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Aug 23, 2013 04:10 PM

Beyond Margaritas

I was at Five Horses Tavern (Davis Sq, Somerville, MA) last night and had their Sent From Above -- essentially a Margarita made with Aperol for the orange liqueur. I liked it a lot, but thought it was too sweet (no doubt because it includes agave nectar).

So tonight I tried:
1 1/2 Blanco tequila (Hornitos)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Vida)
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Aperol
~1/2 oz lime juice (actually I used 1 oz, which was too much, then I had to fuss with it).

I liked it a lot. I'd use all tequila in lieu of mezcal for a cleaner, more accessible, variation.

Now I'm not really interested in "Strawberry / Peach / Guava / Durian Margarita" ideas. (Actually if someone want to try the last one, I want to read about it.) But how about variations that would be interesting to someone who is looking for something more unusual than a well-made craft Margarita. Not that we're gonna agree on exactly what that is. ;)

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  1. When I visited Mexico years ago, a very well-dressed Mexican gentleman told me that Margaritas were invented to keep gringos quiet.

    1. Take a look at the Cocktail menu from Nido in Oakland. While not Margaritas they have a good hand with the Mezcals and Tequillas.!drinks/c319

      2 Replies
      1. re: chefj

        Nido's menu has "Fernet Vallet", which lead me to their very interesting site:

        They also have a cocktail with tequila, mezcal and "Luxardo", wihch I take to be Maraschino. Sounds pretty interesting.

        1. re: EvergreenDan

          The Oscuridad Verde is my favorite drink right now.
          The Hass Bros. site has a lot of cool looking recipes.
          Yes the Luxardo is Maraschino Originale

      2. I played around with frozen durian in cocktails. The frozen is just barely ripe and doesn't have the objectionable qualities that very ripe durian has. I found out about this from having durian shakes in Thai restaurants, which can be pretty darn tasty. The results in cocktails were pretty good. You can really play with the custard/vanilla flavor. But later on the durian sometimes repeated on you. Not so good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JMF

          I've had durian bubble tea in a couple of Vietnamese joints in DC's "little Vietnam" (aka, The Eden Center in Falls Church) and I thought it was great. I can imagine that if not overly ripe it would be excellent with tequila.

        2. Although it's not really a Margarita variation, this post reminded me of a cocktail recipe I found a while back. I was at Barnes and Noble thumbing through cocktail books I wasn't planning on buying when I found a drink in the Mr. Boston guide that was:

          2 oz Blanco Tequila
          1/2 oz Aperol
          1/2 oz Creme de Cacao
          3/4 oz lemon juice

          Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

          The book lists it as "the interesting cocktail" though I haven't been able to find much about it online (largely because the term "interesting cocktail" comes up so much). Unconfirmed Googling suggests it might have been invented by Gary Regan, and that it might have had the amounts of lemon juice and Aperol swapped.

          Either way, I gave it a shot, and I have to say, I enjoyed it more than a Margarita, and more than other tequila+chocolate cocktails I've had. I expect it's going to become my main sour-style tequila cocktail at home.

          2 Replies
          1. re: A_Gonzalez

            I'll try that. The lack of attribution and fidelity to the original is a problem with Mr Boston.

            I found the original on Gary's site:

            Gary's original ratio's will make a rather different drink -- less tart and Margarita like, and more subtly chocolate. Also missing in Mr Boston is three expressed grapefruit peels, which I think would be rather important, at least for the first few sips.

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            1. re: EvergreenDan

              Dan, are you talking about all editions of Mr. Boston when you comment "The lack of attribution and fidelity to the original is a problem with Mr Boston." or just the 68th edition (75th Anniversary), which is the one with the unattributed "The Interesting Cocktail"? I have several editions, but only have the 67th and 68th available, with others in storage, boxed away. I almost always assume that any cocktail guide will have some recipes that have different ratios, or even are completely different, since all books of recipes tend to differ somewhat. Food as well as cocktails. It makes it difficult sometimes, trying to figure out what is the "right" recipe. Often I end up adapting recipes anyway, usually to make less sweet, or more complex.

          2. Had to note the "Durian Margarita"... looking forward to trying that

            5 Replies
            1. re: TombstoneShadow

              You may be able to find some at a well-stocked Asian grocery store, but in general, your two challenges will be (1) actually finding Durian and (2) finding some that are of the correct ripeness. Durian has a reputation in various parts of the globe as being one of the foulest, most disgusting fruits on the planet when not correctly ripe, an depending on your sense of smell, even when it is perfectly ripe. Occasionally described as smelling like raw sewage, it has been banned from certain hotels and public transportation in southeast Asia. Wikipedia has some rather funny notes on it:

              Chef Andrew Zimmerman compares the taste to "completely rotten, mushy onions"

              Travel and food writer Richard Sterling says, "Its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock."

              It's been a while since I had that Durian bubble tea, but I recall it being something akin to lychee and over-ripe melon, but with a deep musky scent not unlike moderate body odor.

              1. re: The Big Crunch

                As I mentioned above, for shakes, smoothies, desserts, cocktails, I find the frozen durian is best. Just barely ripe, but before the toe cheese, vomit, and diesel fuel aroma sets in.

                1. re: JMF

                  you left out rotting corpse and loaded diaper.

                  left some in a car one summer. not my finest moment.

                  1. re: linus

                    > left some in a car one summer.

                    Rotting corpse or loaded diaper?

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      ah, comedy.

                      i meant durian, shecky.