Regardless of its apparent similarities with the traditional, the frozen Margarita exists on a airplane discrete from its conventional, nonfrozen counterpart. It’s not a drink that calls for a lot from the drinker, apart from, maybe, an appropriately relaxed setting. “After I’m ingesting a frozen Margarita, all I would like is to be outdoor,” says Channing Centeno, head bartender at Bonnie’s in Brooklyn. “Or at the very least be capable of see the outside.”
However, counter to its laid-back vibe, mastering the frozen Margarita is just not as straightforward because it may appear. The largest hurdle to getting it proper lies in accounting for the added dilution that comes with the additional ice within the equation. At our latest tasting at Rule of Thirds in Brooklyn, the place I used to be joined by Centeno and Brian Evans, director of bars for Sunday Hospitality (which incorporates Rule of Thirds) and head bartender Victoria Rivera, who blended the drinks, the submitted recipes took a number of approaches to fixing for this widespread challenge.
Many opted for agave nectar, a strong choice that, whereas somewhat troublesome to jigger and pour, provides physique and taste with out the added dilution of an agave syrup that’s been lower with water. In the same vein, some chosen granulated white sugar, which provides no liquid quantity to the recipe in any respect, however can generally combine inconsistently or in no way, leaving the feeling of getting to “chew” in your drink. Others nonetheless added flavored syrup, like one made with orange pekoe tea, in an effort to counteract the potential for the drink to style watered down.
The worst of the bunch tasted as if no changes had been produced from their normal Margarita recipe, apart from, in fact, including extra ice. These weren’t solely overly diluted, however exceptionally dry. “You want much more sugar for frozen drinks,” defined Centeno, noting that colder temperatures uninteresting the notion of sweetness. The perfect within the bunch, however, tweaked the ratios to yield a balanced drink regardless of the challenges of the format.
The unanimous first-place winner was the frozen Margarita of Haley Traub, common supervisor at New York’s Attaboy. The judges discovered it to be essentially the most “textbook” within the tasting, with Evans describing it as essentially the most “universally palatable” and a frozen Margarita that may by no means be despatched again. The recipe, nevertheless, is just not fairly so textbook. To the anticipated blanco tequila (Traub favors Milagro), Cointreau, lime juice and agave nectar, Traub provides a splash of orange juice, a refined contact that provides some mandatory further sweetness and roundness, whereas remaining nearly undetectable.
Second place went to Kristina Magro, whose recipe stood out mainly for its inclusion of lime zest grated instantly into the blender, integrating oils from the peel into the drink for an exceptionally vivid and floral take. “It’s nearly like a cartoon model of a frozen Margarita,” stated Evans, who discovered that it additionally channeled the cordial high quality of Rose’s Lime Juice, “in a great way.” A pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt helped the flavors pop. (The one different recipe to incorporate lime zest was Leanne Favre’s frozen Margarita, which likewise stood out to the judges and would enchantment to drinkers on the lookout for a barely drier model of Magro’s recipe.)
Third place went to Christine Wiseman, whose recipe ticked all of the bins: candy, acidic and tequila-forward. Wiseman requires a full two ounces of tequila (she prefers Ocho Plata)—a half-ounce greater than the opposite winners—alongside a half-ounce of Cointreau, an oz. of agave nectar, two ounces of lime juice and a Tajín-salt rim. Evans deemed it the “most intense flavor-wise” within the group, whereas Centeno discovered it to be completely “juicy.”
Although there have been a number of wild playing cards within the combine, notably two recipes that known as on yellow and green Chartreuse, respectively, the standouts proved an adage that Evans discovered to encapsulate your entire tasting: “Simplicity is greatest.”