The El Jimador Texas Margarita Trail event and how to make a true Margarita

Sometimes you can keep it simple!
The real deal Margarita: el Jimador tequila, triple sec, lime, agave

El Jimador Tequila and the Houston Press searched throughout Houston looking for the best Margarita in town. And they threw a party to celebrate it.

A huge, kick-ass party.

With lots of tequila.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThe Texas Margarita Trail finale happened on May 3, 2016 at Winter Street Studios in Houston, and there were five featured margaritas. Each one was different, but they all featured el Jimador tequila and some even held the lime.

How make a traditional Margarita

But first, let’s make a real Margarita. A traditional Margarita with four ingredients: tequila, lime, triple sec, agave syrup.

All you have to do is combine the four. Me, I like the following proportions:

  • 1 1/2 oz blanco tequila (el Jimador is a great choice)
  • 1 oz triple sec (you can use Cointreau, but I think the choice of triple sec doesn’t matter that much)
  • 3/4 oz lime
  • 1/4 oz agave syrup

Build in a glass with ice that has a salted rim.

Beautiful.

But sometimes you want something different. That’s why El Jimador went on their quest.

The Jolly Jimador from El Big Bad

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetFirst, there was the Jolly Jimador from El Big Bad, a tequila bar and restaurant in downtown Houston that has a tequila elevator with all of their infused tequilas on display. I admit I have never been there, but I want to take a ride on that elevator pretty badly.

The Jolly Jimador, created by Zachary McClendo, included

  • 1 1/2 oz El Jimador Reposado
  • 1/2 oz fresh strawberry puree
  • 1/4 oz agave nectar
  • topped with ginger beer

It was good. The ginger didn’t come through that strongly, for it was just a splash of it, but it gave it a different texture from the rest, more of an effervescence.

The Jim Jim Miel from La Grange

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetMatt Ainsworth from La Grange restaurant in Montrose featured ginger and vanilla bean in his take on the Margarita:

  • 1 1/2 oz El Jimador Silver Tequila
  • 1 oz lime
  • 1/2 oz raw honey
  • 2 slices muddled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • splash of apple cider

Tasty. I hoped the vanilla bean would be stronger, but all of the flavors came together nicely.

The Tuscan Sun from Batanga

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Anthony Taye of Batanga in downtown Houston made a traditional Margarita but then included a bit of bitters and some wine:

 

  • 1 1/2 oz El Jimador Silver
  • 1/2 oz lemon
  • splash of simple syrup
  • dash of Angostura bitters
  • layered with birbet (a red, sweet, sparkling wine)

In the little taste I had, I couldn’t place the wine or the bitters, though. I think this is a drink that has to be experienced in the larger quantity. Otherwise, the nuances get lost.

The Flor de Menta Margarita from Pistoleros

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Joel Luna’s For de Menta Margarita was one of my favorites. Luna is from Pistolero’s in Montrose, and, while I’ve never been there, I really want to go after trying his Flor de Menta. If all of their drinks are this good, we should meet there for happy hour.

 

To make one, combine

  • 1 1/2 oz El Jimador SilverProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 2 dashes peach bitters
  • muddled mint
  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • fill with sour (lime and syrup)
  • float hibiscus liqueur on top

It was the hibiscus and the peach that made this one stand out.

Mango Habanero Margarita from La Fisheria

Steven Rodriquez-Ferreira’s Mango Habanero Margarita was the night’s winner. Of La Fisheria retaurant in downtown Houston, Rodriquez-Ferreira combined everyone’s two favorite things: fruit and spice. Man, they worked perfectly together. I would drink this thing all night.

To make your own:

  • muddle cucumber, cherry, and habanero
  • 1 1/2 oz El Jimador
  • 1 oz mango puree
  • 1/2 oz tamarindo juice
  • splash of lime
  • 1/2 oz orange liqueur

I wouldn’t hesitate to try each of these at the restaurants themselves. Let’s just hope they include them on their menus.

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