The Booze Blog - Alcohol, Bars, Malaysia and Beyond.

29 December 2014

The IBA Project: Margarita

I'm a margarita. Drink me.
Grandfather story:
  • The Margarita can be considered a Tequila Sour (Sour = base liquor, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener), or a Tequila Sidecar (replacing cognac).
  • It could simply be a twist on the Daisy, (a classic long drink from the 1870s made with a base spirit, lemon juice, sugar or liqueur) - as Margarita is the Spanish word for daisy.
  • In a British cocktail publication called Café Royal Cocktail Book published in 1937, the author mentions a drink called a Picador, which lists its ingredients as tequila, Cointreau and lime juice (the exact same recipe as a margarita!)
  • The 1st official mention of Margarita in print in Dec 1953 was in the Esquire magazine with a quote "She’s from Mexico, Señores, and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative". The recipe called for an ounce (30ml) of tequila, a dash of triple sec and the juice of half a lime or lemon.
  • Like most cocktail histories, there are quite a number of people who have claimed to have invented it, and if you'd like to know, here they are:
    • Could have been created in 1930 by Doña Bertha, owner of Bertha's Bar in Taxco, Mexico (unlikely as Mexicans don't typically drink margaritas)
    • A Vernon Underwood, who had started distributing Cuervo Tequila in the 1930s may have went to Johnny Durlesser, head bartender of the Tail O' The Cock in LA, and asked him to create something using his spirit, then named it after his wife Margaret (Margarita).
    • Daniel (Danny) Negrete could have created the drink in 1936 when he was the manager of Garci Crespo Hotel in Puebla, Mexico for his girlfriend Margarita as a present.
    • Francisco 'Pancho' Morales, while working in a bar called Tommy's Place in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was asked to make a 'Magnolia' on the 4th July 1942, but couldn't remember it so created this drink.
    • Carlos 'Danny' Herrera created the cocktail either in 1947 or 1948 at his Rancho La Gloria bar in Rosarito, Mexico, for an actress called Marjorie King who drank only Tequila. He added Cointreau and lime, and the unique salt rim that caught people's attention at the bar, then named his creation Margarita, the Spanish for Marjorie.
    • A socialite Margaret Sames held a Christmas party in Acapulco, Mexico, in 1948, and created the first Margarita.

8 December 2014

Taste: The Arran Single Malt Whisky

All the Arrans Available in Malaysia.
Background:
  • Opened in 1995 - to put things in perspective, the oldest bottle that they technically can have today if barreled then is 19. So it is a relatively new distillery.
  • It is located at the East of the village of Lochranza at the North of the Isle of Arran. Yes, the whisky took after the island's name.
  • An independent distillery - ie privately owned and not owned by the big boys.
  • Founded by Chivas Brothers’ retiring managing director, Harold Currie.
  • The only malt whisky distillery on the Isle of Arran (since the last legally run distillery, ‘Lagg’, was closed in 1837... that's about 158 years ago!)
  • Water used in the distillery is sourced from Loch na Davie, supposedly home to the purest water in all of Scotland.
  • Its single malts are non-chill filtered, which means that it will cloud in a cooler temperature.

3 December 2014

The IBA Project: Mojito

The Mojito - my mum ony drinks this.
The Grandfather Story:
- Likely birthplace in Cuba.

- There are 2 versions of its origins, pick one you like:
1) In the 1500s, its original recipe was used as medicine to cure scurvy aboard Francis Drake's ship where he learnt it from the South Americans. It was made with firewater (crude form of rum), lime, sugarcane juice and mint.
2) Could've been created by African slaves working in the Cuban sugarcane fields in the 1800 where sugarcane juice was in abundance (but the recipe was without lime).

- The name itself could apparently be derived from:
1) Mojar, a Spanish verb suggesting wetness.
2) An African word 'mojo', meaning spell.
3) Mojo, a Cuban seasoning made from lime and used to flavour dishes.
4) Mojadito (Spanish for “a little wet”) or simply the diminutive of Mojado (“wet”).