AS OF LAST NIGHT, the U.S. had more medals than any other country for the Winter Olympics, and was one step closer to the podium in both Hockey (sorry Canada) and Pairs Ice Skating (sorry Russia and your ugly costumes). Since today is National Margarita Day (also George Washington’s birthday), why not throw back a few ‘ritas to cheer on our Olympiads (rocks or frozen, we don’t care – they all have winter ice)!
New, high-quality tequilas have flooded the market recently. If you’re making your own, consider trying out one or more of the following:
Tequila Don Roberto: Made it’s NYC debut last fall at Rayuela, with Liquid Chef Junior Merino pouring. The “private reserve” recipe of the Orendain family, Don Roberto is smooth and elegant (all 100% blue agave, of course). The Plata (silver) is mild and smooth, with notes of honey, cinnamon and citrus. The Reposado, aged six months, has a pleasantly complex palate with strong agave notes, along with chocolate, wood and leather. The Anejo (aged 1 1/2 years) is mild and full, with notes of maple, butter, dark chocolate and tanned leather. They work particularly well with tropical citruses – grapefruit, hibiscus, mango.
Don Modesto: Named in tribute to the family patriarch (who passed away two years ago), Don Modesto is new to the U.S. market (soon to be available in NYC and New Jersey). The twice-distilled Blanco, Reposado and Anejo boast a proprietary technique for dumping the cabeza (head) and cola (tail) of the distilled spirit for a smooth, round drink. It’s also soon-to-be certified organic. I haven’t actually tasted these yet (this week, I’m told), but will update as soon as I have. The bottles, with their elegant sand-blasted agave image, will class up any bar.
Alma de Agave: It’s likely you’ve seen Alma de Agave sponsoring events all over town the past few months, including a “Jersey Shore” celebration at Myst, signature drinks at Su Casa, and New Year’s shots at Manana. The NYC crew has been very active in making Alma an intrinsic part of the New York City nightlife scene. Using lowland agave from the shores of Lake Chapala, near the town of Xamay. The distillation process includes chilling the tequila to remove any excess oils and grease to help preserve taste and color.
Rosangel Tequila: For a refreshing twist, check out Rosangel, popular at Flatiron Lounge and other classic cocktail spots. This hibiscus-infused reposado from Gran Centenario / 1800 is elegant without being too girly. The floral and fruit notes, with a long, dried apricot/vanilla finish are subtle and pleasant. Pair it with earthy sweets, like pomegranate, raspberry-infused agave nectar, or blood orange.
Rosangle Pink Margarita
- 1 1/2 oz Rosangel
- 1/2 oz Combier or Cointreau (or other clear orange liqueur)
- 1 Tablspoon Agave Nectar
- Juice of one Lime
- 1 Tablspoon Fresh Orange Juice
- 1 Tablspoon Cranberry Juice
- Splash Ginger Ale (or sparkling wine)
Mix ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain into cocktail glass or margarita glass.
NEXT WEEK, yours truly has a margarita story in the latest issue of Mutineer Magazine, highlighting a variety of classic and new orange liqueurs (and tequilas) to make the perfect margarita. When you’re perusing the liquor store, keep an eye out for Combier, Mathilde, Clement Creole Shrubb and Solerno, among others. While Cointreau, Grand Marnier and classic Triple Secs still reign as excellent margarita choices, the others add their own zing, zest and flair. If you’re out and about, you’ll find Combier (billed as the original Triple Sec) at bars like Dutch Kills, Merc and Madison & Vine, among many others.
For the article, we did a taste test of the various orange liqueurs in the same basic margarita, using Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila. The good folks at Cabo Wabo have unleashed a creative trio of margaritas just in time for National Margarita Day (see recipes below). Ole’!
The Churro Margarita
- 2 oz Cabo Wabo Anejo Tequila
- 1 oz Licor 43
- 1 oz Carolans Irish Cream
- 1/4 oz Tuaca
Rim rocks glass with cinnamon-sugar. Shake all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain over fresh ice into the rimmed glass.
- 2 oz Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila
- 1/2 Skinned Avocado
- 1/4 oz Agave Nectar
- 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 4 Cilantro Leaves
Place all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend on high for 10 seconds and pour into a margarita glass. Garnish with short cilantro sprig and fresh lime wedge.
The Waborita (the signature margarita at Sammy Hagar’s new Las Vegas Cabo Wabo Cantina)
- 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 2 oz Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila
- Splash Grand Marnier
Salt the rim of a large margarita glass. Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake and strain into the glass, serve with lime wheel.
Check out the new issue of Mutineer Magazine next week for even more great tequila, orange liqueur and Margarita options!
Find ALL of my EXAMINER articles HERE.
Do you have a cocktail trend, new product bar or teahouse you’d like me to review? Want to give me a heads-up on your favorite hot spot? Please email me at NYDrinksExaminer AT gmail.com. Or follow me on Twitter @roberthp.