Guac The Next Happy Hour With Avocado Margaritas
When avocados and tequila meet, something magical happens. This could be the start of a spiked salad or salsa, but the fusion I’m thinking of manifests as a frozen margarita, perfect for taking the edge off on a hot summer day. We’ve already seen that avocados can do amazing things with iced coffee, so why not take it to the bar and give it a shot?
A Brief History of Avocado Margaritas
Legend has it that Curra’s Grill in Austin, TX was the first to blend the savory green fruit into a sweet and sour margarita mix. As the story goes, it came about as a dare, but the results were no joke. Many customers undoubtedly order it for similar reasons, only to become hooked on the uniquely refreshing experience. Accented with a pinch of cilantro, tequila cuts through the buttery richness of the avocado with a fresh finish.
Not one to miss a trend, Epcot’s own avocado margarita has been incredibly popular since it hit the menu at La Cava del Tequila. The “happiest place on earth” takes a sweeter approach to appeal to the masses, adding melon liqueur to boost the bright green hue and ripe, fruity flavor all at once. The glass is rimmed with lurid pink hibiscus salt, amplifying the floral notes and of course, adding an eye-catching color contrast that you can’t miss from across the bar.
Key Differences in My Avocado Margarita Recipe
While I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel here, I do think there are a few tweaks that could make the modern classic even better.
- Swap the polarizing cilantro addition for spicy jalapeño. While strictly optional, it’s highly recommended for a little kick at the end of each sip, balancing out the creamy richness of the avocado.
- Use fresh citrus juices instead of prepared margarita mix or more flavored liqueurs. Prepared blends are never particularly fresh or natural tasting, and almost always cloyingly sweet. Personally, I’d rather taste the tequila than cover it up, especially if I’m paying for a top shelf bottle.
- Use flaky sea salt rather than kosher salt for the rim. It dissolves more easily for a gentler saline hit, rather than a blast of salt from chunky granules.
- Forgo the added sugar or agave. I’d much prefer to lean in on the savory flavors of the avocado here rather than turn the mix into a boozy milkshake.
The Best Tequila For Making an Avocado Margarita
Any type of tequila will make a fine margarita. For the best blend though, I would recommend:
- Reposado, for its subtle sweetness, is my top pick to round out this blend with a smooth finish.
- Blanco, with more vegetal notes, would be great with a spicier take using the optional jalapeno.
Avocados simply make everything better. From breakfast toast to a happy hour toast, these alligator pears will always serve you well.
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Stir Craze: The New Negroni
Equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari, the classic Negroni is a reliable staple at any bar. Trouble is, that basic ratio doesn’t do each of the components the greatest justice, and quite frankly, it’s one of the last cocktails I would choose in any lineup.
For years, I thought that gin was the culprit. Served neat, it tastes like a liquefied Christmas tree. All juniper and pine, that resinous taste leaves a film of holiday despair in my mouth that won’t wash away. Some brands are certainly better than others, but it turns out that simply knowing the right way to mix it can do wonders.
How To Improve On A Classic Negroni
If you have similar feelings, let me tell you a little secret: Cut the vermouth with a sweet vinegar like white balsamic to diffuse some of the bitterness. It simultaneously adds a bright hit of acidic contrast for a fully realized, harmonious balance of tastes. The first time I experienced this alchemy was at Neighborhood Goods, a curious mashup of retail and restaurant. They used a fanciful Vermouth Vinegar which was quite luxurious indeed, and lit the spark to experiment with more accessible acids.
Other Vinegar Options
Vinegars are abundant these days, offering a diverse world of flavoring options that go well beyond salad dressing. If you want to experiment beyond white balsamic, other promising substitutes include:
- Sherry vinegar
- Champagne vinegar
- Coconut vinegar
Infused vinegars pose even greater options for customization; I’ve had amazing peach-infused vinegar that incorporated the bright, sunny essence of a summer day, and raspberry-infused vinegar with a brilliant tart-sweet interplay.
Want a sweeter, smoother drink?
Lean in on the citrus element and replace the vinegar with orange juice instead!
Shaken Or Stirred?
One other secret that applies well beyond Negronis: A drink that’s mostly or entirely composed of spirits like this should always be stirred, not shaken. It more effectively incorporates the ingredients without becoming diluted by the ice. Stir with a long spoon for 20 – 30 seconds, and that’s it. Serve with fresh ice for the best clarity and temperature.
The classic Negroni cocktail has been around for roughly 100 years, and it’s only getting started.
Bloody Good Show
Some may consider mimosas the official drinks of brunch, but a strong Bloody Mary makes a compelling case for the title. Savory instead of sweet, the full-bodied tomato juice is a much more substantial base to alleviate a hangover from the previous night. Factor in a bold punch of spice, and that classic combination can instantly jolt you straight out of any lingering lethargy.
Let’s zoom in on that subtle heat for a minute. What if we replaced standard-issue Tabasco with something more complex? The American staple is fine for a gentle burn, but let’s be honest: It’s a one-note flavor, without depth or nuance. Kimchi, on the other hand, delivers a wide range of tasting notes, working in harmony to create something far greater than the sum of its parts. Funky, briny, salty, sweet, umami, pungent, and yes, spicy, it’s one of my favorite condiments and meal starters.
