Tommy's Margarita wins for smoothness
Looking for a smoother-tasting margarita? If so, a version of Tommy's Margarita that has the sweetener agave nectar or agave syrup as an ingredient may be your choice.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Happy Hour |
On the rocks or brain freeze-slushy. With a salted rim or without. In strawberry or prickly-pear flavor even. The margarita is so popular that a teetotaler would recognize this classic in its many variations.
This summer, I tooled around cocktail dens and Mexican restaurants with good tequila bars. The margaritas I sampled tasted different from the classic version — smoother, no sharp notes.
The difference? The sweetener agave nectar or agave syrup, poured into every margarita I tasted. It made one of America's most popular cocktails even easier to drink.
The cocktail that set off the agave-nectar rage was Tommy's Margarita, named after the San Francisco Mexican restaurant where this cocktail originated. It's heavy on the agave nectar.
In Bellevue, Naga Lounge and the popular happy-hour hangout Earl's both feature Tommy's. Two recently opened Mexican restaurants, Poquitos on Capitol Hill and Milagro Cantina in Kirkland, feature signature margaritas that taste more like Tommy's rather than the classic.
Even if you've never heard of Tommy's Margarita, you've likely had it at a Seattle-area bar since many bartenders make some variation of Tommy's, pouring a half ounce to an ounce of agave nectar in every margarita.
This natural sweetener, like tequila, comes from the agave plant. Hence, the agave faithfuls believe this sweetener is a natural pairing with tequila to make the perfect margarita.
A classic margarita has tequila, orange liqueur and fresh-squeezed lime juice and is served on the rocks.
Tommy's Margarita replaces orange liqueur with agave nectar.
The difference in taste? A classic margarita tastes crisp; it has a bite. In Tommy's, the agave syrup softens the tequila for a smoother-tasting margarita. It goes down easy. Too easy if you're not careful.
On a hot day, Tommy's sounds perfect. I just think it's a different flavor profile than a true margarita.
Bartender and tequila expert Phil Ward of Mayahuel in New York City and local cocktail historian and author Robert Hess both like the taste of Tommy's, but they don't consider it a margarita. At the Ba Bar on Capitol Hill, bar man Evan Martin will only make a Tommy's margarita by request since it tastes so different from the classic version. "The Tommy is softer, a more laid-back margarita," he said.
You can judge for yourself. Tommy's is cheaper to make than the classic.
Agave nectar is available at most grocery stores. The recipe is easy to remember: Two parts tequila, one part agave syrup and one part fresh-squeezed lime juice.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or email@example.com
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