Category Archives: tequila

Mango Madness

Miss Mojito finally had the chance to test out a recipe for Mango Margaritas. They’re so refreshing, sunny and dare I say easy that I had to report back on the results. Make the most of your summer and whip up a batch this weekend!

Now, the mango is a notoriously difficult fruit to cut. But that’s the beauty of this recipe – you don’t have to dice the mango into neat, even cubes (although here’s a helpful tutorial for when that’s your goal). It’s perfectly acceptable to butcher the fruit as you see fit, since you’ll be pureeing the whole lot in a blender or food processor later.

Mango Margaritas
Serves five.

  • 2 very ripe mangos
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 10 oz. tequilo blanco
  • 4 oz. triple sec
  • 8 oz. grapefruit soda (I used the Izzie brand)

Remove as much flesh as possible from the two mangos.

If you’re using a blender: Puree all the ingredients in the blender until you reach a smooth consistency.

If you’re using a food processor: Puree the mango and lime juice together until smooth. Poor into a pitcher and add the tequila, triple sec and soda. Stir well.

Serve over ice in chilled glasses.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Variations on a Fruity Theme

One of last year’s fave cocktail concoctions was most certainly this Fruity Bourbon Fizz, which combined tart cherry juice, bourbon, lemonade and sparkling wine with delightful results. For a recent mother’s day celebration, I was eager to put the cherry juice to good use again.

The R.W. Knudsen brand makes a delightfully tart, organic black cherry juice that has become more widely available in grocery stores as of late. The flavor is quite potent and a little certainly goes a long way – making it a great mixer for a crowd.

Since I already had tequila on hand, I decided to meld the liquor with the juice in a vibrant Cherry Margarita. Given the pow packed by the cherry punch, I like to give my guests a fair warning and introduce this as a Tart Cherry Margarita, so they’re fully prepared for the pucker that inevitably follows the first sip. Feel free to mellow out the tartness level with some extra agave syrup for sweetness – but personally, I find the bite refreshing!

A pitcher full of cherry tequila goodness.

Cherry Margarita
Serves 6.

  • 10 ounces tequila blanco
  • 6 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces tart bottled cherry juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Fresh cherries (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well. Serve in chilled glasses over ice, with optional fresh cherries as a festive garnish.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Getting Experimental

I do believe I’ve found a new signature cocktail for fall, and I couldn’t be more excited to spread the word. Miss Mojito encountered this particular cocktail at Balliceaux, a Richmond restaurant with a truly creative menu. The charmingly-named Down the Rabbit Hole combines an unexpected mix of muddled blackberries, tequila, red wine, ginger liqueur and lime juice. The wine tempers the kick of the tequila, while the muddled fruit provides the perfect touch of sweetness. The end result is a ruby-red concoction that is as easy on the eyes as it is on the taste buds. Now it’s time to start experimenting with proportions. I’m thinking equal amounts of wine and tequila with a small handful of berries, a splash of ginger liqueur and the juice of half a lime.

As long as I’m experimenting with my cocktails, I figured it couldn’t hurt to do a bit of shoe experimentation, as well. And there’s no better way to experiment this fall than with one of the season’s most intriguing – but potentially most difficult to pull off – styles: the over-the-knee boot.

My top pick is by Frye, but I hate to shell out major cash for a shoe that qualifies as a trend. And the $500 Frye boot certainly qualifies as “major cash.” That’s why my top pick is this $120-pair by Naughty Monkey, available on Piperlime. I love the sculptural heel and slate gray color.

Miss Mojito wants to know: Is anyone else getting experimental with their shoes and cocktails this fall?

Cocktails for a cause

Ms. S&C likes to shop for a good cause — and drink for a good cause. And, you don’t have to twist her arm to get her to New York City to do so. When a good friend of hers announced she was co-chairing the first annual Food & Fotos event, to benefit Foundation Rwanda, Ms. S&C was thrilled to attend the event and support the cause.

A few facts:

  • Between April and June of 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days.
  • An estimated 20,000 children were born from rape during this genocide.
  • Due to the stigma associated with rape, these children and their mothers have been severely marginalized by their communities, live in extreme poverty and do not have the means to pay their children’s school fees.

