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The perfect margarita. October 17, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. Our friend Ben is addicted to margaritas, but I’ve never been as fond of them, because even though the flavor is good, the thick, syrupy, too-sweet margarita mix that makes up most of a typical margarita is just too much for me.

But my thinking underwent a sea change when OFB and I went to this year’s Bowers [PA] Chile Pepper Festival. The festival is always fun, anyway, but this year, one of the booths was serving (non-alcoholic) samples of margaritas spiked with their clear Frostbite hot sauce. One sip, and I was hooked. I’ll bet you will be, too. That touch of heat was the perfect antidote to the margarita’s sweetness, giving it a wonderful edge. We bought bottles for ourselves and our heat-loving friend and blog contributor, Richard Saunders, as well as our other chilihead friend, Rob.

Back at Hawk’s Haven, I decided to work on my standard margarita recipe to make it work even better with the Frostbite hot sauce. Here’s what I came up with. We love it! Now I often join OFB in a margarita when “it’s five o’clock somewhere,” and he insists that I add a splash of Frostbite to his martinis, too. Mind you, I’m an intuitive mixmaster as I’m an intuitive cook, so I eyeball the amounts I use. Adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes!

              Silence’s Perfect Margarita

per drink:

1 large goblet, preferably colorful Mexican glass

1/2 inch gold tequila in bottom of goblet (the better the tequila, the better the margarita, of course)

1/4 inch Triple Sec on top of that (Grand Marnier instead will boost the flavor but also the price)

generous splashes of Key lime and Key lemon juice (You can sub regular lemon juice, but please, look for Key lime juice in the fruit juice aisle of your grocery, or Key limes in the produce section. It’s worth it!)

4 drops Frostbite hot sauce, or to taste (start with 2 if you’re unsure, you can always work up)

2 pinches margarita salt (any salt will do in a pinch)

Swirl all this around in your goblet to blend and put some of the margarita salt into solution. You won’t get it all to dissolve! But more will dissolve as you drink the margarita, so keep swirling as you drink. Why do I put the salt in the margarita instead of on the rim of the glass, you ask? Well, it’s so much simpler and less messy. But if you want to dip the rim of each glass in lime juice or water and then in margarita salt, be my guest!

Now, here’s the key: Add one inch—no more!—of Jose Cuervo margarita mix to your goblet. More will make the margarita thick and syrupy and take away that delicious edge you’ve been trying to give it. In this case, less is definitely more! 

Swirl to blend, add 3 or 4 ice cubes, swirl again, and serve. Ole!!!!

These margaritas are just right alone, with tortilla chips and salsa, or refried beans and all the fixings, or with the chili burritos I’m going to tell you about tomorrow. Try them and let me know what you think!

Warning: These are addictive. You’ll probably want a second, so it’s best to drink them at home.

For the Frostbite sauce: I just found a place in New Hope, PA, Suzie’s Hot Shoppe (www.suzieshotshoppe.com), that carried Frostbite this past weekend, so check your favorite hot-sauce supplier. Or order online from CaJohns Fiery Foods (www.cajohns.com).

         ‘Til next time,

                      Silence

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