Monday, April 30, 2012

Cinco de Drinko

The holiday of Cinco de Mayo (coming up on the 5th of May), commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia of 4,500 men, led by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin (General Zaragoza), over the French army of 6,500 soldiers, at The Battle of Puebla in 1862. Today, it is more of a regional holiday in Mexico, mostly celebrated in the state of Puebla, by celebrating Mexican culture, food, music, beverages, and customs. However, with increasing popularity in the US, it may well be more popular north of the border! There is no better way to kick-off any Cinco de Mayo festivities than with a hand-shaken, high quality, traditional Margarita, using freshly squeezed key limes (known as "limones criollos" in Mexco), Cointreau (not Triple Sec), and 100% agave silver tequila!

This recipe for "La Margarita Original," is from Fiesta at Rick's, by Rick Bayless, and is for one Margarita. Rick thinks Margaritas are best made one (or up to three) at a time, and that a salted rim is essential. I think these Margaritas are truly special and very smooth! I do recommend squeezing the key limes earlier in the day, before making the cocktails. It takes A LOT of key limes, and those little suckers take a while to juice! You can also add some simple syrup (simmer equal parts water and sugar until the sugar crystals dissolve) to the mix, if you find it too tart.

La Margarita Original

Makes 1, 5 ounce Margarita


A lime half for moistening the glass rim
Coarse (Kosher) salt
Ice cubes (you'll need about 3/4 cup-small ones are best)
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) fresh-squeezed lime juice, preferably from ripe limones criollos (yellow-ripe Key limes)
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) Cointreau orange liqueur (essential here for its concentrated flavor and sweetness)
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) 100% agave silver tequila (El Tesoro, El Milagro, Oro Azul)


Moisten the rim of a 6-ounce martini glass (or Margarita glass) with the cut side of the lime half. Spread coarse salt on a small plate, then upend the glass into the salt to crust the rim. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then measure in the lime, Cointreau, and tequila. Shake for about 15 seconds. (This is longer than you may think: 15 seconds is how long it takes for the perfect amount of ice to melt into the drink.) Strain into the prepared glass. 

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