Food & Fotos was an event to help sponsor secondary school education for these Rwandan children. And, it was outstanding. It featured tasting tables and signature dishes from 30 of New York City’s top restaurants, and there was an exhibition of portraits from Rwanda. A silent auction of culinary items and contemporary photographs was also held to raise funds. (In a last minute dash, Mr. and Ms. S&C snagged the “Taste of DC” item, so we get to look forward to a return trip to Restaurant Eve and visits to 1789 and Old Ebbitt Grill!)

Mr. S&C enjoyed the fine beers from Brooklyn Brewery, but Ms. S&C made tequila her drink of the night. 901 Silver Tequila was a sponsor of the event and offered several tasty cocktails. Yes, 901 is Justin Timberlake’s brand. (901 is the Memphis area code where he grew up, and is also representative of “the time of night when your evening is ending, but your night is just beginning,” says his spokesperson.)

The drink of the occasion? Tequila. The shoes? Polka dot peep-toes.
(sorry for the blurry pic, but it’s the only one I have of the shoes *and* dress)

The Valley Vista was my favorite cocktail of the night, even though a pesky bartender tried to steer me towards a less spicy, more fruity beverage. He thought I couldn’t handle the jalapeno, but Mr. S&C assured him that, despite my very colorful dress, I have a dark side. The La Senorita was an interesting cocktail. Wondering if the pineapple syrup was prepared with liquid smoke? It was a little like sucking on a wood chip (not necessarily a bad thing, particularly because the strong flavor makes it more of a sipping cocktail).

Valley Vista
ingredients:

  • 901 Silver Tequila
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Homemade grenadine
  • Cucumber
  • Jalapeno slice for garnish

La Senorita
ingredients:

  • 901 Silver Tequila
  • Smoked pineapple syrup
  • Fresh lime juice
  • 3-4 dashes of Tabasco
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Looking forward to making Food & Fotos an annual event!

posted by Ms. S&C

S&C Dinner Party: Nouveau Southwestern

The S&C family enjoy a good dinner party. We also enjoy cocktail parties,  holiday parties, a supper club, a book club, happy hours — pretty much any occasion when friends gather for a drink.

Sharing our so-called Nouveau Southwestern-style dinner party is actually long overdo. But, having fixed a batch of agave nectar margaritas over the weekend, Ms. S&C resurrected the blog post.

The Occasion: At last year’s Super Bowl party, friends LC (also known as Sister Mojito) & CA were the recipients of a door prize — Dinner with the S&C’s. Funny enough, this lucky couple also won the prize the year before.

The Menu: Typically, there is one ingredient or item that Ms. S&C likes to build a menu around. For this meal, pork belly was the inspiration. We called it nouveau because we used pork belly, agave, and because it sounds fancy. Southwestern because of accompanying ingredients of roasted corn, black beans and poblanos.

  • First course: Bacon wrapped shrimp with crispy basil
    Wrap bacon around shrimp, drop in a deep-fryer. Fry whole pieces of basil for a few seconds. Serve all on a plate garnished lightly with Sriracha hot chili sauce.
  • Second course: Southwestern-inspired chopped salad
    Prepare a salad of mixed greens, roasted corn, black beans, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno. Serve with a simple vinaigrette.
  • Main course: Pork belly, stuffed poblanos, refried black beans
    Pork belly cooked for hours, poblanos stuffed with all kinds of good southwestern ingredients, served atop refried beans.
  • Dessert course: Fried ice cream
    Cinnamon ice cream served alongside cinnamon and sugar-dusted deep-fried tortillas.

The Drink: Eager to get a handle on a much-talked about ingredient, agave nectar, Ms. S&C decided margaritas would be the featured cocktail.

margarita

Similar to honey, agave nectar is becoming the preferred sweetener of the health conscious and natural food cooks. Extracted from the blue agave plant, the nectar has a lower glycemic index than sugar but still the same sweetness. Glycemic index relates to that “sugar rush” you hear about, and foods with a high glycemic index raises blood sugar quickly. And why do you need to know this? Well, you may not, but Ms. S&C has loved ones with diabetes, so she tries to pay attention to these things. More on the health benefits of agave nectar.

Agave Nectar Margaritas

Margaritas are one of Ms. S&C’s favorite drinks. Both tart and sweet, they are super easy to make, require only a few ingredients, and the proportions are easy to remember. Because Ms. S&C has tried a few variations using agave nectar, she strongly recommends the following: 1. use tequila blanco (the white, silver, unaged tequila), 2. do not use salt in this version, 3. as always, use only fresh juice.

