Everybody loves Margaritas, so celebrate Margarita Day on Feb 22nd!

Monday is officially Margarita Day, so the folks at 1800 Tequila have hit up some of the country’s leading bars to get the take on this all time tequila classic.

Jimmy Burchett – LOVER, Melbourne

Margaritas keep popping up on favourite lists for bartenders and consumers – what makes them so special?
What’s not to like? Salt? Good. Refreshing? Good. Whack of agave? Hell yes! I think the fact that anyone from your mom to your local pastor can make ’em is a winner.

Where were you when you had the best Margarita you have ever drunk?
Floating in the infinity pool at the Four Seasons in Bali. It was definitely more about the surroundings for that one. Nothing beats cocktails with a view and not a care in the world.

What effect does the different Tequila style (silver/repo/añejo) have on the flavour profile of your drink?
I have always thought that Reposado has more of a savoury peppered flavour and a waxy mouthfeel which adds to the complexity of the sweet-savoury style of this drink.

Explain your twist – how did you come up with it
This is a cheeky twist on the Tommy’s Margarita. Something you can sit and appreciate for half an hour at the bar and remember the next day. The merlot salt is obviously the first thing that hits your palate which just opens you up for some refreshing honeydew and peach. Because both fruits have been lacto-fermented and acidulated it adds to the complex balance of the drink. The 1800 Reposado and agave syrup bonding with the clarified tomato water gives you a savoury and slightly smoky element to bounce off the fruitier elements. The finish is a smoked peach with notes of cassia bark. The drink itself looks basic but looks can be deceiving.

Frozen, Tommy’s or Classic, what is your go-to and why?
Tommy’s. No nonsense, straight to the point.

It’s week 27 of lockdown, you’ve used up every ounce of creativity you once had mixing drinks at home, you decide you really want a margarita but you’re missing triple sec and fresh limes, what ridiculous kitchen ingredients are you going to use because ‘they will do’?
Blend up a Lime Splice with some orange sherbet and a splash of fresh OJ with your 1800 Silver Tequila. Make a margarita thick shake.

 Tommy's On Acid
60ml 1800 Reposado Tequila
5ml Peated Whisky
30ml Lacto-ferment Peach
20ml Acidulated Cold Pressed Honeydew Juice
20ml Agave Nectar
15ml Clarified Tomato Water
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and 
dump into a chilled, merlot salt rimmed rocks glass.

Damien Kos – The 18th Amendment Bar, Geelong

Margaritas keep popping up on favourite lists for bartenders and consumers – what makes them so special?

From a bartender’s point of view, it’s an easy drink to remember, all the ingredients will be close by and you have a chance to have some nice banter to the customer regarding different types of orange liqueur or ages of Tequila. From a customer’s point of view, they know what they are going to get. It’s also a great all-year-round drink, we love them in summer, and they’ve got a great palate weight for winter too.

Where were you when you had the best Margarita you have ever drunk?

The Black Pearl, circa 2014, it was a combination of: The Vibe, The Cocktail and Lewis Hall’s fabulous sideburns.

What effect does the different Tequila style (silver/repo/añejo) have on the flavour profile of your drink?

For mine I wanted to keep the drink light, zesty with hints of peppery spice coming through. So the 1800 Silver is absolutely perfect at highlighting those notes while still promoting the Tequila flavour.

What’s your favourite way to drink a margarita?

In recent times the team at the 18th Amendment Bar have perfected ratios for pre-batching and freezing blended drinks. Ever since then my go-to is definitely a blended Margarita with a heavy rim of Tajin (Chilli Lime Seasoning).

Explain your twist – how did you come up with it?

My twists always seem to be simple – take one or two ingredients and change them slightly. For this drink I have swapped out the orange liqueur for a house made, lacto-fermented pepper and grapefruit liqueur, as well as adding two dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters for some depth.

Frozen, Tommy’s or Classic, what is your go-to and why?

At the moment, it’s frozen. But Tommy’s was a long-time favourite before that! The drink has more complexity, and the ice aids in slowing me down – otherwise they go down too easy.

It’s week 27 of lockdown, you’ve used up every ounce of creativity you once had mixing drinks at home, you decide you really want a margarita but you’re missing triple sec and fresh limes, what ridiculous kitchen ingredients are you going to use because ‘they will do’?
I would replace the triple sec with sugar syrup infused with any herb/spice that’s lying around and then any sort of juice that’s still lingering… thinking 1800 Añejo Tequila, Cinnamon Syrup and OJ would actually be delicious….

