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Posts Tagged ‘margarita’

Blissful, beautiful – What could make this any better?

 

Maybe add one (or two) of these?

 

And definitely add lots of these:

Ah, Paradise!

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English: Barrels for tequila on display at the...

Barrels for tequila on display at the National Museum of Tequila in Tequila Jalisco Mexico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, July 24 is National Tequila Day
To help everyone get even more joy from their celebrations, here is a review of the health benefits of drinking margaritas and of course, tequila. Yes, there are health benefits.  I swear I’m not making this up. Check out the back up.
So here we go:
1.     Tequila lowers cholesterol!
2.     Tequila aids digestion!
3.     Tequila has been proven to ward off dementia. Though this could have more to do with the social benefits of meeting friends for a drink and not from drinking the spirit itself.
4.     Margaritas are often flavored with fruit and chock full of antioxidants. Pomegranate Margaritas, a particularly tasty treat, may also be particularly healthful.  Studies show that pomegranate juice may fight cancer, protect your arteries, lower cholesterol and protect your brain. Check out healthdiaries.com for pomegranate scoop.  And, though I can’t source this on the Internet, I heard a very fun pomegranate fact when I was watching local news at an obscenely early hour on Sunday morning. In a segment on healthy food they reported consuming pomegranate juice helps sunscreen work better
My suggestion for the perfect National Tequila Day celebration?  Slather on SPF and sit in the sun with a frozen pomegranate margarita.  Bring friends to amp up the fun factor and keep dementia at bay.  Then schedule a post-drink cholesterol test to show off your low LDL numbers to your doctor.
If margaritas aren’t your thing (always shocking to me but it happens) I have another suggestion.  If you’re in NYC, go to my new favorite bar, Jeffrey’s Grocery (Waverly Place in the West Village).
I have no idea if there’s a Jeffrey but there is a great bartender.  Suzanne works Thursday – Saturday so she’ll be celebrating National Tequila Day by soaking up sun, antioxidants and drinking a healthy drink and won’t be behind the bar.  But even if Suzanne isn’t there, the bar has a friendly vibe and they’re rolling out with a brand new tequila drink on Tuesday. (Coincidence?)  Suzanne was kind enough to give me a sneak peek at the new tequila magic.  It’s called “Part Time Lover” and is a mix of Blanco Tequila, Lemon, Cointreau, a dash of Chilli/Chocolate Bitters and Szechuan Pepper Agave and three Bing cherries.  The name alone is reason it order it.  And then of course, there’s the tequila.
If you go and Suzanne is there, be sure to order a margarita.  She makes hers with love and it shows.

Suzanne’s Excellent Margarita at Jeffrey’s Grocery

A special thank you to @mscharlies for keeping me up with important dates.
And now a word from my Dad:  Please drink responsibly as being stupid erases all the health benefits mentioned above.
Happy National Tequila Day everyone! Looking forward to hearing about the tequila themed fun!

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English: Ice cubes

Ice cubes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does ice have in common with women’s shoes, you ask?

Amazing! That’s been on your mind too?

In their basic form, both serve a purpose and serve it well. Shoes make feet happier; ice cubes make drinks colder. Perfect.

But both stray to the extreme.  Sure a pair of platform, sling-back, strappy, open toe, 5-inch heels make legs look awesome.  But those shoes aren’t made for walking and the only way my feet are happy in that style is if propped up in admirable repose.  Yet these shoes are on feet everywhere.

Designer ice is everywhere too.

The first time I saw perfectly cubed ice, I thought it was unique to that bar – their special cocktail accent for their cool designer drink.  But the cubes fell like dominos and bar after bar clinked artistic ice into their drinks.

I bumped into the height of ice, for both the cube and artifice, at H2 in Healdsburg, CA. They served my margarita with a single cube frozen to fit, cube edges scraping the inside curve of the glass. This was not a cube casually thrown. It was placed. No scooping. A precision maneuver involving tongs and a steady hand was necessary.

The cube rose above the rim making a normal sipping stance impossible. Could it have been a test of mouth agility or maybe sobriety? I put the glass to my lips but couldn’t get a lock on it. Acrobatics were required; lower lip on the glass outer edge, upper lip planted on the giant cube, mouth agape. The cube was too big to shift and make a margarita tidal wave, but it could spin. I was afraid to tilt the glass should cube twirl and squirt the margarita like a sprinkler from one of the four gullies where the liquid collected along the giant cube’s sides. H2 must have hoped I’d be so impressed with presentation that I’d want to keep it and not drink.

Fedora in NYC, served a margarita with three or four outsized cubes stacked in the glass so that the top cube stood over the glass by half. When I tried to sip, the cube fell into the tip of my nose.  Unless you’re a seal, it’s hard to look sophisticated with an ice-cube leaning against your nose while you drink.

The same thing happened at Nobu (NYC). And what do these places have in common besides ice aesthetic? They don’t believe cocktail straws. This conundrum gave the Nobu bartender a chance to shine. He took out a pocket knife and cut a tall straw in half.

