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The Solution to Margaritas

July 15, 2011

Ask a bartender; people love ordering margaritas. It’s reasonable thing to do. Shaken or frozen, this tequila sour is a classic combination of flavors, but it is a pain in the ass to make at home.

You need to have fresh limes, tequila and Cointreau or some other triple sec. Then it’s a matter of taking out the Boston shaker or the blender. Making sure you’ve got plenty of ice on hand. Juicing the limes. If the limes are extra tart, you might need some simple syrup, and if you’re out then you’ll have to make a batch of that as well. And it’s very possible that you or someone else would like a salt rim on your drink.

It’s a lot of set up. It makes a mess. And frankly it’s just easier to go out and have somebody else make it for you.

Except there is a problem with that as well. Far too many bars rely on the dreaded sour mix, or even worse some neon green margarita mix for their version of this legendary cocktail. The drinks are often overly large which results in either a too warm or watered down beverage towards the bottom of your glass.

So what are you to do?

There’s an alternative that I endorse, but I’ll say from the start that it’s not for everyone. It’s certainly not for Mrs. Fussy. But I love it.

The answer is actually an entirely different cocktail that is easy to make at home and foolproof to order in a bar. Like a margarita, it is a refreshing combination of tequila and lime, so its flavor is redolent of its more famous cousin. Although this cocktail is indeed a classic in its own right.

The Rickey. Or more specifically, a tequila rickey.

A rickey is a very simple affair, consisting of a base spirit, the juice and shell of one-half of a small lime, seltzer and ice. Perhaps you have heard of the better-known gin rickey, but you can make a rickey out of anything.

Be forewarned, there is nothing sweet about it. Nothing. There isn’t a drop of syrup, nor a dash of liqueur, and not even a splash of soda. The booze is brightened only by the bracing acidity of the lime and the bitter oils of its skin.

But when it’s hot, and you are in need of refreshment, this hits the spot.

Apparently, despite popular opinion, I do share something with CrossFitters. One of the few mentions of this drink on the interwebs calls it a paleo margarita. So those who are watching their calories or sugar intake, but yet are oddly still drinking booze, might also want to consider this classic cocktail.

I just like that it has four ingredients, counting ice as an ingredient, and that it does not need to be shaken.

Here’s the build, in case you want to try it at home:
– 1.5 ounces of delicious blanco 100% agave tequila
– The juice and shell of one-half of a small lime
– Six ounces of seltzer
– Enough ice to fill a tall glass

Some will build the drink over ice. I say let them. Those clowns will have to stir their drink. I say let the bubbles in the seltzer do that hard work for you. Measure your base spirits, squeeze your lime, add the shell, pour in the seltzer, and put in as much ice as you can fit. If you start with a glass that’s less than 10 ounces, you’ll be doomed to failure, as you won’t get enough ice in the glass, and the drink will be warm.

Summer is fading away. Stop spending your time mixing drinks. Make this simple refresher, and get out there and enjoy it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Colleen permalink
    July 15, 2011 10:07 am

    I love how you are “embracing” the crossfit/paleo life style ;-)

  2. Ellen Whitby permalink
    July 15, 2011 11:19 am

    Just the information one needs before a triathlon. If I have room in my bag, I’ll bring the booze, too. Thanks.

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