I think that the margarita is the drink with the widest range of presentation. There are a zillion different versions. And, the thing is, even the basest version does have something to say for itself. Thank back, a year or two, a decade or three, to your first bar experiences. A bad chain Mexican restaurant. The margarita you ordered was made with sour mix and cheap, very cheap tequila. The salt was Morton’s. The taste was, actually, distinguishable and not terrible.
We all know what a margarita can taste like. Ah, but few us know how exceptionally wonderful the margarita can be. Over the past three years here, we’ve made progress in this blog. A real margarita must have some kind of orange liqueur. Good orange liqueur. Not Triple Sec. Not even good Triple Sec, but something Grand Marnier or, my favorite, Mandarin Napoleon.
And there’s sugar, perhaps in the form of sugar syrup. And lastly there’s proportions: 1-1-2-3 or 1-1-1-1, that last has the same amount of everything including simple sugar syrup. This particular recipe produces a superior margarita. I know. I test it weekly. Oh, one of those “1” things is citrus juice which I think should be lemon juice, not lime.
Progress is inevitable. Famed mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim in The Modern Mixologist has I believe gotten us very close to the ultimate beverage. Very close. His solution is to use lime juice but also lemon sour, a combination of lemon juice with simple syrup. And the proportions? As you will see this margarita is half booze and half juice/syrup. I will tell you in all sober honesty that this is the best margarita I have ever had. And, it’s pretty. That distinctive dark color comes from aged tequila. Here you want the smokey flavor that is not quite there yet in fresh, silver tequila. Do try this drink. Sip it, smile, and wonder what ever happened to that waitress in the long-ago Mexican restaurant. She seemed delightful.
Yield: One Cocktail
Preparation Time: 5 minutes with ingredients at hand
- 2 ounces tequila [Tony says silver, I say golden]
- 1 ounce orange liqueur
- 2 ounces fresh lemon sour [technique below]
- 1 ounce freshly squeeze lime juice
In advance make a batch of fresh lemon sour, which you will want to consume within 24 hours. Use two parts freshly squeezed lemon juice with one part simple syrup.
For the margarita itself, pour all the ingredients into a ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake until ice cold, then pour into the glass of your choice. A glass rimmed with salt is idea. Rimming with sugar is, I know a sin, but I have priest who only charges one Hail Mary.
Recipe Source: The Modern Mixologist by Tony Abou-Ganim, 2010, Surrey Books
Photography: Canon T2i, 60 mm lens, f4.0 for 1/100 second at ISO 2000
Curra’s Grill in South Austin is famous for its wonderful Tex-Mex food, all day long. They open at 7AM and go to 10PM. This “local” place makes the Texas Monthly “Best 50” list for Tex-Mex food, quite an accomplishment. And a deserved one.
My son, daughter-in-law, and I just had a great breakfast, which they happened to serve all day. My son was driving, it was too early for my daughter-in-law, but I absolutely could not pass up their signature dish: an avocado margarita. That’s a picture of it at top, with all the glory that smart phone camera can afford.
They keep their recipe secret, but The Austin Chronicle has researched for the two best replicas they could find. Here they are. On the web, I searched for other recipes, and I think these two recipes span the range of complexity you’ll find suggested for this beverage.
Yes, it may sound strange. No, it tastes wonderful. The avocado certainly adds that mellow color and just a subtle dose of smoothness that is a grand mate for salsa and chips.
I like breakfast in Texas.
Horny Toad’s Avocado Margarita
Ah, it’s that time of year again; the avocado is being celebrated in all of its green glory at the Avocado Festival in Carpinteria, Calif. – a town near the Horny Toad headquarters. In honor of this fruit of the gods, we thought we’d post a beverage recipe … enjoy!
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 1 ripe and delicious avocado
- ¼ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
- 2 cups crushed ice
- ½ cup tequila
- ¼ cup triple sec
Put in a blender and turn it on. It’s so simple; that’s why we love it. Then, rub the rim of the glass with lime and dip in a coarse sea salt and chili pepper mix. Sit back with some friends and enjoy the smooth goodness.
Aldaco’s Avocado Margarita
Yield: 2 cocktails
- 3 cups cubed ice
- 4 ounces Cuervo Gold Tequila
- 4 ounces Cointreau Orange Liqueur
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice
- 6 ounces of sweet and sour
- To complete the margarita:
- 1 large Hass avocado
- 2 ounce sweet and sour
- Chile-lime salt (optional)
- 1 avocado for garnish (optional)
Pour Frozen Margarita ingredients into a blender; blend until smooth. Cut open one avocado and remove pit. With a spoon, remove, in small increments, the meat of the avocado and place in blender. (Use one-half avocado for each margarita.)
Add 2 more ounces sweet and sour to frozen batch, and blend about 20 seconds. Rim martini glass with chile-lime salt, pour margarita into glass, and serve.
To garnish: Roll outer side of avocado slice in Kosher or chile-lime salt. Gently press slice onto the rim of glass.