I’m left thinking artistic ice is the frozen equivalent of high heels – It looks great, it’s a statement, it’s memorable. And I know there’s more than looks behind it. Someone can probably explain how ice surface area, melt point and glass size work together to cool a drink while avoiding dilution. (And if anyone does know that, feel free to weigh in!)

But I’m pretty sure that if I have to hold an ice-cube in the glass with my nose while I drink, that ice wasn’t made for drink sipping.

Wow. Sharing really lifts a burden, doesn’t it? I think I might go shoe shopping and grab a drink.

 

Coming Soon: Guacamole and Margagogo’s new look.

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Our Mad Men office (AKA office drinking) started with a birthday party for my then boss.

She said she liked margaritas so we made them for her. We didn’t ask anyone permission and the only sign of concern was that the head of HR didn’t attend the party. She saw me heading into the conference room holding two bottles of tequila so she spun on her heel and went in the other direction. Our first party wasn’t sophisticated but our staff got terribly drunk. I used margarita mix and the only way I know to overcome the lip puckering pow of mix is ignore the recipe on the bottle and double the amount of tequila.

We moved offices and made continuous improvements on our margarita party. We bought tortilla chips from the food section of the local drug store and discovered Chipolte will sell a whopping glop of guacamole for not too much money if you go after the lunch rush.  I brought in the blender my parents gave me for Christmas. The sticker on it says it has “super ice-crushing power”. We ordered in a taco bar, complimented margaritas with ice cream sundaes and assigned staff members decorating duties.  Word spread and people from other departments started showing up when they heard the blender whirl. Each party was bigger, better and more colorful than the last.

And our most impressive improvement? Chair races.

Our new office took up a whole floor, with an arterial hallway running in a loop around a center section filled elevators and bathrooms. It was the perfect race track and we had the perfect wheels in our new office chairs.  Teams were made up of twos; a chair rider and a runner to push.

It only took one race to pick up big learning.  The track wasn’t wide enough for more than two teams. Office chairs don’t corner like a Porsche so slowing down, especially in the first turn, was vital or  we risked taking out editorial’s copy machine or someone’s desk.  And “Safety First”. Posting crossing guards along the race track was a necessity to avoid mowing down an innocent coming out of a bathroom. And finally, it’s easy to damage wall paper (even when it’s the industrial, office strength type).

Does it make the story better or worse if I tell you there was betting? I won $5.

Winnings in one hand and margarita in the other.

I’m sure our management noticed the scuffs on the new walls but they never asked and the parties continued until one day, the President of the company showed up in my office.

The company’s turmoil reached an apex. Sold twice in a year, layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts were our reality and we slogged through our days. He peeled bills out of his wallet and asked us throw a July 4th margarita party for the bedraggled staff.

The entire department jumped into action. They hand-made decorations, shopped, found a second blender and turned our section of the office into a giant bar. And I made red, white and blue margaritas. White were plain, red colored with Grenadine and blue tainted with Blue Curacao. And for the record, Milagro tequila powered our margaritas.

The whole company showed up. And stayed. And stayed. There were no chair races that day – too many people on the track. But the margaritas, red, white, blue and glorious lifted sagging spirits. And that was even better.

Happy Memorial Day!

 

Coming Soon: Guacamole and a new look for Margagogo!

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There’s something in the air – maybe Cinco de Mayo excitement?

Two different people living on opposite sides of the country sent me emails about Margarita Cupcakes.  Coincidence? Maybe, if you believe in coincidence. What I’m sure of is that as of today margagogo went from having obligated friends, alert readers and maybe even a fan to having National Correspondents.

My sister-in-law (AKA West Coast Bureau Chief) sent me a picture of a sign in her Seattle local – Cupcake Royale – offering up a May 4th Margarita Cupcake tasting.

My good friend (AKA CT Editorial Director) sent me a Margarita Cupcake recipe with this note:  “Can you even stand it?  This makes me hungry and thirsty all at the same time!!”

No, I can’t even stand it. This is just so amazing!  Fate, or Cinco de Mayo excitement or my newly appointed editorial board demands Margarita Cupcakes. The recipe below, as submitted by the CT Editorial Director is from Chic Style Modern. It’s written by Ashley a Chic Style Modern contributing editor and it’s from 2011 –  I’m sure it’s as tasty today as it was then.

Cupcake Royale - Will the Cupcake of the Month be the Margarita Cupcake?

Margarita Cupcakes
9 ounces Margarita Mix
3 ounces tequila
3/4 ounce Grand Marnier
1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
3 large egg whites
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon lime zest

Lime Buttercream Icing:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lime juice, fresh
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest

If you’re in the Seattle area, please go check out Cupcake Royale.  Not only is their tag line, “Keeping it Royale” funny, but I’ve had the pleasure of sampling a cupcake or two and they’re yummy. And if you’re in a kitchen and so inclined, whip up a batch of Margarita Cupcakes and let me know how they are. (Just be sure to visit Chic Style Modern for the full instructions.)

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We made a plan riddled with risk: Margaritas and dinner at a brand new spot before a 2+ hour play performed in entirely in Polish.

