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6 Tips for a Better Margarita

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Chances are, you’ll be throwing back a margarita or two once the clock strikes 5 p.m. (Or maybe even earlier—we’re not judging!) We asked Estaban Ordonez, a consultant at International Cocktail Group and Manhattan’s Church Street Tavern, for a few tips that will help you take your margaritas to the next level—all summer long.

1. MAKE SURE YOU’RE ADDING ENOUGH—BUT NOT TOO MUCH—OF YOUR INGREDIENTS.

The most common mistake people make when mixing a margarita is adding way too much lime juice. “Generally, everyone says equal parts tequila and lime,” Ordonez says. Instead, here's his fool-proof recipe for a traditional margarita:

2 oz tequila (Ordonez prefers Patron Silver)
1 oz fresh lime juice.
.50 oz simple syrup.
.50 oz triple sec (Ordonez recommends Citronge Orange liqueur)

And his recipe for “frozen perfection”:

2 oz Patron silver
1.5 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
.50 oz Citronge
1 1/2 cup of ice

To get accurate measurements, use a jigger or an ounce measuring cup, and make sure you have a good cocktail shaker or blender on hand to mix everything up.

2. MAKE SURE YOU SHAKE, NOT STIR, YOUR MARGARITA.

You always want to shake any drink that contains citrus and fruit juices, Ordonez says. Shaking with ice not only chills the drink and blends the ingredients completely, it also introduces the tiny air bubbles that give a margarita its cloudy, frothy, and delicious appearance.

3. AVOID CONCENTRATE AND CHEAP TEQUILA.

“Your cocktail can only be as good as the worst of its ingredients,” Ordonez says, so lime concentrate and cheap tequila are a no-no. When it comes to choosing which type of tequila to use, “the best tequila for a margarita should be a silver/blanco, as the natural agave flavor and the true tequila taste are those of the un-aged spirit,” Ordonez says. He recommends looking for the same qualities you enjoy in a sipping or shooting tequila when picking your margarita tequila. “Remember, I might like soccer while you prefer football,” he says. “It’s all a matter of taste.”

4. USE THE RIGHT ICE AND LIMES.

According to Ordonez, what you’ve got in your freezer is “as good as it gets” for your margarita. If you’re not near your freezer, though, you should look for big, solid ice cubes and avoid crushed or hollow ice. When picking limes, “look for soft, shiny skin,” Ordonez says. “A light rub should reveal a rich citrus aroma.”

5. REGULAR SALT IS FINE, BUT YOU CAN ALSO KICK IT UP A NOTCH.

Ordonez prefers medium coarse sea salt, but what you choose for your margarita should depend on your flavor preference. Here’s his go-to salt recipe:

1 tbs granulated sugar
1/2 tbs crushed pink peppercorns
Half cup medium coarse sea salt
All mixed together thoroughly

6. GET CREATIVE.

Because margaritas are very easy to make, and also very versatile, “you can pretty much go to town” with inventive ingredients, Ordonez says. Among his favorite things to add to his margaritas are kiwis, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapefruit, jalapeños, cilantro, avocados, and pineapples (both raw and grilled).

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Richard Brendon
This $56 Glass Is Perfectly Suited to All Styles of Wine
Richard Brendon
Richard Brendon

People who take their wine seriously tend to own different glasses for different types of wine. Decor website Home Stratosphere, for instance, identified 18 wine glasses—each shaped differently to complement the unique flavors and fragrances of a Bordeaux, a Burgundy, and other kinds of red, white, and dessert wines.

If you don’t want to spare the expense or the cupboard space for all those glasses, you may want to check out Richard Brendon’s $56 wine glass, which is said to be suited to all types of wine. As spotted by Fast Company, the “1 Wine Glass” is the result of a collaboration between Brendon, a London-based product designer, and wine critic Jancis Robinson.

Robinson said that when Brendon asked her to help design a range of wine glasses, she was “insistent” that they design one single glass. “I love white wine as much as red and have never understood why white wine glasses are routinely smaller than those designed for red wine,” Robinson said in a statement, adding that white wines can be just as complex as reds. “It just seems so obvious and sensible to have one single wine glass for all three colors of wine—especially when so many of us are short of storage space.”

To get it just right, they toiled with the thinness of the glass, the length of the stem, the curvature, the opening, and the overall practicality (Robinson said it had to be dishwasher safe, and indeed, the finished result is). The result is a 125ml handcrafted glass that can be used for all types of wine, including champagne, port, and sherry. The duo also designed a stemless water glass and two decanters. The items can be purchased on Richard Brendon's website.

[h/t Fast Company]

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A European C02 Shortage Has Led to Beer Rationing in the UK—in the Middle of the World Cup
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iStock

An international shortage of food-grade carbon dioxide is posing a significant threat to summer fun this year—including for soccer fans headed to bars to watch the World Cup. The lack of bubbles affects beer, cider, and soda makers, and as a result, a UK wholesaler just started rationing drink supplies, according to CNBC.

The wholesaler, Booker, supplies bars, restaurants, and stores, but it's currently rationing its customers to 10 cases of beer and five cases of cider or soft drinks each. Heineken has also warned that shortages of Amstel and John Smith's beers are coming, and Coca-Cola was forced to temporarily pause production of some of its sodas.

The shortage of CO2 is the result of closures at several gas-producing plants in Europe. A number of ammonia plants and bioethanol plants—both of which provide food-grade CO2—shut down for planned repair work this summer. Their shutdowns just happened to coincide with the season of the year when everyone wants to either be outside with a refreshing fizzy drink or downing beers at a sports bar watching the World Cup. (That's particularly true in the UK, where fans will gather to watch England play Colombia on July 3.)

Fortunately, the situation should eventually repair itself, putting cold beers back in the hands of anyone who wants one.

"We'd like to reassure beer drinkers that all our breweries are operating at full capacity, and we're working 24/7 to get beers to our customers as quickly as possible," a Heineken spokeswoman said in a statement this week, according to the BBC.

[h/t CNBC]

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