Add a shot of vodka and now we’re talking. Inspired by another cocktail from Neighborhood Goods, their original kimchi cocktail takes advantage of luxe liquid kimchi, crafted with all the elements of everyone’s favorite ferment, minus the cabbage. My take doesn’t stray too far but offers a cheap shortcut that includes the vegetables and all. Now you can call it a superfood, right?
Do not skip on the salted rim. Despite the fact that we’re essentially added blended pickles into the mix, it still needs that final high note of pure saline for balance.
How To Make A Perfect Salt Rim
Applying a delicate ring of salt round your glass isn’t rocket surgery, but it does take a certain finesse.
- Take a lime wedge and run the slice around the rim of your glass.
- Place coarse or flaky salt in a shallow dish.
- Dip the rim of your glass in the salt. Roll it around gently to make sure it’s fully coated.
- Fill with ice and pour in your cocktail. Enjoy!
Let’s Talk Liquor
Traditionally, a Bloody Mary calls for vodka. Neutral, smooth, and inoffensive, it’s an easy go-to that always plays well with others. If you wanted to switch up the routine to match with this Asian inspiration, soju is your new best friend. Comparable on many fronts, it’s clear, colorless, and has a high ABV that can reach upwards of 50% for some bottles. What sets it apart is a mild sweetness that can offset the fiery kimchi beautifully. There’s a wide range of options for soju, many of which have added sugar and fruity flavors, which are fun for drinking solo or mixing into sweeter cocktails, but should be avoided in this case.
A proper Bloody Mary is almost like a meal in a glass, even without a wild garnish that includes the entire contents of you fridge and pantry. You can start your day with this invigorating eye-opener any day of the week by simply replacing the alcohol with mushroom stock or vegetable broth, too. Now that’s what I’d call bloody good.
Horror is not my first genre of choice nor area of expertise. For that, you should really be following Video Creep, videographer, comedian, and horror professional. With his guidance, I’ve picked out the perfect entertainment for your Halloween evening: Troll 2.
What is Troll 2 about?
Described by some as the “best worst movie” and “most disrespected horror films in recent history,” Troll 2 is not going to keep you awake at night. It’s not even going to make you remotely uneasy. The basic premise is laughable right from the start, seeing as there are no trolls to be found during the entire 95-minute runtime, only goblins. It’s also worth noting that it has nothing to do with the preceding movie, Troll, which has only marginally better reviews.
Without spoiling anything, one of the key features is green goop being offered at every meal, which no one seems to find suspicious. Unfortunately, just one bite will turn people into their own sort of human sludge, which is then fed to the hungry goblins.
Naturally, it’s the food element that I find most captivating. Between the implausible story line and iconic acting, the goblin goop is a standout success in terms of execution. I didn’t pity the people that were dumb enough to miss all the warning signs and thoughtlessly indulge in their own demise. Quite the contrary, I envied the goblins; I’ll have what they’re having.
Join me in feeding your inner goblin with the finest human goo that plant-based ingredients have to offer. It’s every bit as nutritious as dissolved people, but without all the fat and gristle! Besides, no one has time for that kind of messy cleanup. Save yourself the hassle of ensnaring and poisoning your own middle class nuclear family, and let’s pull out the blender instead, shall we?
A base of frozen mango and banana creates a naturally sweet, creamy, and subtly tropical foundation for some bright spices. Turmeric adds a bold sunny yellow hue that harmonizes brilliantly with ginger and cinnamon. The real crowning jewel is the swirl of green goo, of course. This comes in the form of fluid gel made from green juice and agar.
What is a fluid gel?
Despite the fancy molecular gastronomy term, it’s really a very simple concept: Set any fluid with a thickener, then blend it to break down the structure into a substance that straddles the line between liquid and solid, AKA, goo.
What’s the best green juice?
You can make your own green juice from scratch, or buy bottled green juice at the grocery store. I’d suggest going with the latter for the sake of simplicity. A subtly sweet blend with a mix of fruits and vegetables is my preference here to pair with the smoothie itself, particularly if pineapple is involved. Top mainstream brands include:
At the heart of it, Troll 2 is a movie made for the plant-based crowd. The goblins were vegetarian, after all, so the only way they could enjoy their human feasts was by turning them into inert substance. Let’s raise a glass to these visionaries that were ahead of their time. Cheers, and Happy Halloween!
Bubbling Over Boba
Shooting through fat straws everywhere, the bubbles found in many refreshing iced drinks this year aren’t merely effervescent, but tangible spheres that you can chew. Known interchangeably as bubble tea, pearl tea, and boba tea, this Taiwanese import has even more flavors than names. Different varieties of tea are only the tip of the iceberg; additional fruit, milk, herb, and spice possibilities are endless. The unlikely textural contrast between milky liquid and toothsome tapioca makes for an irresistible treat, no matter the temperature outside.
Despite their proliferation, trips to Chinatown often end in disappointment. Most commercial offerings are prepared from powdered mixes with milk powder built in, with few options on tap. Luckily, it’s a snap to bypass all the questionable chemicals when you make your own boba-licious brew! Starting with more readily available clear tapioca pearls, the texture is slightly softer, but the experience is just as sweet and satisfying. Get ready for some serious refreshment; it will be hard to stop whipping up bubbling up once you start.