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so there i was in my apartment frozen in awe at a jim hall guitar passage on jimmy guiffre’s western suite and reading a knut hamsun novel while digesting the sea urchin sashimi and monk fish liver i’d eaten for dinner when a thought occurred to me in the form of a question:
why is my music not more accepted by the mainstream?
i mean a guy of my sensibilities. it just doesn’t make any sense.
but for real now. i was a bit bugged over having heard my song “girls need attention” earlier on the radio. this is normally a good thing except in this case they had bleeped my track every time i sang the word “ass.” and i sing “ass” a lot in that song. i wondered how many listeners might have reached in vain for their cellphones.
i also wondered what existing household other than sarah palin’s doesn’t use the word “ass” on a frequent basis, which led me to a deeper question:
does sarah palin’s household ever use the word “ass?”
and then to an even deeper question than that:
what is it that america wants if not confessional songs about love and loss set to arrangements of banjo, bass clarinet and tuba?
and lo i was struck with a revelation like that moment when the grinch realizes the true meaning of christmas:
what people want is advice on where/how to obtain the best boutique tequilas and margarita making equipment!
that's it, right?! do i finally have my finger on the pulse?
well either way, food and tequila are part of this blog's mission statement so, as promised, here’s some tips for never being without a good “margie” on hand.
first the tequila.
keep a few good tequilas in the cabinet. 100% blue agave always. (though we can discuss how this actually means 98 percent blue agave.) never blended tequila. that means no commemorativo. no hornitos. and of course never cuervo. keep two blancos (sometimes called silver or diamante) and two reposados.
DON’T use anejo in your margarita. that’s for sipping. furthermore, if you want a great sipping tequila, splurge on a bottle of clase azul reposado. it’s great great great and the bottle can double as a lamp or a space age hat rack.
i maintain a diverse selection at home, which i mostly score on the west coast. if your state allows delivery, bevmo has a great selection online. the east coast has limited varieties due to lack of popularity and also some of the artisan bottles just don’t travel well.
as far as patron or don julio, etc go, they are quality products, but overpriced and overrated in my opinion. just not very distinctive tasting tequilas.
here’s some “relatively” easy-to-find (and to afford) tequilas currently on my shelf:
chamucos blanco or reposado (spicy, lively)
siembra azul blanco (spicy, but mellow spicy)
centinela reposado (sweet, but not too much so….one of my faves)
corralejo blanco or reposado (manly)
cielo blanco (citrus-y, light)
el tesoro platinum (spicy, just awesome, but slightly more expensive than these others)
secondly, the orange liqueur.
i always use cointreau. grand mariner tastes overbearing to me, but it’s a quality product. patron citronge is just plain crap. so are most triple secs. some upper end caracao is okay and indeed they are less expensive, but you’re only using less than an ounce per cocktail anyway so why not just splurge.
then, the limes.
i guess it’s best to use organic ones, but whatever you get, they should feel soft-ish and they shouldn’t have many (if any) brown spots. if the lime is healthy, you may only need half of it for one cocktail. you won’t go wrong using the whole thing however. you should never need to use more than one unless they are just totally dry. always pick up a few limes on your way home from wherever so you’re never without.
there’s a great ceramic lime squeezer at williams sonoma. twenty bucks. the XO one they sell at whole foods doesn’t strain out the rind as well. you don’t want a lot of rind as it can sour your cocktail.
and of course, the salt. i’ve been having great luck with this austrailian hake river salt they sell at union market in brooklyn, but you should just use what you like.
a double sided jigger is also a convenient tool. four bucks. i'm sure you can get one at target or amazon. (1&1/2oz on one side, 3/4oz on the other) you can, however, improvise with a shot glass so long as your measurements are always 2 parts tequila to 1 part cointreau and 1 part lime.
oh and always have ice!
(see my blog from last week for the recipe!)
and if you get inspired after you've had a couple, feel free to make a call to the FCC on my behalf.
p.s. and for any serious high rollers out there, deleon diamante is the purest agave i’ve tasted, but it is hyper-expensive. still, their distillery rests on a natural spring and they roast the pinas slowly for like three days, and use only a single pressing. oh lord.