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Margaritas and Tequila, oh my!

By: Courtne

It's no secret that I love Mexican food. And once I came of age, the margarita quickly fell into place.

What's not to love about a margarita. It is the happy marriage of everything fabulous about a great cocktail: a simple balance between spirit, sweet and sour. Now I'm quite sure we have all had our very personal experience with tequila...whether it was  with the docile margarita (or two) or 10 shots and a horrific flight to Tampa the next morning, we can all admit to having a story to tell where this robust spirit is concerned. But once we are all done with our early exploits with this Latin spirit, it is worth noting that the margarita may very well be one of the most approachable cocktails that can hang with you throughout your transition from a budding imbiber to a mature, discerning cocktailian.

A little background n'est-ce pas? Tequila, a serious spirit from the state of Jalisco, can be grown in a few other sanctioned regions of Mexico, but it must always be made from 100% blue agave plants. Baked and mashed under a tahona wheel, the resulting liquid is then fermented and distilled. Silver or Plata tequila is aged less than two months, Reposado is aged between two months and one year, and Añejo is aged between one and three years, while the new category Extra Añejo is three years or more.

The origination of the margarita is not entirely clear. Some say it was created in Texas, others in Ensenada, and still others somewhere near Tijuana.  Wherever this citrus delight was first concocted, there is no question that the margarita is the most popular tequila-based drink the US. And for good reason: it's easy to make and infinitely customizable.  The classic is eternally enjoyable. But with a few fresh ingredients, you can make this cocktail bend to your every whim. Add fresh berries or nectars in the summer or fresh herbs in the spring.  For a remix that will see you through the winter months, drizzle a bit of saffron or clove syrup and you've got a warm and tangy margarita that will have your counting the days til cinco de mayo.

Posted: July 19, 2013 | Permalink
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