Fresh Lime Margarita inspired by Mexico City

The Margaritas of Mexico CityThe other drink I indulged in while visiting Mexico City was the Margarita. There’s tons of festive varieties in the States and I’ve been happy to sample a number of them but while in Mexico I wanted to stick with the old school style: on the rocks lime Margarita.Ingredients for Fresh Lime Margaritas

Juicing Limes for MargaritasAll the Margaritas I enjoyed in Mexico City were bursting with fresh lime flavor, slightly sweet but not coyly so. I think they were so much more refreshing than the ones I get at home because they made them with freshly squeezed limes instead of Margarita mix as most bars in the States do.

Also the limes in Mexico are more like Key limes which are sweeter and less acidic than the Persian limes commonly found in American supermarkets.Salted Margarita Glasses

Taking one for the team (the team being Spoons to Sporks; food blogging is tough…) I sampled a variety of Margaritas and I hate to admit this but I liked the one from the W Hotel bar the best (that hurts type). In order I would rank them: #1: W Hotel Bar #2: Dulce Patria #3: Cantina LA No. 20.  Reed would rate the bars differently but he likes stronger drinks than I do and the W bar made a lovely light concoction that barely tasted like tequila. The other bars had more robust drinks which were good but slightly strong for me. Margaritas on the rocks

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Michelada: A Beer Cocktail from Mexico

Michedala via Mexico CityI spent Memorial Day weekend in Mexico City. It was my first visit to Mexico. We spent the days exploring various neighborhoods and markets. Almost everything we ate from the street vendor’s taco to the fine dining was outstanding. However for my Spoons to Sporks posts, it was tricky. Since I’ve never had really authentic Mexican food before I wanted to try some of the more unusual dishes that I can’t get at Mexican places in the States.

My huitlacoche, corn fungus, empanadas were really good. I wasn’t such a fan of the grilled cactus paddle with braised lamb. There was even a dish with an ingredient that translated to ant swarm. I didn’t ask too much about that one… sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Ingredients for Michedalas

Ingredients for Michedalas (except the hot sauce... oops)

Although for me the best part of the cuisine was the sauces. With great enthusiasm, I applied the accompanying condiments liberally to everything I ate. The one that I found most interesting/yummy/searingly hot was almost black and made with ashes among, I imagine, many other ingredients.Making a Mexican Beer Cocktail, the Michedala

Unfortunately, I can’t easily find corn fungus, cactus paddles, food grade ashes or ant swarm in New York. However, all those fun and interesting dishes were washed down with some terrific drinks and drinks I can do. The only time I ever graduated first in my glass was from bartending school.Making Michedalas Continue reading

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The Cocktail of Summer: Pimm’s Cup

Pimm's Cup at Nick'sI’m feeling much better after being sick for almost a week. The only problem is now I have an extra liter of diet ginger ale in my refrigerator. My mom always gave me ginger ale and saltines when I was sick as a child so its my go to drink when I don’t feel well but now that I’m not sick, I’d rather not have the ginger ale in my apartment so I decided to have some friends over for cocktails this weekend to help me finish it up. Nick's in Laguna Beach

While in California we visited Nick’s in Laguna Beach. Our meal there was only ok despite Nick’s glowing Yelp review. However Nick’s made a solid Pimm’s Cup, my favorite cocktail which I see much too infrequently on cocktail lists.  I almost finished it before I remembered to take a picture. Oops.  While Nick’s food wasn’t superb, it has a great location and is a wonderful spot for observing the latest trends in plastic surgery. Ingredients for Pimm's CupSliced Fruit for Pimm's Cup

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Berry Sangria & Habana Outpost

Sangria from Habana OutpostToday was cold and wet. I’m impatiently awaiting the sunny days of spring. I remember last spring when the weather was like this my old roommate Jesse and I went to Habana Outpost in Fort Greene to sip sangria huddled in our sweatshirts hoping that there’d be a break in the clouds.  I think we somehow thought that if we acted like it was spring that act might hasten its arrival. We were there to plan our vegetable garden.

Habana Outpost in the summer

Habana Outpost in the summer

Movie Night at Habana Outpost

Movie Night at Habana Outpost

Jesse and I used to share a duplex with a garden in Prospect Heights. In NYC any private outdoor space is highly coveted and we loved our backyard. We’d sit out there and smugly discuss just how great our backyard was. The rest of the apartment was falling apart and the neighborhood was a little sketchy but our hydrangeas were to die for.

Ingredients for Berry Sangria

Pouring Chambord into Simple Syrup

Pouring Chambord into Simple Syrup

Berries Marinating in Chambord Simple Syrup

Berries Marinating in Chambord Simple Syrup

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