Five Margaritas for Cinco de Mayo

It is the fifth of May, and for many Americans, and increasingly Latino communities around the world, it is a day to celebrate Mexican pride, culture and heritage, by drinking salty pools of Margarita and eating tacos.

The day itself is understood by many to be the Mexican Independence day, which is actually celebrated of September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is the anniversary of a great battle, between 4000 Mexicans and 8000 well equipped Frenchmen, who hadn’t been beaten in more than 50 years. It is a holiday observed only in the state of Puebla, where the battle occurred.

This historical nonsense aside, it is a great excuse to cook Mexican food and drink Tequila. Which I’ll certainly be doing tonight.

The Cuervo Margarita.

The easiest to produce of all the pantheon of tequila cocktails.

Take 30mls of any of the Cuervo family of tequila’s, add 90mls of Cuervo Margarita Mix, shake over ice and strain into a ice filled rocks glass with a salted rim (if you like*).

A Better Margarita

This requires a bottle of Grand Marnier and a few seconds more to produce.

Take 30mls of a 100% agave tequila, like Cuervo Tradicional, and 60mls freshly squeezed lime juice, 15mls Grand Marnier, shake over ice and strain into a ice filled rocks glass with a salted rim (if you like*).

Tommy’s Margarita

A masterpiece of simplicity that features the character of different tequilas brilliantly. From Tommy’s in San Fran.

Take 60mls 100% agave tequila, at Tommy’s they use Arete, I suggest trying a range of different products and making your own call, 30mls freshly squeezed lime juice and 30mls agave syrup (try a wholefoods store, if you haven’t seen this before.) shake over ice and strain into a ice filled rocks glass with a salted rim (if you like*).

The Billionaire’s Margarita

Follow the directions for the better margarita, but use Reserva de Familia and Grand Marnier Cuvee De Centenaire. Should only be attempted with a healthy bank balance.

The Toreador

Not strictly a Margarita, but at least a cousin. Replace the Grand Marnier with Apricot Brandy, and, as evidenced in the last one of these Dr Phil at Eau de Vie made me, try this drink with Calle 23 Blanco.

The Sixth Margarita

Having made it home and discovered both somewhat surprisingly that Jose Cuervo’s recipe is far too light on the tequila for my tastes, and somewhat  unsurprisingly that a bottle of Cuvee de Centenaire had not magically appeared in my cabinet so I made the drink in the picture.

*A note of salting the rim, I think this practice came from a time when tequila often contained hydrogen sulfide and the salt and citrus combo neutralised both the chemical and its rotten egg scent, not really essential in a world of quality industrial production. Really a matter of personal taste.

Mañana chicas.


It’s National Margarita Day!

Those crazy Americans, they seem to have a day for everything. February 22nd has the utter joy of being George Washington’s real birthday, Worldwide Thinking Day and also National Margarita Day.

Like any great drink, the margarita has a bit of a clouded history. Most of the stories originate in Mexico, some time in the thirties or forties, although it wasn’t until the invention of the Slurpee machine by Omar Knedlik in 1965 that the Margarita became world famous; the stuff of hangovers and legend.

Thankfully, the Slurpee abomination has once more been pushed from the limelight, laargely by the tireless work of Julio Bermejo at Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Fransisco. The invention of the Tommy’s Margarita, a 1:1:3 mix of Agave Syrup, Lime Juice and Heradura 100% agave tequila has bought the drink back to the fore. The agave syrup can prove difficult to track down,  and  a trip to San Fran is probably a touch far for most of you in Sydney, so here’s where you can get the best in Sydney should you feel the need to celebrate.

Eau-de-Vie: Margarita Con Palomitas is a Tommy’s with a modern twist, a salted popcorn rim that’s a real treat.

Cafe Pacifico: Go and drink your way through their impressive range of tequila in a well mixed up version of a Tommy’s.