Toasting National Margarita Day

Quality ingredients key to making the perfect drink.


It would seem like National Margarita Day would be a warm day in summer or at least a date hovering near Cinco de Mayo. Instead, the day chosen as a tribute to the classic concoction of tequila, lime and triple sec takes place this Friday.

Bill Castro, partner/owner of El Meson in West Carrollton with his sister Marie Castro, has been working to perfect many recipes including the classic margarita. He has learned a lot along the way about what to do and what not to do.

El Meson will be serving up some featured margaritas with special prices in honor of this day.

Castro believes there are three key ingredients that are necessary for a masterfully made margarita: good quality juicing limes, a well-aged smooth tequila and some imagination.

“To make a margarita isn’t always that simple or that easy. That said, you shouldn’t overthink it either,” said Castro. “A margarita needs to start off with quality ingredients. The best margaritas don’t use shortcuts like pre-made, bottled mixers … that’s where I think people fall short — you have to have the right base to really make some good margaritas.”

Tequila, like a fine wine or liquor, gets better and smoother with age. Castro says you don’t need to break the bank, but to make the best cocktail it is worth the investment in a well-produced tequila.

“It’s important to understand that if it’s not good to drink straight then it’s not going to be good in a drink,” Castro said.

Imagination comes in to the mix when focusing the recipe on the flavors and tastes that the margarita should carry. Castro recommends getting creative. An infusion of cactus pear or Grand Marnier can create a memorable, new flavor to the drink and give it “your own signature twist,” Castro said. He says the same is true for many cocktails including sangria. The addition of ingredients like kiwis, peaches, grapes or brandy can all give a unique twist to a summer sangria recipe.

“You can get a cheap drink anywhere, but it’s really the essence of the balance between fresh limes and quality tequila that are going to make it truly enjoyable,” Castro said.

The area has plenty of Mexican restaurants that serve up fine margaritas in a variety of flavors, prices and quality. Find a place to get your margarita on »

For more information on National Margarita Day,  go online to http://nationalmargaritaday.com.

If you are looking for a recipe, here are a few that give the traditional margarita a fresh twist to help you celebrate courtesy of Patrón Tequlia.

PINEAPPLE AND GINGER MARGARITA

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz. Patrón Silver
  • ½ oz. Agave Nectar
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3 buttons fresh ginger
  • 3 spears fresh pineapple
  • Crystalized ginger peel for garnish
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Instructions

In a shaker, add lime juice, ginger, and pineapple. Muddle and add the rest of the ingredients and ice, then shake. Strain into an old fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with a crystallized ginger peel and pineapple wedge.

PATRÓN POMEGRANATE MARGARITA

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 oz. Patrón Silver
  • 1/4 oz. Patrón Citrónge
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup
  • Salt
  • Lime for garnish
  • Sprig of mint for garnish

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice cubes, and shake well. Serve straight up in a chilled martini glass or on the rocks in old fashioned glass. Garnish with half-salt rim, lime wheel, and a fresh sprig of mint.


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