|Now to do so, we will need a pound of large, ripe tomatoes, that's what our heirlooms are for. Just cut them into, say, eight pieces, and place in a large, clean glass jar, and top with 750 ml of 80 proof vodka. And again, this is definitely the $25 variety. There, now seal that up tight for five to seven days stirring the ingredients at least once a day.||
1 Pound Ripe Tomatoes
750 ml Bottle 80 Proof Vodka
Then, after a week, remove the lid, and strain through a fine mesh. Then just discard the solids and return the vodka to its bottle. Keep in a cool, dry place and enjoy, neat. Sometimes I add a couple of drops of hot sauce and just call it a day; but we've got a Bloody Mary to make; so, onto the base.
|All right, into your blender carafe go the tomatoes and they should fit into most residential and commercial models. To that, we add two teaspoons of the hot sauce of your choice, three teaspoons of lemon juice. And yes, this needs to be freshly squeezed so that the acidity will properly balance the fruit with the booze. Next, we will go with two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.||
1¾ Pounds Cheery Tomatoes
2 tsp. Hot Sauce
3 tsp. Freshly Squeezed
2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
Pete used it back in 1921, and it's still on the standard parts list today. Why? Well, it's salty for one thing, and tomatoes need that, but three of the ingredients inside Worcestershire—soy sauce, anchovies and tamarind—contain glutamates which highlight the savory aspects of the tomatoes. Foodies refer to this as umami, which is Japanese for "deliciousness." Works just like good, old-fashioned MSG, and it will add a meaty goodness to the cocktail. Of course, I prefer homemade, but that'll have to wait for another show.
|Last but not least one half teaspoon of kosher salt. The lid goes on and we blend on high for 1 ½ minutes. I should mention that all alone this makes a pretty fabulous tomato juice that'll keep in the fridge for up to a month.||½ tsp. Kosher Salt|
|Now when it comes time to construct the drink, I like a tall Collins glass. It holds plenty of liquid but it's narrow, so when you turn it up to get at the ice cubes, they won't fall in your face.||
Collins glass can turn
|Speaking of ice cubes, I make mine out of the Bloody Mary mix itself; three cubes will do the trick. Dump just a jigger; that’s an ounce and a half of our tomato vodka and then top that off with the Bloody Mary mix stir, if you want, or you don't have to.||
1½ Ounces Tomato Vodka
4 Ounces Bloody Mary Mix
As for garnishes, well, we don't need no stinking garnishes. It's a delicious
drink, but one of the things I really love about it is that once the beverage is
gone, you still get to crunch on all those delicious tomatoey ice cubes.
AB: Here you go, Pete.
P: [tastes] Pas mal. [All right.]
Dang tootin' it's pas mal.
Now it should be noted that alcohol anthropologists credit Harry's bar with creating yet another cocktail a decade later built upon brandy orange liqueur and lemon juice. Dubbed "the sidecar," it became the poster drink for an entire class of citrus-based drinks referred to as "sours." And the sidecar is first cousin to the margarita. Ironic, don't you think?
The most famous member of the sour family is the “Whiskey Sour” made
with whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a maraschino cherry.
GUESTS: Mexican Barkeep
Although they are both classic fruit-based cocktail, the Bloody Mary and the
margarita could not be more different. In the bloody Mary, vodka—more phantom
than spirit—plays silent partner to the crimson nightshade. But everything in a
margarita, a good one at least, serves the tequila. And whereas vodka can be
made anywhere from anything, as long as it's thoroughly distilled and filtered,
tequila is one of the most jealously guarded and regulated varietal products on
the planet. It is also one of the most misunderstood. Now I would love to go on
for hours about this mysterious spirit, but we're a little pressed for time.
So here are the top four things you simply must know about tequila. One, tequila is made from the blue agave plant, not a cactus. Now when the agave's about a dozen years old, which is considerably larger than this, they are dug out by hand, the spikes are removed to reveal the heart, which looks so much like a pineapple, they actually call it a piña. Yes, that was an actual pineapple, sorry about that.
Number two, tequila, like champagne and Vidalia onions, can only legally be called tequila if it is produced in very specific areas, Including the states of Jalisco, and limited regions of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Any agave-based spirit made outside these areas are called mezcal.
Tequila fact number three. There are actually two different categories of tequila. There is 100 percent agave tequila and then there are mixto tequilas, which, by law, only have to contain 51 percent agave, the other 49 percent of which can be, well, we call it headache in a bottle.
Now it's worth noting that the number-one selling tequila in the United States—very popular with the college kids—is in fact a mixto, which is mistaken as the good stuff, because it usually has the word "gold" associated with it because of the caramel coloring. Now the really good stuff, the 100 percent agave, does cost more than the gold stuff. But it doesn't really cost you an entire bucket of money, it's just we already had the props and the wardrobe rented, so there you go. That's the good stuff.
|Four: within the 100 percent agave territory, there are several classifications, alright? Blanco or white tequila is often called silver. It's crystal clear, like vodka, and straight from the still. The flavor is pure agave, which is floral, spicy, even a little fruity.||
Blanco or White Tequila
|If the tequila is stored in oak barrels for at least two months but not more than 11 months and 30 days, it is labeled Reposado, or rested. The pale gold is from the wood, which also lends a subtle smokiness.||
Tequila aged in oak barrels from 2 months to 11 months & 30 days is labeled Reposado
|Now as the aging continues for between one to one day short of three years, the tequila is Añejo, "aged". And the woodiness and smoky flavors resemble those of other spirits that are aged similarly, such as scotch whiskey, and of course, bourbon.||
Tequila aged from 1 year to 2 years 11 months & 30 days is Añejo or "aged".
