The suspense is over. I’m 95% over my cold and back in the saddle and boozing again, this time with another cocktail provided by one of my mysterious liquor-supplying benefactors.
In this case, the liquor is Hornitos Plata tequila, which I’m really glad I got. I really think tequila might be my very favorite spirit to drink straight and this is some good stuff for a relatively reasonable price – I gather between $20 and $30. It’s got a kind of spicy, sweet underside to it for a blanco tequila, as well as the more expected pungency. It’s bracing, and that’s good.
I also appreciate that this drink brings me back in touch with Anjou pears. Even though I’ve always loved pears, I’d had so many bad experiences buying them in supermarkets I’ve mostly avoided them until called to do so by this week’s drink. It turns out the ones in my local discount food emporium are actually not half bad these days. Good to know.
But now we have a big problem. Just as I was writing those last words, I realized that I’d misread the recipe in one key respect. The drink I’ve been making all week is actually supposed to be made with Hornitos presumably more mellow Reposado Tequila, not the Plata, which is the only kind of Hornitos I have here! So, consider this week’s drink a bit of an off-the-cuff and entirely accidental collaboration between me and Hornitos’ in-house mixologist. Let’s see how things go.
The Hornitos Kickstarter Margarita (as muddled beyond all recognition by DOTW)
2 ounces Hornitos Plata Tequila
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce triple sec
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
3 slices of Anjou pear
1 additional pear slice (garnish)
Combine all the ingredients, garnish excepted, in a cocktail shaker. Muddle the pear slices into the booze. Add ice cubes. Shake very vigorously and strain — Hornitos’ original recipe calls for you to run it through an additional strainer but I like the microscopic pear bits — into a chilled cocktail glass, with ice cubes. (It’s not usual to put ice in coupes or cocktail/martini glasses, but it works better this way, in this case)
Sip and toast either Belgium or France, one of the two nations thought to be responsible for the ever so tasty Anjou pear.
Okay, so aside from my using the wrong expression of Hornitos for this drink, the original recipe calls for John DeKuyper & Sons O3 Premium Orange Liqueur. Since no one was sending me that, however, I used the plain old DeKuyper Triple Sec which I happened to have on hand. I would have tried it with Cointreau, too, but I ran out of that on a failed experiment with the Hornitos Plata.
The final adjustment is that I reduced the amount of lemon juice from 3/4 of an ounce to 1/2 ounce. It was simply too tart for me at the original strength, your taste buds may well differ.
As for this version of the drink, it’s not a stemwinder of a Kickstarter. However, considering how badly I screwed the pooch on matching the original recipe, it’s not half bad. Just don’t do what I did one or two times and forget the bitters; they’re absolutely crucial in terms of giving the thing some body. It’s also kind of cool to use bitters in a Margarita which, for a purist, makes it more of a “real” cocktail.
Okay, so it could have been worse, but I’ll be returning to the well next week for a somewhat less bastardized Hornitos margarita variation. Stay tuned!