The international cooking event Is My Blog Burning? (IMBB) rolls on. As announced by Donna Marie Zotter of There's a Chef in My Kitchen, the theme for the eighth installment of IMBB is "Lift your Spirits High!"
The current installment of IMBB calls for recipes that involve wine or spirits as ingredients. Broadly defined, this includes everything from entrees to cocktails.
As we enter the fall season (way too soon for my liking), I decided to make a drink for IMBB that would be an ode to the end of summer.
A few months ago, I bought Cesar: Recipes from a Tapas Bar, a book of cocktail and tapas recipes from Cesar in Berkeley, California. Though I've never been to Cesar, I've heard great things about the restaurant, and I decided to make its house tequila drink -- the Three-Citrus Margarita.
Although there are many variations on the Margarita, the cocktail typically includes tequila, cointreau, and lime. Once these ingredients are included, the possibilities for further extrapolation are endless. The Cesar version includes fresh-squeezed orange, lemon, and lime juice, tequila, and a dash of creme de cassis, a sweet, black currant-flavored liqueur.
Where and when did the first margarita originate? The history is disputed, according to the Cocktail Times. The most popular story takes place at a legendary pool party in Acapulco in the winter of 1948:
A fabulous hostess and Dallas socialite, Margarita Sames, hosted a pool side Christmas party at her vacation home in Acapulco, Mexico. The party game of choice for Margarita was to get behind the bar and see what concoctions she could develop and let her party guests test and rate the results. That evening she mixed three parts tequila with one part Cointreau and one part lime. The result was a success among her guests and quickly traveled through the elite in Texas and soon Hollywood under the name of the one who created it.
I made the drink twice. The first time, I followed the recipe explicitly, combining the three juices with tequila and ice in a cocktail shaker, shaking the mixture until icy cold, and straining it into a martini glass along with a dash of Creme de Cassis at the end. It was thirst-quenching, but something felt missing, so I decided to add some cointreau in my second attempt, which gave the drink that certain margarita flavor I was looking for. When you add the Creme de Cassis, it falls to the bottom of the glass, giving the cocktail not only a hidden burst of sweetness, but a striking layered effect -- beautiful and refreshing.