That is the question that I get asked time and time again as a bartender. I always answer confidently and emphatically: Margaritas. The classic cocktail consisting of Tequila, Triple Sec, Lime Juice, and the always debated simple syrup. Some don’t believe in adding simple syrup, since the Triple Sec acts as the cocktail’s sweetener. I disagree. The fresh squeezed lime juice necessary to create a terrific Margarita needs to be balanced by a simple syrup consisting of equal parts sugar to water.
Speaking of the Madam of cocktails, I was passing through the Upper West Side this evening when my friend and I came upon a mirage in the middle of Amsterdam Avenue: 2 for 1 Margaritas 4-7pm. I glanced at my cell phone: 6:50. My friend had to finish his cigarette, which took a long 43 seconds. We sauntered inside Cafe con Leche and ordered our Margaritas – Strawberry and Mango. We both chose frozen, which is rare for me. At least asking for salt around the rim could restore our dignity. We slurped our slurpees, and that’s really what they tasted like, and paid $8.95 for two Margaritas. Not too shabby. Although extremely low in alcohol (I noticed the bartender put just short of 1/2 oz. each of tequila and triple sec into our drinks, me being the observant bartender that I am), it did the trick. Will I make it a habit of ordering frozen Mango Margaritas? Absolutely not. I prefer a recipe like the one below, which I created for all the Hospitality Holdings locations.
Shanghai Margarita, or Tequila Mockingbird
1 1/2 oz. Partida Anejo Tequila
1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
3/4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 tsp. minced ginger*
Directions: Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled, salt-rimmed martini glass.
Garnish: Lime wheel
*this minced ginger I discovered at my local ‘Amish Market.’ It is made my a company called The Ginger People, and is one of the best pre-made ingredients for cocktails that I’ve ever found.