Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Company Rules

We get asked very often: "What else do you drink?" People are talking about what other wines do we drink and there are a number of producers Stefania and I buy regularly.

We both also like a good margarita though also.

There are many times when we end up working late. Monday night was one of those nights. If you look closely you can see my lap top in the background of the picture below. Stefania and I worked until about 8 PM. We had to review upcoming events, our next release letter and order form, and planning for our next bottling.

A few years ago we made up a company rule. "No working past 5 PM with out a cocktail or a glass of wine." We can make up the rules, and I bet you wish your company had that rule too. So we left the office and moved to the living room to watch the Sharks beat Dallas and have a cocktail. As you can see below we're pretty serious about our Tequila collection.

The bar greets visitors as you come in the house, and we have a TV set up to watch sports while people sit at the bar. Stef calls it "The Best Sports Bar in San Jose".

So Monday night it was margarita time. I use a recipe that I adapted from Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill in Chicago. Frontera Grill and Topolobombo is a place we try and stop at every time we are in Chicago.

Here's the recipe:
Two frozen martini glasses.
3 limes
100% Blue Agave Tequila

First step is to squeeze 3 limes. Not lime juice, not lime concentrate, and never, ever, ever anything called 'margarita mix'. We planted two lime trees in the backyard to have a fresh supply. Then pour a small amount of kosher salt to a small plate. You don't need 'margarita salt', kosher salt is best. Next rub the rim of two frozen martini glasses with a small amount of lime juice and coat the rim with salt.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the lime juice, 2.5 oz of Cointreau, and 2.5 oz of Blue Agave Tequila. I never use Triple Sec. It's harsh and has volatile compounds that can give people a headache. Grand Marnier and Citronage are two other orange liqueurs I'll use from time to time. All the tequila we have is 100% Blue Agave. That means it comes entirely from the Blue Agave plant. Things like Jose Cuervo Gold can have up to 49% cane alcohol. A good bottle of tequila will always say "100% Blue Agave" on the label.

There is some dispute about using Blanco, Reposado, or Anejo tequila. Blanco is clear, un-aged tequila. Reposado and Anejo have been aged in wood, Anejo for at least one year. They are darker and richer more complex tequilas. Many people prefer to have Anejo's neat and some say a margarita should only be made with Blanco. I will use all three types at different times. Blanco's tend to show the lime fruit more. Reposado's and Anejo's bring richness and complexity to a margarita. Monday I used an Anejo.

Shake very, very well. Strain into the prepared martini glasses. Enjoy!

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