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Aug 1, 2014 04:29 PM

Call it something else, but please don't call it a margarita.

I just read on the same Manhattan board a cucumber margarita and a peach with Thai basil. I drove by a popular Houston Mexican place today that had a watermelon version on the billboard. That's three in one day and my mind has snapped. A margarita is fresh lime juice, tequila, and triple sec or Cointreau. I had a perfect version this weekend ordered skinny, no sweetener with silver tequila and salt on the rim. Delicious, El Tiempo Houston. Now that's a margarita.

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  1. I totally sympathize. I feel the same way about the Mojito. I see "variations" for Watermelon Mojito, Strawberry-Lemon Mojito, Mango Mojito, and the horrifying Kumquat Mojito. It's revolting.

    Mojito: Silver rum, mint leaves, sugar (or simple syrup), lime, club soda. Liberal amounts of ice. End of story. The perfect summer thirst quencher for rum drinkers.

    In both cases, it's just lazy, language-limited bartenders who can't be bothered to make up a new name for a new drink. Instead, they piggyback on the popularity of an existing one.

    Expect the Martini purists to chime in anytime now. They are likewise outraged at the misuse of that word.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      Not sure why a kumquat Mojito would be horrifying. A kumquat is a bitter and sour citrus fruit and would do a good job of standing in for the lime, whereas watermelon, strawberry, or mango would be impotent.

      But I agree. When substitutions stay true to the template of the drink, I don't object until the volume of variations gets out of control. But usually the substitutions are outside the template. There is no liqueur in a Martini or Manhattan, for example.

      1. re: mcsheridan

        I do believe there can be a bit of debate in regards to dark or silver rum in a mojito as well as white or muscavado sugar, I believe I recall reading something about it in Potions of the Caribbean (Jeff Berry)

        I do prefer Barbancourt 5 star in my mojito's

        1. re: Dapuma

          I really like Barbancourt chilled as a sipping rum; I haven't tried it in mixed drinks at all.

          As to which rum in a Mojito, I'm more than prepared to be flexible on that point. :)

          1. re: mcsheridan

            Barbanbourt 8* - neat (no ice) - in a snifter after dinner . . .

              1. re: ncyankee101

                Well, yes and no . . .

                The ***** (5 Star) is indeed 8-years old. My very first bottle of Barbarcourt's 15-Year Old Rhum (early 1970s) did have eight stars on its neck label -- I am 95 percent sure of that; as I've long referred to the 15-Year old as "Eight Star." That said, I checked my current bottle last night and it is labeled "Réserve du Domaine" on the neck label where (IIRC) the eight stars used to appear.

      2. It's no different from people making a chocolate/alcohol cocktail and calling it a chocolate martini. Not a martini in my book!

        1. All us old poops, gather 'round … I've never wanted to stand in the way of progress, social change, political change (if it's FORWARDS!), but tell me you have a dog of each gender, or use "indifferent" to mean "apathetic," or call even a glass of vodka with a brief spray of vermouth a Martini and you will instantly arouse my Inner Curmudgeon. I've been like that most of my life, but now that I'm old enough to be a real curmudgeon it's become a lot easier.

          Unfortunately, even some authentic Mexican places we've been in recently, including some whose actual margaritas are superb, have added such atrocities as banana or pineapple "margaritas" to their menu. Time to get going with the torches and pitchforks …

          11 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  armed villagers are gathering around the gates to address these abominations against nature.

                  1. re: hill food

                    Yes, but not that it will do any good . . .

                    1. re: zin1953

                      we can try. and then to my house for some wine und sponge cake!

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      How old does one have to be before you can be an official curmudgeon? I've been unofficial for a while with my fake ID.

                      1. re: Bkeats

                        Actually, it has nothing to do with age. However, I've gotten much better at it in the last 20 years.

                        1. re: Bkeats

                          You can jump into it at any time. True curmudgeons are made, not born, though. Like learning chess vs. playing it well, or appreciating life, it gets better with age.

                          Some essential texts for the student:

                      2. Why not just give it a Name of its own? I think it may just be an attempt to keep things familiar or just mental laziness. It seems that in the past even a small change in a Recipe spawned a new Cocktail.

                        1. I gave up on this type of protest when dessert pizzas first came on the scene.