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Margarita 101

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If there’s one thing that I love about Cinco de Mayo, it’s the attention that one of my favorite drinks get – The Margarita.  Back when I was bartending at a well-known tequila bar on Lansdowne street, across from Fenway Park, not only did I serve copious amounts of tequila shots and tacos to Red Sox player celebrating their victories, but it’s where I began to grow an appreciation for a well crafted Marg.

There are many variations of a Margarita. Of course, you have the standard bar variation: Pour well tequila, a splash of triple sec, a squirt of lime juice, and fill with whatever packaged sour mix is on hand. What you often end up with is a margarita that has lost all of it’s flavor to the sourness. We already shared with you some really fun things to stock your bar with this weekend, but here’s the secret to mixing a good Margarita.

First, lets talk about the star of the show: The tequila.
There are five different classes of Tequila’s: Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Anejo, and Extra Anejo. The different classes suggest how long the tequila has been aged for and the manufacturing process. (For example: what type of barrel the tequila was aged in. An oak barrel will obviously give the tequila a more oaky flavor.) Personally, when i’m making  margarita, I would go with either a silver tequila (blanco) or a repasado, the finer tequila, like Anejo and Extra Anejo, are meant to sip on, not mask. A silver tequila also gives the Margarita a better color  and the darker tequilas have a more oaky flavor which don’t mix very well with a sour flavor.

The next step is usually where a good margarita can easily turn bad. The key to a great margarita is freshness. So, heed my following advice. 1. HOLD the triple sec, grand marnier, or any other orange flavored liquor. You don’t need it. Let the tequila have it’s day in the limelight. 2. DO NOT buy sweet and sour bar mix or any other store-bought pre-packaged sour mix. Not only will you regret it the next morning when you wake up with a nasty sugar hangover but again, you will completely over power the taste of your tequila.  Instead use 100% agave nectar. Take the agave nectar and mix it with equal parts water. Agave nectar is just as easy, if not easier to find in your local supermarket then the aforementioned mixes, so NO EXCUSES!

The Preparation is simple:

Start with a Highball glass, and fill with ice. Add 1/2 of a lime squeezed, 2 oz, tequila, fill the rest with your agave nectar mix, shake and you have yourself the perfect tasting margarita.

Prepare your bar! Cinco De Mayo is coming!

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Cinco de Mayo. May 5th. Cinco de drinko. National Margarita day (actually that’s February 22nd…I know this because my birthday is the same day). Regardless, whatever you happen to call it, Cinco de Mayo is a great day to kick back and enjoy some delicious food and drink.

What is it, exactly, that we are celebrating, you ask?

 In regions of Mexico, May 5th is called “El Dia de la Batalla de la Puebla” (English translation: The day of the battle of Puebla) and is observed to commemorate the mexicans surprising victory over french forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. To celebrate, many special events are held highlighting mexico’s culture, especially in food, music, and dancing.

But lets be real. Cinco De Mayo is a day synonymous with mass amounts of alcohol consumption just like St Patrick’s Day. However,  instead of green beer and car bombs, we’re here to share with you some other delicious treats to help you liven up this Saturday’s fiestas!

Here’s a few of KMKCreatives Bar must-haves for Cinco De Mayo:

The Paloma Cocktail

I love this cocktail. It’s like a margarita with bubbles and it’s super simple to make.

  • 1 1/2 ounces of reposado agave tequilla
  • Juice from half of a lime
  •  grapefruit flavored soda (Try the brand squirt)

Fill a glass with ice, pour in tequilla, lime juice, and top with the grapefruit soda.

Tamarind-Chili Syrup

For for a sweet and spicy tequilla shot or drink alternative – Try mixing in a little tamarind- chili Syrup.

The syrup itself will take you about ten minutes to make and can be stored up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Mix it with tequilla over ice or as a shot for a little sweet heat this Cinco de Mayo! Here’s the recipe for the syrup:

  • 4 dried arbol chiles, stems removed and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup seedless tamarind paste

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan on the stove and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally

until the mixture is consistent throughout and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, cool,

strain, and use!

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a sweetener produced in South Africa and Mexico. It’s less viscous than honey, just a touch sweeter, and doesn’t have that bitter aftertaste that most artificial sweeteners do. It’s an easy to find product in your local grocery store. Try it in this Reposado Old-Fashioned cocktail this Cinco De Mayo:

Muddle the cherries, nectarines, and agave nectar in a glass. Fill the glass with ice, pour in your tequilla, give it a stir, and garnish.

Bohemia Obscura Beer

Yes, Coronas are nice. But they are standard at any bar all year round. This is a holiday, dammit! It demands something special. Something like Bohemia Obscura. It’s a malty beer with cherry and nutty notes and hint of hoppy bitterness.  Perfect for a tequilla shot chaser! The only downside is that it may be a little difficult to find, but you can try some online specialty beer stores or it’s counterpart, Bohemia Clasica, is a little more common in local retail stores.  

Happy and Safe Cinco De Mayo Everyone!