Archive for the ‘grand marnier’ Tag

Perfect Margarita Search Continues   2 comments

We used Sol de Mexico Reposado with this recipe. It's one of my favorites ... but the family prefers Don Celso Reposado.

We used Sol de Mexico Reposado with this recipe. It’s one of my favorites … but the family prefers Don Celso Reposado.

We’re still in search of The Perfect Margarita. And we have a renewed sense of purpose. We recently found The Best Margarita in Los Angeles … at Money Pancho’s in Camarillo. Go there and have the Cadillac Margarita with Marquez de Valencia Reposado tequila … and then you’ll understand how important it is that we achieve our goal of making The Perfect Margarita.

I’d hoped to finish this honorable quest last year, but we ran out of steam. It’s work to squeeze all of those limes! Yesterday, however, I flexed the muscles, got out the old reamer, and had at it. Velda cooked carnitas, and we had a great meal.

At the end, Little Girl asked, “Am I making English?” Methinks the Margaritas were good enough to do their job! Here’s our amended recipe, still a work in progress, but definitely the current state of the art.

Margarita Mix

  • 3 cups fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar (to taste; we went slightly heavier than 3/4 cup)

Make a large quantity of mix to these proportions. Blend. Make sure the agave nectar has gone into solution; it’s a very slow pour out of the measuring cup.

Cadillac Margarita

  • 3-1/2 oz Reposado tequila
  • 2 oz Margarita Mix
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier

Serve on the rocks after shaken, or blended. Salt the rim of your glass, garnish with a lime wedge.

The BerryRitas used Lunazul Blanco, which is very good ... and less expensive than a good Reposado. Great for well drinks.

The BerryRitas used Lunazul Blanco, which is very good … and less expensive than a good Reposado tequila. Great for well drinks & blends like a BerryRita.

Add frozen raspberries instead of ice if you’d prefer a BerryRita. Sugar the rim of your glass.



Results: The First Big Taste Test

Orange Liqueur Taste Test

The First Big Taste Test   Leave a comment

The goal is to craft the ultimate Margarita … not find the best tasting tequila.  Therefore, we followed the suggestion first seen on The Goodist, and created a taste test to showcase tequilas in a standard Margarita recipe.

The classic Margarita recipe was just too tart for the family members that were tasked to sample some of the preliminary mixes.  The classic margarita recipe has a proportion of 3:2:1

  • 3 parts, tequila
  • 2 parts, lime juice
  • 1 part, orange liqueur

The Goodist suggested a “tequila forward” recipe of 4:1:1, but that was similarly unacceptable to our palates.  We settled on a 6:5:4 recipe, as follows:

  • 1-1/2 oz, tequila
  • 1-1/4 oz, margarita mix
  • 1 oz, Grand Marnier

Further, we decided that we would not put ice in the samples, as that would dilute the recipe based on when the sample was drunk.  Therefore, we addded a cup of water to the Margarita Mix recipe, (hopefully) simulating the melting of ice.  Hey, it’s our taste test; we made up the rules.

We then had to choose 13 tequilas to go into the final test.  In the weeks leading up to the first big taste test, we had “pre-gamed” with almost all of the tequilas, and there were already strong opinions on those that just wouldn’t do.  Therefore, we excluded 3 tequilas from the first formal tasting.  Excluded:

  1. Jose Cuervo Gold … In our first preliminary and blind taste test with 4 tequilas, all 4 judges rated this tequila the worst sampled.  “It tasted like fish.”  I advocated keeping this in, as it is the # 1 selling tequila in the world, but I was overuled.  Excluded.
  2. Pueblo Viejo Reposado … A relatively inexpensive reposado, it also didn’t make it out of the preliminary tastings.  Cheap, but no good.
  3. Reserva del Maestro Dobel Diamond Reposado … an expensive artisan tequila that had a too bright, perhaps over-filtered flavor.  I’m not a brewmaster, but I’ll tell you this tequila tasted awful.  I bought it at BevMo, where another tequila buyer commented on what a lovely bottle the tequila came in; that’s true.  They should have invested in the product, not the packaging, IMHO.

The 13 remaining tequilas were all mixed about 3 hours before the taste test, and refrigerated until they were poured into the tasting cups.

Each drink was rated in 4 categories: Aroma/Nose, Initial Taste, Finish and Smoothness. Perfect rating would be a 20 from each judge, and we had 11 judges.

This was a blind taste test; the only person who knew which tequila was in which bottle, initially, was me. By the time the tasting began hours later, I only remembered the number of one of the tequilas. After the tasting, I didn’t know which was which and I didn’t care.

All tasting cups were put in a tray with crushed ice to keep the samples cool.

We mixed the equivalent of 5 cocktails for each tequila. We then poured 11 samples, which were roughly the equivalent of 2-1/2 cocktails total of each. If you consumed all of each sample … which most did not … then you were drinking 2-1/2 cocktails. Too much for a taste test? Probably. But everyone filled out their ballot after drinking perhaps half of each sample. No one thought their judgement was impaired. Later on … when all of the excess samples were dumped into the “number 14 Margarita” … well, it was a good night.

When the tasting began, the 11 judges were seated around the dining room table.  Everyone had water to drink, as well as access to tortilla chips (salt!) and guacamole.

The results?  I was surprised.