Archive for the ‘Reposado’ 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.

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Tequila

Results: The First Big Taste Test

Orange Liqueur Taste Test

Results: The First Big Taste Test   2 comments

  1. Don Celso Reposado  **
  2. Lunazul Blanco **
  3. 3 Amigos Reposado **
  4. El Tesoro de Don Felipe Reposado  **
  5. Marquez de Valencia Reposado  **
  6. Herradura Reposado
  7. 7 Leguas Reposado
  8. Muchote Reposado
  9. Sol de Mexico Tequila Reposado   **
  10. Gran Centenario
  11. KAH Tequila Reposado
  12. Casa Noble Reposado
  13. 1800 Reserva Reposado

DNS/DNF

  • Jose Cuervo Gold
  • Reserva del Maestro Dobel Diamond
  • Pueblo Viejo Reposado

Remember our goal is to find the perfect tequila for the perfect margarita.  Three of the tequilas in the bottom half of the ratings are very highly recommended:  Muchote, KAH and Casa Noble are all tasty.  My working theory is they just don’t play well with others.

The surprise of the First Big Taste Test was the dark horse winner, Don Celso Reposado.  Not only did Don Celso have the best rating over all, it also got 4 clear first place votes from the 11 judges.  No other tequila got more than 1 first place vote.

Another clear winner was Lunazul (I love visual puns the best).  Lunazul is relatively inexpensive, so this tequila is the obvious early favorite to take the crown for “Recommended for Big Parties!”  It did get 1 first place vote.

3 Amigos (1 first place vote) and El Tesoro were small surprises; neither had impressed in the preliminary tastings, but they did rise to the top when they needed to!

Two tequilas surprised that they were not rated higher.

Marquez de Valencia Reposado is very  highly recommended, and we had to drive many miles just to buy it.  I expected more!

Sol de Mexico was distinguished in the early tastings … I wholly expected that this would be my favorite in the taste test.  ‘twas not to be, but I’m keeping it in the competition to see if our initial tastings were right or wrong.

Our taste test, our rules.

After some discussions, we’ve decided to take those 6 tequilas (marked with **) on to the next round as we search for the perfect ingredients, the perfect recipe … the perfect margarita.

Tequila   7 comments

There are literally hundreds of tequilas on the market today. Even if you limit your selections to Reposados … hundreds. I researched tequilas, chose some of the best sounding and best reviewed, and then bought the best I could find.  We started the taste test with the 16 tequilas that I could find.

Most were purchased from two Southern California chains: BevMo and Total Wine. A few came from other sources … the Marquez de Valencia is difficult to find, as this tequila is rather rare in our area. Here are the initial contenders for the best of the best, along with local pricing that I found and some ratings that you’ll find on the ‘net:

3 Amigos Reposado

  • $24.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 92
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92

7 Leguas Reposado

  • $38.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92

1800 Reserva Reposado

  • $15.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 83

Casa Noble Reposado

  • $43.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 93
  • This tequila has a big brand presence

Don Celso Reposado

  • $29.99
  • Tastings.com Editors: 94

El Tesoro de Don Felipe Reposado

  • $37.99
  • Tastings.com Editors: 94
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92

Gran Centenario Reposado

  • $23.99
  • Tastings.com Editors: 94
  • Tequila.net Readers: 91

Herradura Reposado

  • $32.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 85
  • 2011 TEQUILA.net Awards – “Best of the Best” Best Lowland Reposado Tequila

Jose Cuervo Gold

  • $13.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 61
  • # 1 selling tequila in the world

KAH Tequila Reposado

  • $47.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 92
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92
  • 2011 TEQUILA.net Awards – “Best of the Best” Best High-Proof Tequila
  • Day of the Dead-themed Skull makes this one of the most attractive bottles on the shelf!

Lunazul Blanco

  • $15.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 82

Reserva del Maestro Dobel Diamond

  • $39.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 93
  • Tequila.net Readers: 92

Marquez de Valencia Reposado

  • $47.99
  • Tastings.com Editors: 94
  • 2011 TEQUILA.net Awards – “Best of the Best” Best Highland Reposado Tequila Judge Favorite
  • 2010 TEQUILA.net Awards – Gold Medal
  • “Best Tequila for Margaritas according to BestCovery.com

Muchote Reposado

  • $24.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 94
  • Tequila.net Readers: 94
  • 2008 Agave Spirits Challenge Gold Medal & Judge Favorite

Pueblo Viejo Reposado

  • $18.99
  • Tequila.net Readers: 88

Sol de Mexico Tequila Reposado

  • $39.99
  • Tequila.net Editors: 91

The Nuts & Bolts of Margaritas   1 comment

Classic Margaritas have 3 ingredients:

  • Tequila
  • Lime juice
  • Orange liqueur

The selection of the best of the best will be controversial in every case.

Tequila

There are several grades of tequila, but they are not gold and silver!  Jose Cuervo may be the #1 selling tequila in the world … Patron may currently be the most popular top shelf tequila.  However, they must deliver the best-tasting Margarita to be the best of the best!

There are two categories of tequila:  mixto and 100% blue agave.  The best tequilas are made from blue agave, and will always say “100% Blue Agave” on the label.  If that isn’t on the label, then the tequila you’re looking at is a mixto, made from a blend of different sugar syrups.  Avoid these tequilas!

A field of Blue Agave. Picture from Don Julio tequila, which harvests after 7-13 years of growth.

You’ll commonly see 4 kinds of tequila on the shelf:

  1. Blanco, taken straight from the still, or aged under 2 months in stainless steel
  2. Reposado, aged in oak barrels from 3 to 12 months
  3. Anejo, aged in oak barrels for 1 to 3 years
  4. Extra Anejo, aged in oak barrels over 3 years

Jose Cuervo is a mixto.  The price is often low … and the quality matches that.  Jose is not my friend.

Reposado tequilas offer a good compromise between price and depth of flavor.  Some people prefer Margaritas made with blancos, but reposados are generally recommended for Cadillac Margaritas.

Lime Juice & Margarita Mix

Many, many margarita recipes use pure lime juice.  Most bars, however, use a sweet & sour mix instead.  Go to the store, and you can buy margarita mix which is a mix of juices, sugars and colorings.  After you make home-made sweet & sour, you’ll never buy another bottle from the store.

Using pure lime juice produced a drink much too tart for my palate.  We then began to investigate a sweet & sour mix with a strong lime component.  Here’s the Margarita Mix recipe Velda settled on:

  • 3 cups water, heated
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups, fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup, fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons, lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons, lemon zest

This green depression glass antique lemon reamer is ideal for squeezing lemons & limes. Check out your local antique mall for this affordable collectable that will be very useful in your kitchen.

Use a lemon reamer to juice the limes and lemons.  After reaming the fruit, using a citrus squeezer will maximize yield from the limes (you may find this step unnecessary for the lemons).

Heat the water until it boils.  Stir in sugar, and then cool to room temperature.  Add the juices and zest.  Refrigerate overnight.  Strain out the pulp and zest before use – unless you like your Margaritas chewy.

Orange Liqueur

Most of the literature I’ve reviewed says that Grand Marnier is the right choice for a Cadillac Margarita.  We’ve now got 5 kinds of orange liqueur that we’ll be sampling.  Tough, tough work ahead of us!

Posted June 25, 2012 by henrymowry in Recipes, The Perfect Margarita

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