Friday BBQ Spotify 5/3/13
Yeah, I know it’s not as significant a holiday in Mexico as us Americans like to think it is, but selfishly speaking, Cinco de Mayo is important to me for two reasons: it reminds me of the richness of Latin culture, and it gives me an excuse to start making margaritas. As much as I love good tequila, it just doesn’t feel right to start drinking margaritas in the spring until this weekend. But please . . . none of that mix crap. The best margaritas are made from scratch, and here’s an easy recipe originally printed in Saveur magazine that is nothing but fresh, simple, and good:
- 2 limes, halved and juiced, rinds reserved
- 4 oz. premium tequila
- 4 oz. Cointreau or triple sec
- Margarita salt or kosher salt
1. Fill two stemmed cocktail glasses with crushed ice and allow to chill. Meanwhile, fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau. Shake well.
2. Empty the ice from glasses, rub rims of glasses with the pulp side of one of the lime rinds, then dip moistened rims into a saucer of salt. Strain margaritas into salt-rimmed glasses and garnish with a slice of lime, if you like.
I like to change things around a bit and switch off between blanco tequila (white/silver/clear; aged less than 2 months) and reposado (usually lightly golden brown in color; aged less than a year). Don’t ever use añejo tequila (aged 1-3 years) for margaritas. Tremendous sipping tequila, but that’s like making margaritas with cognac. Always use 100% blue agave tequila, especially if you tend to get headaches (like I used to) when drinking margaritas. That’s probably because your margarita was made with junk like Jose Cuervo Gold, which is basically corn alcohol. Taste-wise, people tend to be firmly in the Cointreau or the triple sec camp. I prefer triple sec because my tastebuds simply like the flavor better. As far as ice goes in the margarita itself, I like small ice cubes or coarsely crushed ice to keep it cold. Most frozen margaritas (the slushy kind) just water down the whole flavor, and try to make up for it with a syrupy sweet artificially flavored mix. Ick.
So, musically speaking, in honor of Cinco de Mayo weekend, we’re heading south of the border, into East L.A., halfway around the world, and even right here in San Francisco for this week’s music selections featuring everything from South American tango to a timeless rock icon to a Portuguese chanteuse. Have a safe and fun Cinco de Mayo weekend, and fix yourself a fresh non-crappy mix margarita. It pairs perfectly with smoked brisket. ¡Vivir la buena vida!