Funkarita
45ml 1800 Silver Tequila
30ml Lacto Pepper & Grapefruit Liqueur
30ml Lime
20ml Sugar Syrup
2 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
1 pinch salt
60ml Water
Method: In small zip lock bag, mix 20ml of the Tequila 
with all other ingredients. Seal and place flat in freezer, 
once frozen solid, remove and place into blender 
with remaining 20ml of Tequila. 
Blend until smooth and 
serve in a coupette with a grapefruit twist.

Hayley Dixon – Tequila Specialist, Proximo Spirits

Margaritas keep popping up on favourite lists for bartenders and consumers – what makes them so special?
First and foremost is the simplicity. We are hearing it over and over again: cocktails need to be simple, yet delicious. A Margarita just ticks every box in the great drink category. There is also a time and place for every drink, a certain energy that attaches itself to each cocktail. As a bartender, when someone orders a Margarita, you just think, ‘hell yeah, that’s a fun cocktail’. It’s almost the cocktail embodiment of fun. Bartenders enjoy making them, even more so, we enjoy drinking them, and I think they just have this energy that can lift the mood in any venue.

Where were you when you had the best Margarita you have ever drunk?
I don’t even need to think twice about this. Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco. It was the whole experience. By chance we ended up there on World Margarita Day, the legend himself, Julio, was behind the bar and the most incredible host. For anyone who hasn’t been, nothing they do there is ground-breaking: they chuck Tequila, lime and agave into a large jug, shake it for 3 seconds and dump it into a rocks glass. And it’s perfect every time.

Tell us about the first time you ever drank Tequila?
It was me and a group of friends in my hometown Port Macquarie. We all bought sombreros, ponchos and a bottle of Tequila and headed down to the beach at night to have a bonfire. It took all of about one hour to start absolutely pouring down rain. Luckily none of us cared, and we stayed there for hours, just sitting in the rain and drinking Tequila.

Explain your twist – how did you come up with it?
I have seen a few venues doing a cocktail inspired by the famous Weis Bar (shout out to Byrdi here in Melbourne who do a bangin’ little number). I wanted to see if I could create something Tequila-based, that still somewhat resembled a margarita, but tasted like the iconic Mango & Macadamia Weis Bar. Turns out, it can be done, and it is very delicious. That is probably my favourite thing about getting to work with 1800 Tequila. The entire range is so unique from each other, there is always a Tequila to suit one of my ridiculous ideas.

Frozen, Tommy’s or Classic, what is your go-to and why?
It is like having to choose a favourite child. You shouldn’t, but you will anyway. I think in terms of flavour and complexity – with its perfect balance of sweet, to sour to dry – it has to be the classic.
But I think the ultimate accessory to a good time is the frozen, who can say no to one of those on a warm day at a party? That said, I think we all know who really is the number one overall: The Tommy’s. It does both of those things, with the added bonus of being just three ingredients.

It’s week 27 of lockdown, you’ve used up every ounce of creativity you once had mixing drinks at home, you decide you really want a margarita but you’re missing triple sec and fresh limes, what ridiculous kitchen ingredients are you going to use because ‘they will do’?
I think it would have literally been around week 27 in lockdown that I actually did this, and I have zero regrets. I definitely made a cocktail using BCAAs [that’s Branched Chain Amino Acids for the non-gym-junkies among us] – the brand kind of bought it on themselves by saying one of their flavours was ‘Strawberry Daiquiri’. My BCAAs are currently pineapple flavoured and I would be lying if I said I don’t want to use it to make a pineapple margarita with a little bit of marmalade and honey syrup.

Two To Mango
40ml 1800 Coconut Tequila
10ml Amontillado Sherry
20ml Roasted Macadamia & Almond Syrup
25ml Lime Juice
Fresh Mango Cheek
Method: Muddle mango lightly with syrup, 
then add remaining ingredients. 
Hard shake, double strain into frozen coupe. 
Top with a thin layer of sweetened cream* and a pinch of salt. 
*Sweetened cream is made by adding 3 sugar cubes 
to 200ml thickened cream. 
Hard shake until light and fluffy.

 

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