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08.02.2001

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ask the bartender : Margarita | 1 2
Iíve never been a huge tequila fan but I do like a good margarita. Maybe itís girly of me to admit this, but I donít care. Tequila shots are nasty. Granted, my opinion may be based largely on the fact that my limited experiences with tequila shots have occurred at parties where the liquor offerings are more notable for quantity than quality. But I digress.

A well-crafted margarita, tart and not too sweet, served ice cold in a big salt-rimmed glass Ö now thatís mighty tasty. The margarita is a very useful cocktail to have in your drink-mixing repertoire because just about everyone likes them. You can make them straight up, on the rocks, or frozen, and create variations on the classic with simple additions like fresh fruit and flavored liqueurs.

What goes in ...
While itís true that you canít make a tasty margarita from a crappy tequila, itís also a fact that thereís no point in using a truly top-shelf bottle of tequila in a cocktail. If you can at all afford it, do spend the extra bucks to go with a 100% blue agave tequila. The cheap tequilas you probably got drunk on in college are made with only 51% blue agave (the minimum required by Mexican law) Ė with the remainder consisting of pretty nasty distilled spirits that are made from sugar plants. The really cheap stuff will give you one whopper of a hangover, and it doesnít even taste that good going down.

Tequila is divided into three basic categories: blanco/silver, reposado, and aŮejo. Blanco is tequila thatís bottled without aging, so that it retains the pure, strong flavor of freshly distilled blue agave. Reposado has been aged in oak for between two months and one year; aŮejo is anything thatís been aged for more than a year. A prime-quality aŮejo would be completed wasted in a cocktail, as all those subtleties of flavor that make it the fine drink it is would be overwhelmed by the other ingredients. A blanco, on the other hand, or a good value reposado, is perfect for making margaritas. All this is good, since itís unlikely you can afford a premium aŮejo anyway.

this way for more margarita tips and the basic recipe

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