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Margarita time…

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Jim and I, now that we are retired, are beginning – just beginning – to learn how to relax. Tequila and margaritas are part of our decompression program from a hectic life of work in the U.S.

Tequila

Tequila

Tequila

Tequila is a national treasure in Mexico. For centuries it has been made and produced, primarily in the surroundings of Tequila, a town 30 miles from Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city.

Contrary to what many believe, tequila is NOT made from cactus, but from agave (which surprisingly is a member of the lily family).

The use of the “piña” (literally pineapple) or heart of the agave plant goes back to prehistoric times, when the piña was cooked and sold as a candy. It was the Spaniards who thought of using the sugars in the plant to create alcohol. The Astecs had Tequila in a milder fermented form.  When the Spanish came, they added their knowledge of distillation, and called it Tequila, naming it for the town of its origin.

Tequila is a serious business in Mexico, and for it to be called Tequila, the drink has to have 51% of blue agave.

Here’s a little history lesson.

Agave fields

Agave fields

The king of Spain gave a parcel of land to Jose’ Antonio de Cuervo in the 1700s, to grow the blue agaves. Hence, “Tequila Cuervo” was born! To this day, Tequila Cuervo is the leading Tequila producer in the world.

The Mexican way to drink Tequila, is called a Bandera as the drink combination has three colors of the Mexican flag – red, white, and green. This takes three shot glasses – one with tequila (white), one with the reddish sangrita (red) and a third with the greenish juice of the key lime (green)–which are the colors of the Mexican flag (or bandera). Sangrita is a tangy mixture of tomato and orange juices, usually spiked with hot chiles and lime juice.

On to Margaritas!

Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth

The margarita got its name from Rita Hayworth, whose real name was Margarita Cansino. As a teenager, Margarita Cansino worked as a dancer at the Foreign Club, in Tijuana, where she supposedly inspired a bartender. Rita Hayworth was not Mexican, but a girl from Brooklyn, with a Spanish father, and an Irish mother.

Here is a great margarita recipe that is easy to make.
Serves 4

  • 2 oz. Lime Juice
  • 12 oz. Sweet N Sour (a mixer made of lemon or lime juice and sugar syrup. It is an important part of many cocktails)
  • 6 oz. Jose Cuervo Tequila
  • 2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 -2 1/2 cups of ice

Put the ice in the blender then add the ingredients. You might have to adjust the amount of ice you use depending how thick you like your margaritas. Play with this until you get the consistency that you like.
If your guests like salt, rub the rim of a margarita glass with lime and dip in margarita salt (a course grained sea salt), or just plain salt will do.

If you were planning on serving a lot of margaritas at your party, you might want to premix your ingredients with the following margarita recipe. Then all you have to do is add ice to the blender and then pour in your premix. This will allow you to mix a batch of margaritas very quickly and easily.

Serves a crowd

  • 2 liters of Jose Cuervo Tequila
  • 1 liter Triple Sec
  • 2 liters of Sweet N Sour
  • 1 bottle of lime juice (Like Roses lime juice)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • coarse grained margarita salt, if you can get it, or just plain salt
  • slices of lime

Mix the above with a wisk to mix in the sugar. Pour the margarita mix back into the bottles you just emptied. Refrigerate, and you’re good to go. When it’s margarita time, fill you blender ¾ full with ice, and pour in the mix.

Sit back and enjoy – Jim and I do.

Here’s a little Tequila music for your enjoyment.

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