I absolutely love a good margarita. In Texas, these were very easy to come by. In New York, not so much. Mexican food in New York is another story entirely. If you think it’s hard to find a good margarita, it’s even harder to find decent Mexican food. And by decent Mexican food, I mean Tex-Mex. New York just doesn’t get it.
Certain that I will find a close substitute one day, I have tried just about every Mexican restaurant in New York. Locals love to point out that such and such place is the best or that this one is really, really good. And yes, the food is decent and probably even good by Mexican food standards, but it is a far cry from Tex-Mex.
We recently ate at Sueños on 17th Street in New York and have been back several times, so that says something. However, I find myself returning there not so much for the food, which I like a lot, but for their sublime smoky margarita. We like these so much that we have taken to making them at home whenever we can.
The key ingredient in this margarita is Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal. A distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant and bottled in Oaxaca, Mexico, this particular mezcal has a distinct smokiness to it. A tablespoon or so floated on top of your margarita takes it to another place, a place of smoky wonderful-ness.
Smokin’ Good Margarita
2 oz. quality, good silver tequila (Herradura is nice)
1 oz. Grand Marnier
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
First, prepare your glasses. I pour a 4 inch circle of kosher salt on a plate, run an open lime around the rim of the glass and then dip the rim of the glass in the salt. Let it dry for a minute or two. Be careful when adding ice to the glass – you don’t want to knock the salt off the rim.
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice, shake and strain into your prepared glass. Then, pour a tablespoon or so of the Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal over the top. Finally, garnish with a lime, serve, and let the Margarita Madness begin!