Long behold, the flirtatious margarita. North America's most popular alcoholic beverage has a tangled history and perfect combination. We're not talking about the pre-mixed, artificial stuff you find in a jug and drink at a sorority party. The Margarita is a symphony of fresh lime, orange liqueur, agave syrup and tequila.
Tequila is a distilled spirit made from the heart of the blue agave plant grown near the city of Tequila or in the highlands of Jalisco.The agave plant is a unique character. Many mistake agaves for a type of cactus but they are actually succulents like an Aloe Vera plant. During harvest the outer leaves of the agave are stripped away revealing the core or "Pina," it is called this because when the outer leaves are cut away it looks something like a Pineapple. The Pina can weight in any where from 50-150 pounds!
Agaves are a long term investment, the average agave takes about 9 years to reach maturity. It may be Mexico but do you think a tequila that is made with the right time and care should or even could cost only $6 at your local store? We think not.
Always make sure to look for "100% Agave" some where on the label. If you don't see this it means the distiller has the ability to add up to 49% non-agave sugars to their product. This will help them lower costs, produce more from less and give you that hangover you remember from your last Cinco de Mayo party. 1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, floor... yeah we know how you get when you drink tequila.
Learn more about Tequila here.
While agave (pronounced ah-GAH-vay) is best know as the plant from which our precious tequila is made, it has also been used for thousands of years as an ingredient in many foods. Recently, agave nectar has come to light in the heath conscious community as an alternative to other sugars and artificial sweeteners. With a low glycemic index and a natural honey like production process it's no wonder why it has taken off in recent years. Try using agave syrup in place of honey or white cane sugar in your foods and see how you like it.
DISCLOSURE: Agave Nectar is high in carbohydrates so it contains more concentrated fructose than high fructose corn syrup, a.k.a levulose. Consult you medical doctor before switching over to a diet high in Agave and remember all things in moderation.
Cointreau (not Triple Sec)
If you are taking the time and care to select the right tequila make sure you take the right time and care to select the right accompaniment. In this case, it's Cointreau.
The orange-flavored liqueur has been around since 1875. Today an estimated 13 Million bottles are sold in over 150 countries. This product can be found at just about every quality bar. With its intense orange peal taste, Cointreau is a great all around mixer for drinks like the Margarita, Cosmo, and Side Car.
So why Cointreau over regular old triple sec you may ask. The answer is simple, every single ingredient you put into a cocktail has an affect on the final outcome. So learn from our mistakes and take our advise. Quality always wins.
Don't cheat yourself, treat yourself.
2 oz 1800 Tequila
.5 oz Orange Liqueur
1 oz Agave Syrup
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Combine ingredients and shake over ice. Strain into a old-fashion glass rimmed with salt over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.
So maybe it's the simplicity of the Margarita that make it so great, I mean it is just 4 simple ingredients or maybe it's the way these ingredients play off each other with citrus, salt and a hint of sweet or maybe is the feeling you get of sitting on a white sand beach in paradise somewhere far far away from your work and the problems of the"real world."Whatever the reason there is one thing clear, the margarita has become an American cocktail staple and is here to stay. So go out and enjoy this American classic tonight, you'll be glad you did.