Organic_ColorChangeEven though Tres Agaves tequila is a relatively new product on the market, it is crafted at one of the oldest distilleries in Jalisco, Mexico; Destiladora Azteca de Jalisco.  As well, they have won some outstanding industry awards from the likes of Paul Pacult’s Ultimate Beverage Challenge and Ultimate Cocktail Challenge.

Their margarita mixer is a blend of organic lime juice, organic agave nectar grown in Jalisco and filtered water.  Simple, yet the only organic version on the market.  Trend setting.

So, with these two products in hand, how does their brand name Margarita stand up?  Read on….

Tres Agaves Silver (80 proof)
Visual: Crystal.
Nose: Fresh, lively and strong agave body.
Taste: Exceptionally smooth, round and creamy, yet at the same time full of bright, vegetal pepperiness. The whole flavor moves from one end of the spectrum to the other.  The mouthfeel is beautiful and the agave is done to perfection.  Quite lovely and certainly a standout in the blanco category.
Finish: Medium long with fresh flavor of pressed agave aged to the peak of the character imparted by the wood.
Overall: Summer in a glass.  This is the kind of tequila you want to take home and introduce to your mother. 😉
GSN Rating: A+

Tres Agaves Organic Margarita Mix (non-alcoholic)
Overall:  Used as specified on the bottle’s label, the Margarita with Tres Agaves Silver tasted fine, but without the essential oils found in fresh-squeezed limes, it has a somewhat one dimensional taste.    I was also surprised at the serving suggestions which calls for the drink to be served on the rocks in a old-fashioned glass.  I appreciated the overall flavor, and the organic ingredients, but would always make it fresh if at all possible.  Barring that, this is one of the best mixes I’ve tasted.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Tres Agaves