I drink rarely. Let me tell you why.
Fact one: Tastewise, alcohol doesn’t work for me. When it comes to wine, I like two, maybe three wine varieties and they’re all sweet. I have been told that the taste isn’t the point of the alcohol, but it is for me. I have also been told that the fact that someone like me lives so close to Napa and Sonoma is a terrible waste, but that’s what it is. I will never drink most hard liquor for the same reason.
Fact two: Alcohol does not like me either. I will throw up with any beer – am allergic to hops. Yeah, that’s what a doctor with a panel test and clown specs that made it hard to believe him told me. One time I tried this Hungarian drink called Unicum at a friend’s place and by tried, I mean a two tablespoon shot. I broke out in hives the next day and couldn’t shake the reaction for six months. Which is why I was at that doctors’ with the panel test. Bourbon will give me shooting pains in my ears. Clown specs doctor is working on figuring that one out.
To sum it up, there are about three to four liqueurs, two to three wines and a couple of other alcoholic drinks that I can safely consume without my palate or my constitution paying for it. I stick to those and am very wary of branching out, but find it infinitely easier to avoid drinking altogether.
Today is Cinco de Mayo. There is a multitude of parties and everywhere there’s a flurry of chips, salsa and of course, the ubiquitous margarita. Never has there been a holiday that was about something else but has become a reason to try out the food and (especially) the drink of a nation. The tequila flows freely and tons of margaritas are made everywhere. And the kid in me who loves chemistry and pretty colours uses it as a reason to mix up a very adult margarita.
Cinco de Mayo translates into 5th of May and is celebrated all over the US as a major Mexican holiday. Several people even consider it to be Mexico’s Independence Day. This isn’t really true. Mexico celebrates its Independence Day on September 16. As I understand it from native Mexicans, the 5th of May is a minor holiday, celebrated more in some parts of their country than others. But somehow this day is celebrated with much more gusto in various other parts of the world. Maybe this is because it identifies so well with the upcoming summer and shedding of winter. I would tend to agree with this point of view because frankly, I can think of no alcoholic beverage that tastes more of summer than a margarita. And as for me and reactions, this one’s a hit or miss. I may end up rubbing my ears endlessly after a couple of sips or it may have no effect at all. (Erm, there are labs in surrounding colleges making me the subject of their research already.)
This year we had a couple of friends over for an early party over the weekend. I thought of making the ‘ritas two ways. One sweet and the classic lime margarita. For the sweet one, I used the juice of a rather sweet organic navel orange and rimmed the glass with sugar, instead of salt. The classic lime margarita recipe I used was one from Rick Bayless via the Food Network. For the Orangita, it was a bit of a mixer-upper.
Frozen Orange Margarita
Makes 1 glass
1 oz tequila (I used Sauza Gold)
1/2 oz orange liqueur
4 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
3 cubes of frozen orange juice ice cubes
3 ice cubes
Long strip of orange zest and orange wedge for garnish
Sugar to rim the glass
– To prepare the glass, rub the rim with a wedge of orange and dip into the sugar to rim the glass.
– Put all of the above ingredients, except the last two, in a blender and whizz it until everything achieves a slushy, but not liquid, consistency.
– Pour into the prepared glass. Place garnish in glass as desired and place the wedge of orange on the glass rim and serve.
I used bottled orange juice to make the ice cubes. This was the first time I tried something like this and I liked it. I’m sure just ice cubes will work too. Just up the amount of fresh juice a little bit. Or use orange sorbet instead. The alcohol played a supporting role as I like it to and you could really taste the orange. This might be too sweet for people who love the tart margarita but its a good alternative regardless. It goes well served next to some tortilla chips and this guacamole. Also this quesadilla. And as good as any reason to celebrate. Happy 5 de Mayo!!