I don’t know about you, but I’m not much of one for sweet cocktails. Well sweet anything other than dispositions, really. Having said that, I do believe that the most perfect sweet concoction in the cocktail world is the Margarita. Especially, perversely perhaps, during the cold months.
During my first trip to Vail, CO. many moons ago, I was astounded by the skiing, naturally. Stopping where you want to stop without sliding 25 or 30 feet on a sheet of ice? Turning on a dime? Floating on powder in a back bowl? Sign me up.
But the thing that really made an impression was at the foot of the mountain. After a blissfully long, easy run down, I was able to ski right up to a Mexican restaurant, pop my bindings and step onto a sun deck with a table waiting. Nachos and a Margarita seconds off the slope. That was living.
It took me a while to perfect my Maragrita. Nothing was going to match the one of memory after four hours of skiing in the perfect Colorado sunshine. But years later, I’ve come up with a reliable substitute. And here’s the best part… it makes a wonderful marinade for grilled fish or chicken.
The Easy and Elegant Margarita & Marinade
For the Cook:
1 jigger of tequila
1 shot of Triple Sec (Cointreau or Grand Marnier for the upmarket version)
3/4 shot of Key Lime juice (available at my Kroger supermarket, or substitute lemon juice, fresh squeezed)
1/2 shot of orange juice.
Salted rim of the glass is optional.
Combine all ingredients over ice and shake like a maraca for 30 seconds.
For the main course:
To make the drink into the marinade you may add a splash of olive oil, a few dashes of cumin and salt, and some chopped fresh cilantro. Let it work on the main course for about 30 minutes before grilling. Serve with rice and beans and a Caesar salad.