Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

I just LOVE it when people who don't really know anything about cocktails (Mark Bittman, Alton Brown, etc...) do misinformed shows about cocktails and talk about their "improvements" on a classic. Muddled oranges and agave nectar does not equal a Margarita. It may be good (although it doesn't sound that interesting to me), but it's not a Margarita. And, frankly, I don't think that a properly balanced Margarita made with tequila, Cointreau and lime juice needs improvement or reformulation from the likes of Alton Brown or Mark Bittman.

I wonder why it is that the Margarita is so frequently chosen as the cocktail that food-but-not-cocktail people "improve." It would be like Dale DeGroff doing a show about boeuf bourguignon and explaining that it should be made with pork.

--

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder why it is that the Margarita is so frequently chosen as the cocktail that food-but-not-cocktail people "improve."

Because Cosmos are already perfect? (badum-bump)

I think it's because a proper Margarita doesn't taste like a "Margarita" to those whose experience of the drink is limited to the corn-syrup-fueled delights served at chain restaurants. So "improving" it by adding sweetness and familiarity -- here, Brown is adding OJ and fructose syrup, essentially, while making it sound all foofy-gourmet -- gives them something that seems like a real cocktail with real ingredients but tastes more like... something that isn't a Margarita.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess Alton and others need something to justify their examination of the drink, and of course Alton also has to do his usual schtick of reinventing whatever it is (I found his recipes for pasta bordering on bizarre) that he's looking at.

And I suppose it's not so interesting or self-validating for them to simply say that, if you think of the Margarita as a syrupy alcoholic lime slurpee, you might try the simple 2:1:1 mixture of 100% agave tequila, Cointreau and fresh-squeezed lime juice shaken and strained. But that wouldn't fit in with Alton's well-worn model of telling people that there's a better way of doing something. The very idea that muddled orange and agave nectar represent improvements over Cointreau seems laughable, and his drink seems more like something that would show up on the cocktail menu at Bennigan's.

I always find myself scratching my head over things like this and the Bittman video on the Margarita. I wonder, did these guys consider talking to an actual cocktail expert about these drinks before filming? It's not like they're hard to find. And maybe, you know, someone could have explained to Alton how to properly rim a cocktail glass.

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just LOVE it when people who don't really know anything about cocktails (Mark Bittman, Alton Brown, etc...) do misinformed shows about cocktails and talk about their "improvements" on a classic. Muddled oranges and agave nectar does not equal a Margarita. It may be good (although it doesn't sound that interesting to me), but it's not a Margarita. And, frankly, I don't think that a properly balanced Margarita made with tequila, Cointreau and lime juice needs improvement or reformulation from the likes of Alton Brown or Mark Bittman.

I wonder why it is that the Margarita is so frequently chosen as the cocktail that food-but-not-cocktail people "improve." It would be like Dale DeGroff doing a show about boeuf bourguignon and explaining that it should be made with pork.

Fair enough. I'll just say that I enjoyed what I drank. :smile:

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 100% agave blanco, Cointreau, key limes (and the zest, which I macerate overnight with the tequila), 2:1:1, shaken. My secret weapon is 1/2 teaspoon of Lebanese orange blossom water.

The orange blossom water brings this drink to the stratosphere.

PS -- Orange blossom water also goes great in lemonade, gin and tonics, over ice cream and sorbet, in turkish coffee, and has a zillion baking applications. I hope everyone buys a bottle today!

167478408_7b86d779d9.jpg

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Link to post
Share on other sites

My secret weapon is 1/2 teaspoon of Lebanese orange blossom water.

The orange blossom water brings this drink to the stratosphere.

To each his own, but I dislike orange blossom water so much in anything that if someone served me a margarita made with it, I couldn't drink it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1/2 teaspoon sounds like a gaggingly large quantity of orange flower water to me as well. Calls to mind that scene in Gone with the Wind where Scarlett is gargling with cologne to get the smell of brandy off her breath...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops... sorry. That IS a lot of orange blossom.

Forgot to mention, I whip mine up by the pitcher. 1/2 teaspoon per pitcher. A drop or two otherwise.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 years later...

A half teaspoon sounds like a LOT of orange flower water to me: I wonder if the brand you are using is not as potent as the stuff I have here. I fear that if I added any quantity above a drop or two the whole thing would taste like orange perfume.

Orange flower water does vary considerably in strength/quality. I've come across orange flower waters that made me feel like I'd been slapped across the eyes with a plastic flower, but the ones that are actual waters (hydrosols), as opposed to water or water/alcohol blends with scent added, are lovely (assuming you care for the scent of the flower in question in the first place), although you do need to keep them refrigerated, and use them within a month or so of opening the bottle.

I use the orange flower water I have (which has a distinct but not very powerful scent) by the spoonful, and it isn't always teaspoons, either: Wednesday night I felt the distinct need for something margarita-ish, and what I made included a tablespoonful of the stuff. Much as I love the scent of orange flower, heavy perfuminess makes me queasy and headache-y, but this smelled wonderful.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

I believe T-C-L is commonly used. Dan was just emphasising that there are some people even more sugar-phobe than he. I should play with the ratios a bit more but I don't want to lose the orange by dropping the Cointreau too much.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Oh, it is most definitely something else! What, is still to be determined.

 

I see it typically referred to as simply a Mezcal Margarita but it really deserves its own name.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been doing margaritas tonight.  A ratio of 2:1:1, which I've come to prefer.  Just for fun I tried making one with Vida rather than tequila.  Is this still a margarita or am I drinking something else?

 

My palate would argue you're drinking a superior beverage. The master race of Margaritas. 

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

Link to post
Share on other sites

A few comments on this great thread:

 

(1) Love the front page notes about the price of limes. All the prices quoted seem like a steal to me now. Unless you can find a bag discount, here individual limes are selling for something like 50+ cents each these days.

 

(2) I use Espolon tequila blanco. It seems pretty good to me for margaritas: it's inexpensive, not particularly interesting but has enough character to contribute a "tequila-ness" to the drink without bringing noticeable flaws or roughness. Is this a shameful choice? Other suggestions in that price range?

 

(3) Mezcal turns the drink up to 11. We've been using Bruxo #1.

 

(4) Lady Bronco and I were in Mexico City over New Year's. Had a great haibiscus margarita. I'm not a fan of flavored oddities or much tampering with the classics, but this was quite nice. She liked it so much she ordered a second.

 

(5) Garnishes? What do people use, if anything? I typically leave ungarnished (and serve over rocks in an old fashioned glass), but a spent lime shell ala the Mai Tai might be nice. Or a big haibiscus flower flopped over the side.

 

(6) What are people's thoughts on salt? I don't mean on the rim of the glass, but what about a pinch thrown into the mixing tins?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do rocks as well with a lime wedge and a couple of short straws for service. I think a pinch of salt (or saline solution) in the tin helps meld and mellow the drink, as it does in just about all sours.

DrunkLab.tumblr.com

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kevin Liu's book (see eG discussion here) has a great explanation on why salt is a good idea in sours (it's not really about tasting salt). However, rather than putting the salt in the tin I like a little grind of fancy-pants pink salt on the top of the glass. Just the slightest hint of salt before you taste the tequila then it morphs into a constant taste with the lime bitterness taken out. (btw, I consider this to be a must-have book).

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the information about salt and how it affects flavor perception comes from a paper by Herve This that was quoted on the beta cocktails blog a while back. I like to give credit where it is due. :-)

Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...