The Best Cinco De Mayo Yet
Our Cinco De Mayo plans are looking a little like this: a block printed blanket in the backyard, topped with trays of tacos, pitchers of fresh margaritas, and Rodrigo & Gabriela blasting through the outdoor speakers. To prep we dialed Nicole Quist, bartaco's Beverage Director, for a cocktail creating zoom party. Nicole and her team helped us put together an al fresco fiesta for the books. On the menu—bartaco’s famous margarita, a limeade for the kids, takeout tacos, rice bowls, plenty of guacamole and a-chic-as-can-be picnic in the backyard.
Nicole’s Tip: “Make it an event - whether it’s crafts for the kids or a fun aguas fresca recipe you can make together, cinco has so much fun to offer.”
Before we dial in our take-out taco order and begin prepping the fresh juices we are creating a colorful wardrobe for a night of at-home celebrating. As one of our favorite stylists, The Nat Note, said “ Tacos & tequila should be a weekly staple but if you need convincing- it is Cinco De Mayo this week”.
Here’s what we’re mixing and wearing:
Nicole’s Guide to the Perfect bartaco Margarita:
Take the time to fresh squeeze that lime juice! Use a hand lemon-lime juicer.
Your bartaco margarita ratio should be 1.5 parts each tequila + fresh lime, 1 part orange liqueur, 0.25 part agave syrup.a
If you don’t have access to orange liqueur (we love Combier l’original), I like to double the agave for balanced sweetness + add 0.25 part fresh orange juice for those orange citrus notes. + then just up your tequila to 2.25 parts. You want a good amount of booze in your margarita, to hold its own with bold flavors + high acid food, like our tacos.
If you don’t have agave syrup, you can make a simple syrup with equal parts sugar + hot water, chill. Sub .5 parts simple syrup for .25 parts agave in your margarita.
Fresh ingredients also keep the margarita balanced, so it’s not overly sweet.
Lastly, give your margarita a hard shake with ice. I’ve been known to use a mason jar at the beach when I can’t find a cocktail shaker. If you’re making multiples, shake max 2 drinks at a time, for that perfect ice dilution.
INGREDIENTS – with exact measurements
▪ 1 ½ oz. Libélula Joven
▪ 1 oz. triple sec
▪ 1 ½ oz. lime juice
▪ ½ oz. Agave Simple Syrup
▪ Salt for rim (upon request)
STEPS OF PREPARATION
1. Add all measured ingredients. Fill shaker with ice
2. Shake very well
3. Rim a rocks glass well with salt (if requested). Fill with Ice
4. Strain into glass
2 ½ oz. fresh lime
2 oz. agave simple syrup
1 ½ oz. water
STEPS OF PREPARATION
1.Given a hard shake with ice
2.Strain over fresh ice
Mixing Up Prints and Patterns
Bonus: Nicole’s Top 6 Tips for Making Cocktails at Home
1. Work with what you’ve got. I keep my kitchen stocked with lots of fresh citrus - blood oranges when in season, cara caras right now, lemons, and lots of fresh limes. Squeeze your citrus in the moment for a fresh cocktail.
2. Have agave or simple syrup on hand prepped in advance, so you can spend more time enjoying your cocktails + being present w family (or on zoom) + less time prepping.
3. Keep your mixers cold, i.e. tonic water. A warm mixer will melt your ice faster and over-dilute your mixed drinks.
4. Remember that citrus? A peel goes a long way to brighten or freshen up a stirred or on the rocks cocktail, i.e. in a negroni or rye manhattan.
5. For margaritas I recommend a blanco tequila or a reposado (rested) that has not been aged very long. I want to taste the vegetal notes of the tequila in a margarita -- it just really complements the fresh lime + agave. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great añejo tequila; I just prefer to sip + savor it, not drink it in my margarita. Remember 100% agave tequilas -- no “mixtos” which can actually have up to 49% of its sugar from other sources than the agave plant. This just isn’t traditional or as high quality. Pure tequilas do not have to be expensive. For a mezcalita (or mezcal margarita), same rules apply, look for 100% maguey on the label.
6. I love bitters for adding a BIG punch of bold flavor without adding a lot of liquid volume to a cocktail, while maintaining balance. Start small with 1 to 2 dashes like you would with a pinch of salt in cooking.
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