Monday February 27, 2017
According the the nationaldaycalendar.com, National Margarita Day in the US is celebrated on February 22 of each year.
Tequila forms the alcoholic base of a margarita drink. Back in the old days, manually manufactured tequila tended to taste bad. It’s easy to imagine the arduous and by-hand process of harvesting, pit-roasting, stone-crushing, fermenting and collecting of agave may have poorly influenced the finished product along the way. The practice of sucking on a lime wedge then licking salt off one’s hand came about to mitigate the aftertaste of a lightning-fast shot of unsavory tequila. The standards have gone up in agave processing, but the custom of drinking tequila with lime and the salt have become integrated into the tradition.
Nowadays you can find margaritas made with just about any fruit, spices and herbs under the sun. Most pre-made margarita mixes are fruit-based and have a sweet citrus flavor. Rimming the glass in kosher or other coarse salt isn’t necessary but many margarita drinkers like the sweet and salty combination. In fact, many “mocktail” recipes exist for non-alcoholic margaritas that include the salty rim, which shows us what was once a trick to cover up an undesirable taste has now become a central part of the overall experience. Salt comes in many colors and sizes. The home margarita maker can go Himalayan-salt fancy or keep things real with some coarse offering from the grocery store.
Citrus fruits like lemons and limes are easily located, even when these fruits are typically out of season. Triple Sec is an alcoholic drink with citrus tones that is meant to be mixed. It isn’t typically found in local convenience stores. Triple Sec, also known as curaçao liqueur, is made by fermenting the peels of laraha fruits (similar to an orange) which gives the liqueur an orange-like flavor. Triple Sec does contain alcohol so make sure to keep it out of any mocktails. Look for a pre-made, non-alcoholic margarita mix in the grocery store and combine it with club soda for a nice substitute.
Enjoy a nice margarita on the patio but make sure to clean up any liquid or salt spills. Even regular table salt can damage some surfaces, and the sugary liquid that is a margarita will attract unwanted guests to your Hardscape. Have ice ready to shake with to cool off the drink before serving. The margaritas that resemble a frosted drink from the local gas station stop-n-mart are called “frozen” margaritas, meaning the liquid drink is blended with crushed ice, and a blender will be needed for that. Just remember to put the salt on the rim of the glass before you pour and serve the drink. A lime wedge or slice placed on the rim of the glass adds visual interest and gives guests the option to squeeze in an extra burst of citrus flavor. Other fruits can be used as garnish for margaritas but make sure to match the garnish to the type of fruit used in the drink mix, e.g., berries for the sweeter flavors and citrus for the more sour cocktails.
A note about safety
Always drink responsibly. Never serve minors non-alcoholic or alcoholic margaritas.