For a night at the theater, the adventure quotient was high.

New restaurants sometimes have service and kitchen kinks so you don’t know what you’re in for. Drink and food before a very long play can make a sleepy, bladder heavy, uncomfortable disaster and this night was particularly tricky. We were we were off to see Festen (The Celebration) at St. Ann’s Warehouse, brought to the U.S. by Polish theater maker Grzegorz Jarzyna and performed in Polish with English subtitles (projected on the back stage wall). And the topper –  first act alone runs 1 hour and 45 minutes.

But don’t worry!  Risk averted.  Reward reaped.

Gran Electrica, the new authentic Mexican in DUMBO is AWESOME! The space is airy, fresh and inviting. (Check out gothamist for a write-up and great pictures.) The service is impeccable. And, the food? The food is so good we ordered more despite the time crunch of the curtain. We had Taco Dorado, deep-fried tortilla wrapped potato with creme and shredded lettuce, which sounds bland but is anything but. We tried the pork shoulder and brisket tacos (yum) and the best taco by far – tile fish with cabbage and avocado.

And the margarita was perfect.

Seriously Awesome Margarita!

Seriously Awesome Margarita!

I’d love to give you their advice so we’d all learn what to look for in a good drink but as of this time, Gran Electrica hasn’t answered my twitter query. (I forgive them because I’m sure they’re busy making taco magic.)

So please go to Gran Electrica (5 Front Street, DUMBO).  Just don’t go too much because then I won’t be able to get a table.

And go to Festen at St. Ann’s Warehouse. The 1 hour 45 minute first act flew by (well, mostly). I saw this company perform Macbeth (also at St. Ann’s) so I was ready for the quirks and twists in the production. It was curious and interesting and the story itself is rife with risk (and pain and dull horror) and though I don’t know if I liked it, I know I’ll think about it. To me, that’s a strong measure. But if you’re going to go, go quick. Festen’s limited run ends Sunday, April 29. And for that matter, St. Ann’s Warehouse, in its current location, is on a limited run. They close at season end and will be moving to a new space.

So go.  Enjoy a risky night of food and theater.  You’ll be glad you did.

COMING SOON – PISCO (including Twitter poll results)

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Fridday's I have a new appreciation for Friday’s – not the week day, the restaurant. And I have Disney World to thank for my new perspective.

I spent 3 magical days in Disney World with my brother, sister-in-law, parents, two nieces (ages 6 and 3) and 850,000 other people. I’m not sure how the other 850,000 people felt but I saw Disney make dreams come true. My 3-year-old niece nearly passed out with excitement when she met Princess Aurora (Aurora, I thought was a new princess but she’s Sleeping Beauty. Who knew Sleeping Beauty had a name?) And her mother misted up, so touched by her daughter’s glow that she nearly cried.

The 6-year-old got to meet Tigger (or Titi as she’s called him since 18 months old when she made a Tigger plush toy her special and always lovie). She got to tell Tigger how much she loves him and Tigger swooned with delight, held his hands to his heart and hugged her. The Titi meeting was as emotional for parents and grandparents (and me, the Aunt) as it was for my niece.

But there’s a challenge inherent in any Disney visit. One must navigate travel and lines and fast passes and stroller parking areas and do it all at a pace that keeps the kids excited, keeps restlessness from setting in so one niece doesn’t think kicking her sister is a good way to fill the lull.

You have to deal with not-so-good food, stroller wheels running up the back of your ankle and the stress of wanting the kids to see everything but not being quite sure how to make that happen. And you have to do it without a single cocktail because The Magic Kingdom is dry.

I already mentioned the 850,000 other people and stroller parking so you’re probably thinking a bar is the last thing the Magic Kingdom needs. I don’t want to add “sloppy drunks” to the list of challenges at Disney, but that first day, after waking at 3AM to fly from New York to Orlando and hit the Magic Kingdom at prime line time, getting an afternoon margarita pause would have made my dreams come true.

Enter TGI Friday’s in Lake Bueno Vista, FL.

We left Disney after dark, the soles worn off our shoes and our energy sapped. We walked into TGI Friday’s and even though I expected a heart wrenching example of mix abuse, I ordered a margarita. And not just any margarita, I went way out and ordered the Ultimate Margarita.

It came in a glass the size of a fish tank so I had to sit way up to reach the top and take a sip. And that first sip brought sweet surprise. It was good. And I was grateful. My experience could have been the result of the moment, and quality may vary from one franchise to another. But if you’re ever getting off of Route 4 at Lake Bueno Vista after a long Disney day, think about the TGI Friday’s in the Cross Roads Mall. They are kid-friendly, the margarita was good and they could see into my soul – the TGI Friday’s website says, “Sometimes, you’ve just gotta have your favorite drink.” They couldn’t have been more right.

One more tip – if you have the chance to go to Disney World with your beautiful nieces, don’t pass it up. You will never forget their laughter, smiles and the magic reflected in their eyes.

TGFF!

www.tgifridays.com/greatdrinks

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