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Celebrate National Margarita Day

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National Margarita Day

February 22nd is National Margarita Day, a time to celebrate and recognize the world’s number number one cocktail. We are not sure why it falls on this date, a time when it is generally cold across many parts of the United States but we never complain. Instead, we will break out our cocktail shakers, tequila and margarita machine and toast the margarita.

Here are some interesting facts about the beverage:

  • According to a 2008 study by Brown-Foreman, American’s drink 185,000 margaritas per hour.
  • The World’s largest margarita was created by Nick Nicora. This 10,500 gallon drink contains 4,650 bottles of Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila, 8,400 gallons of margarita mix, including 50 gallons of lime mix, and 20 gallons of Cointreau liqueur.
  • The first frozen margarita machine was invented in Dallas, Texas by restaurantuer Mariano Martinez who converted a soft-serve ice cream machine into the device.
  • The margarita was the most ordered drink in 2010, representing 18% of all US mixed drink sales (Cheers on Premise Handbook, 2010).
  • Esquire Magazine is the first known publication to put margarita recipes in print. In their December 1953 edition they listed the drink as:

1 ounce tequila
Dash of Triple Sec
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rund of lemon or lime, spin in salt — pour, and sip.

For recommendations on making your own margaritas, try these over 60 Margarita Recipes featured on our website. If you are on Twitter or Instagram, we would enjoy  seeing your margarita creations or a picture of you and your friends enjoying one. Don’t forget to include  “@margaritatexas #nationalmargaritaday” in your [posts. Follow us @ twitter.com/margaritatexas or instagram/margaritatexas and post your pictures as you celebrate.

How will you be celebrating?

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Download a copy of our free eBook "Margarita Recipes Revealed" where restaurants reveal their secrets to making the best margarita and include previously undisclosed recipes.

 

Mezcal vs Tequila – What is the difference?

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We’ve been asked this very question, time and time again… So we thought maybe we should just clear the air once and for all, to be direct, the answer is No! But well, to those who want to know what makes them distinct, sit back and continue reading, let us break it down.

Where do we start?

Let us start by saying, all Tequilas are Mezcals. Mezcals are basically any agave-based liquor, which makes tequila a subset of mezcal. Now, let’s get down to their differences.

There are three basic differences between these two Mexican spirits which are:

Location

Mezcal and Tequila are produced in different States of Mexico although there’s an overlap. Tequila can only be produced in specific regions of Mexico, five regions to be precise: Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas. Now, this should come as a shock to you, but there’s a town called Tequila (the home of the drink) located Jalisco, which is the center of Tequila universe.

Mezcal, on the other hand, is made in nine specific regions of Mexico, including Oaxaca, Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Tamaulipas, Michoacán, and Puebla. Oaxaca is the center of the Mezcal universe, producing a majority of about 80 – 90% in the region.

Based on location, you’ll notice that there are 3 states that make both Tequila and Mezcal, that’s the overlap we were talking about.

The Variety of Agave

Tequila must be made (by law) from a specific variety of agave: the Blue Agave. While Mezcal can be made from more than 30 different varieties of agave, including the Blue Agave. But a large number of Mezcal is made from the Agave Espadin, which is the found mostly in the center of Mezcal universe, Oaxaca.

You must understand that because of the several varieties of agaves used in producing Mezcal, its flavor can vary greatly, while for Tequila, the flavor is almost the same throughout.

Production Process

For both Tequila and Mezcal production, the Agave plants are harvested in the same way. The long spear-like leaves are sheared off by the jimador (the person doing the harvesting) leaving just the “pina” behind (pinas looks like large pineapples).

Well, the difference of the production process lies in the way the pina is cooked for both the Tequila and Mezcal giving them their unique flavor. For most Tequilas, the pinas are baked in the steamed oven also known as huge industrial ovens or pressure cookers and afterward, fermented.

Mezcal can also be manufactured in this manner, but traditionally, the pinas are cooked in an underground, earthen pit lined with wood and volcanic rocks. The fire burns the embers, heating up the volcanic rock to extreme temperatures, which in turn gives Mezcal its distinct smoky flavor. The pinas are then put in the oven and caramelized over a certain number of days. The pinas are then crushed, and the agave juice is extracted using a tahona which presses the agave rather than shredding it.

So that is the difference between Mezcal and Tequila at a basic level. Although there are more to them ranging from culture to history, but with the above three major differences, you are now more informed than 99% of the population. Now it’s time to buy a bottle and throw one of them into a margarita.

 

 

Photo by Eneas De Troya

Disappointing Smoky Bacon Margarita at the State Fair

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big-tex

Having lived in Texas our entire lives, one of the activities we had yet to do was visit the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.  The fair is held yearly at the historic Fair Park which has taken place every year since 1886 except for periods during World War I and World War II. Since we were in the area, we decided to drop by and see how much weight we could gain.

Filled with fried foods, carnival rides and games, the Texas State Fair has plenty to do to fill your entire day. The features of the event that appear to get the most press are the unusual foods, ranging from fried jell-o, deep fried pulled pork “funyun” dings and deep fried bacon burger dog sliders on a stick. One item that seemed to get a lot of attention the past few years is the smoky bacon margarita which won the most creative award in 2015.

 We were curious to try the beverage and grabbed one almost immediately. The best part about the drink is the bacon itself which is smoky, fresh tasting and …. is bacon. Visually,  it looks like someone dropped some bacon bits on neon green play-doh. Once you make it past the delicious bacon pieces, your taste buds are greeted with intense sweetness, artificial lime and absolutely no tequila flavor. The smokiness of the bacon stops at the bacon itself and is not infused in any way with the contents of the drink. Once you have gobbled up the droppings of bacon, you are left with a nice looking collector’s cup filled with a disappointing overly green frozen margarita-like substance.

While walking by one of the many carnival games, an employee stopped to ask what we thought about the drink. We shared our not so positive opinion and he echoed that was what he was hearing throughout the length of the fair. It seems this smoky bacon margarita is more a novelty rather than a culinary masterpiece.  We recommend saving your coupons and spending them on something better like tossing rings over a Coke bottle for the opportunity to win a stuffed unicorn.

smoked-bacon-margaritaSmoky Bacon Margarita picture by Marie Paugh Photography