Today is National Margarita Day, the perfect excuse to take your Margaritas to a new level. We asked Jason Silverman, Mixologist and Tequila Expert, to help us out by creating a primer with everything you need to know about creating the perfect margarita. Did you know, for example, that:
• According to Technomic Inc., “Margaritas rule the menu: margaritas account for 17.6% of cocktails found on full-service restaurant menus, more than any other cocktail offered”.
• Jason’s advice on pairing? “The best flavors to use when creating cocktails for brunch are vegetal, tangy or fruity. Fruits such as strawberry, passionfruit and raspberries always work well when creating new brunch cocktails.
• Perfect food pairings for the traditional margarita cocktail are foods that have citrus notes or briny notes – think ceviche or oysters; rich and spicy southwestern foods like huevos rancheros are also a great match”
• Legend has it that the original Margarita was invented in 1948 by socialite Margarita Sames, during a party at her cliffside hacienda in Acapulco.
Making a great margarita is part art, part science. quality ingredients, from the lime juice to the tequila to the rim salt. The following tips are from Tres Señoritas Gourmet Mexican Catering:
- Use fresh squeezed lime juice and tiny, tangy Mexican or Key limes
- Squeeze limes by hand using a Mexican lime-juicer, which releases the precious aromatic oils hidden in the skin of the fruit
- Allow fresh-squeezed lime juice to “mellow” overnight for a smoother, silkier margarita
- Use organic agave syrup as a sweetener, not sugar and water.
- We recommend Torres Orange over Gran Marnier : its lighter and easier to blend.
- Rim your glasses with Sal de Vida Gourmet’s Ancho Chile Lime Salt, which is made just for this purpose. Or create your own, recipe available in the book Celebraciones Mexicanas: History, Traditions and Recipes)
How do you select a great tequila? We usually recommend a Reposada Tequila that has been aged in small barrels. But, there is another, even more refined option:
Unaged Tequila! What is that?
This superior Tequila is available through Casa Noble, where the process begins with carefully selected mature Blue Agave plants, which have met strict requirements for water and sugar content. While most Tequila producers harvest their agave within five to seven years, the agave used in unaged Tequila is harvested only when it reaches full maturity, which may take up to fourteen years. Traditional methods, employed by Casa Noble, an award-winning produced of this specialty Tequila, involve slow-cooking the agave piñas for thirty-eight hours in stone ovens. Then, using only the core and hearts of the agaves, the sweet nectar is extracted, followed by a fermentation process that is 100% natural. This process allows the tequila to be influenced by the character of the agave, fruit trees and other plants that surround the Casa Noble hacienda, where the Tequila grows and is produced. The final aspect of the processing that results in this superior product is this: All tequila must be distilled twice. Casa Noble Tequila is triple distilled, resulting in a tequila that has garnered awards here and in Mexico, Casa Noble’s Unaged Silver Tequila AWARDS:
SAN FRANCISCO WORLD SPIRIT COMPETITION
Double Gold Medal
Two Time Silver Medal Winner
BEVERAGE TASTING INSTITUTE
MEXICAN TEQUILA ACADEMY
OUTSTANDING TEQUILAS OF THE WORLD
Tequila of the Decade
Raspberry Black Pepper Ginger Margarita Recipe
(Recipe for Brain-freeze Margaritas is available in the book Celebraciones Mexicanas: History, Traditions and Recipes)
Ingredients: 1.5 oz. Casa Noble Crystal .75 oz. Raspberry syrup (made from fresh, organic Driscoll’s Raspberries)
.5 oz. Barrow’s Intense Ginger (or other ginger liqueur)
.5 oz. Fresh-squeezed lime juice (made from Mexican limes)
1 tbs. Organic agave nectar
Method: Make a raspberry syrup by combining 1/4 lb. of raspberries with 1/4 cup of sugar and bring to a boil. Strain and push through a fine sieve and reserve. Combine the tequila, lime juice,