|Then we have extra Añejo. As they are very, very dark, due to spending more than three years in wood, and these are really expensive tequilas, which should be sipped and savored the way you would enjoy a fine cognac. Otherwise you're going to miss out on the subtleties, and that's the real word here.||
Extra Añejo is aged for 3 years or more in wood.
|I keep 100 percent agave silver, or white tequila, around for all my mixing needs, including, of course, the margarita.||
100% Agave Silver or white tequila is great for mixing, especially margaritas
Now, many have laid claim to the creation of the first margarita. But whoever
did the making, I'm willing to bet five to one it went down just like this,
Now imagine, one night in the mid '30s, some spiffy gringo swells were whooping it up in a hot night club, maybe in Tijuana or Juarez or Monterrey, and one of them turns to the barkeep and says, ...
GRINGO: "we'll have two sidecars."
MEXICAN BARKEEP: Como? [What?]
G: Two sidecars.
MB: Si. [Yes.]
The barkeep turns and he grabs the orange liqueur, right? But then he reaches for the
brandy, the key ingredient, and ooh, he's just about out. Now the bartender—who
looks like Pete, but isn't actually Pete—sizes up the customers and figures
they'll never notice if he switches it out for something else, maybe tequila. Yeah.
And he's got plenty of tequila right there, and it's nice and cheap to
boot. Of course, on top of that, he'll also need some lemon juice. Oh, he's out
of that, so he reaches for the lime. Necessity is the mother of invention. He
shakes it up and he pours it down and of course, the customers drink them down
without ever noticing that they were actually consuming the first margaritas on
earth. Good job, barkeep.
And that's how I just know it happened. The reason I know is that if the margarita had been built from scratch; and well I know I'm about to commit beverage heresy here, but, if it had been designed from scratch, the orange liqueur would never have been in the glass in the first place. And so, I say to those of you at home, unless you really like drinking orange liqueur, or sidecars, just skip it all together, and spend the money on better tequila and a little bit of agave nectar.
Agave nectar is produced by extracting the sap from the
“pina” or core of a mature agave.
Here comes the margarita hardware.
1 Tbs. Kosher Salt
½ Ounce 100% Blue Agave
Now take the cocktail glass, invert, and dip into the tequila thusly. Now just
count to ten. Because it evaporates faster than water and is just a little bit
on the sticky side, tequila will provide a better, well primer, if you will, for
the salt to come.
Time's up. So just place the rim straight down in the salt, give it a wiggle, tap off the excess and invert. that prep is done.
|Now, as far the margarita itself, we start with the citrus. We're going to need half a juiced orange quartered and four limes, two quartered, two halved with one small wheel cut off of the half. Yes, it's a lot of lime, but we're only going to be using the juice from part of it, the rest we're going to be muddling for the oils in the skin, that's a very different kind of flavor.||
2 Limes, Halved
½ Hamlin Or Valencia Orange
1 Thin Slice [lime}
2 Limes, Quartered
So, here we go, I like to use a reamer that actually fits right on the cocktail shaker, but you can use whatever juicing device you've got. There we go. And next, just dump in the oranges, and then come back for the limes. There we go, perfect.
Now typically, we would muddle with sugar, but in this case, I'm going to use the agave nectar, two tablespoons of it. It is mostly fructose, so it's sweeter than an equal amount of sucrose. But unlike say, honey, it is relatively neutral in flavor and it's highly soluble in cold liquids, so it's perfect for cocktails.\
|2 Tbs. Light Agave Nectar|
Muddle thusly for two full minutes, to release, again, not just the juices, but the oils in the skins. Now this step is often kind of glossed over in the fast-paced professional bartending world. Don't make that mistake. There. I think the fruit has given up all that it's got to give. So strain into the other side of the cocktail shaker, or just another glass, if you're using that kind of model. And make sure you get every drop possible.
|Then, bring forth tequila, one and a half ounces, that’s a jigger and oh, don't forget about that half ounce back down in the saucer. Don't want to waste that. That goes in on top.||
1½ Ounces 100% Blue Agave
|There, now we're going to shake that with three quarters of a cup of ice and the better quality the ice is, the better quality the drink will be. Shake for a full 30 seconds, or until the outside of the shaker is ice cold. Then simply strain into the prepared glass thusly. Oh, and of course, apply the lime wheel. There. Now that is the margarita that would have been if the margarita hadn't been a sidecar first. Hmm, oh yeah.||¾ Cub Ice Cubes|
Well, I certainly hope that you have enjoyed learning a little about a couple of perfectly good cocktails that we Americans led astray. Luckily, Americans possess the ingenuity, savvy, materials and skills necessary to repair whatever ethno-culinary habit we wreak, right? Well, sometimes we do. This time we do. See you next time on Good Eats. And oh, remember, please enjoy responsibly. Thank you and goodnight.
WOMAN: [slaps AB]
AB: I got to get out of this business.
That's really the best you've got, I can't believe it. [laughs]
Transcribed by Jennifer Schleicher
Proofread by Michael Menninger
Last Edited on 08/27/2010