Ingredients (serves one):

  • 1 and 1/2 oz tequila blanco
  • 1 oz lime juice (approximately the juice of one lime)
  • 1/2 oz agave nectar
  • 1/2 oz water
  • crushed ice
  • lime wedge

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass filled with ice (crushed ice works best). Garnish with lime wedge.

posted by Ms. S&C

Unexpected Mixes

I do love a chance to sample a new cocktail menu, and last evening I did just that at a friend’s birthday celebration. Lemaire, the restaurant in the historic Jefferson Hotel, is something of a Richmond institution. But that institution recently received a facelift, complete with a posh new bar. Plenty of marble fills the space, along with modern glass chandeliers that look more like sleek lucite. It’s a chic and comfy spot for some post-work imbibing.

While I haven’t sampled the eats at Lemaire, I did partake in their delectable and creative cocktail menu. My pick was IMG_0888the new-to-me Lady Astor, which combines Patron Tequila, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, house-made grenadine, lime juice and agave. I was intrigued by the combo of tequila and bourbon, and the results were fairly delightful and even fruity. It takes its name from Nancy Langhorne Astor, who was the first lady elected to British parliament. According to the cocktail menu, “she was a complex lady, and we think this drink represents her well.” The mix of tequila and bourbon was certainly complex, but I might have a lighter hand on the sweet agave when I remake this cocktail at home.

I wore a pair of basic black booties for the evening’s festivities, but when I return I’ll go with something a bit more festive. And since the Lady Astor is an unexpected mix of bourbon and tequila, my pick is an unexpected mix, too. This fun print from Nine West does it for me: from a distance, the heel resembles a cheetah pattern while the toe looks a bit more floral. Call it complex or call it crazy, but I call it too cute.

pl581035-14viv01

Posted by Miss Mojito.

The brothers Voltaggio

The second episode of Top Chef was typical Vegas – dice rolling, shots, bachelor and bachelorette parties. They even threw in a battle of the sexes. Though the episode focused on men vs. women, it looks like the season is shaping up to be Voltaggio vs. Voltaggio.

TC-ep2Todd English appears the second episode of Top Chef as a guest judge

The show started with the Quickfire Challenge, where the cheftestants rolled the dice and had to create a dish with the same number of ingredients (as shown on the dice). Michael V won with a nitro [liquid nitrogen] gazpacho, compressed cucumbers and toast point.

Both Voltaggio bros end up preparing the top two dishes of the Elimination Challenge. In the Elimination Challenge, it was men vs. women, and the chefs created dishes for a joint bachelor/bachelorette party, with the food complementing one of three shots: the Moscow Mule, tequila, and something called the Golden Delicious (which one chef described as sweet, gooey, and disgusting).

Michael V reworked the ingredients (fresh ingredients, of course) from the Golden Delicious, and made an apple and ginger sorbet with a goat cheese cookie. The judges loved it, but his big bro Bryan V won with his sweet and sour macaroon, filled with guacamole, corn nuts and corn puree, which he paired with tequila. His dish was a modern version of the all-time favorite Mexican appetizer — chips and guacamole.

TC-macBryan Voltaggio’s sweet and sour macaroon, with guacamole
and corn puree, paired with tequila

For the drink pairing, S&C is hot-to-trot over tequila lately. Recent blog posts have highlighted watermelon margaritas and a modified cantarito. We’ve also shared recipes for cranberry margaritas, the pink panther, and a Q-cumber fizz. Using the categories on the right-hand side, you can search for all blog posts featuring tequila.

Because Ms. S&C recently drank a great Paloma at Bar Pilar in DC, she’ll share a new tequila drink, to go with Bryan’s macaroon (otherwise, she may have picked Miss Mojito’s cantarito). The traditional Paloma drink is made with grapefruit soda (same as the one at Bar Pilar — and similar to the cantarito), but the below recipe uses freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice and club soda, to add fizz. It was featured in a great article on tequila, from the Washington Post’s spirits columnist, which was recapped by S&C last year.

Paloma
serves one

Ingredients: paloma_wapo

  • Ice
  • 2 ounces blanco or silver tequila
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • Sea salt, to rim the glass
  • 1 lime wheel, for garnish
  • Club soda

Directions:

Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice and add the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave nectar. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled collins glass rimmed with sea salt. Garnish with the lime wheel and top with a splash of club soda.

Recipe Source: The Washington Post, from Apothecary in Philadelphia. Photo: Julia Ewan for The Washington Post.

posted by Ms. S&C