Sunday, February 23, 2014

Calenda Restaurant and Bar's Formula For Margarita Magic

The team of mixologists at Calenda Restaurant and Bar inside Hotel Nena created the most amazing Margarita. In fact, so amazing that it won the CASA 2013 6th Annual Margarita Contest in San Miguel.

I know. I just had just one.

It is the perfect blend of sweet, savory and spice and included such things as chipotle, mandarine, pineapple juice, tamarind and an infusion of piloncillo (Azúcar mascabado) and guayaba and then smoked with copal.

It was served to me in a skeleton head smoking however it was ice cold when I drank it. It was by far one of the most unusual Margarita I've had since I've been here.

It was also strong. I was back to being a one Margarita girl...or was I? Suddenly I found myself dreaming about making the perfect, award winning recipe for next year.

Blame it on the copal!

Buen Aptetio!

Footnote: The more I learn the better they taste....

You don't have to go out for a good Margarita. You can make it at home.

The tequila Queen is changing up her basic formula for Margaritas just slightly and adding an ounce of Liqueur.

I had two well-qualified tasters tonight who agreed this was one of the best Margaritas they have tasted.

Formula: The base is tequila and lime juice with two modifiers: Cointreau and simple syrup.

The ratio 2:2:1:1 or 2 parts tequila, 2 parts lime juice, 1 part Cointreau, and 1 part simple syrup.

Tequila: Use only 100% agave tequila.

Although most people swear by Blanco a Reposado will also bring out the roasted agave flavors.

For this taste test, I used what the bartenders at Hotel Sautto use - some of the least expensive (87 pesos a bottle) and oldest (1879) made tequila in Mexico: Orendain Tequila Blanco.

Lime juice: Fresh-squeezed only. In Mexico I use the small, Mexican limes that come off the trees in my back yard. They are much sweeter and less acidic. 2 ounces = 6 limes.

Liqueur: I have yet to taste a Margarita made with Grand Marnier that I love and only use Cointreau or the Mexican version Controy.

Why Cointreau? It is not very sweet and has an intense bitter orange flavor.

Simple Syrup:

In Mexico, I buy Madrilena Jarabe Natural. In the states I make it from scratch.

2 parts sugar
1 part water

Bring the water to a boil. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly.

Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat. Do not boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick. Allow to cool completely and thicken. Bottle. To prolong the shelf life add a little vodka.