wow, i'd love to sample some of that. I do have a bottle of the Tradicional around sometimes. It's great for the price. Lately I haven't been dropping big cash on tequila. While my tastes run the gamut, I've lately been a bit obsessed with craft beer, especially of the Belgian wheat-style variety. Btw: I was speaking with bravado earlier; i didn't actually have the heart to make a margarita with the delicious Corazon Anejo… I sipped it straight. :-)
crazyone: please consider the hilarity that I'm now, three years later, replying to your reply… I guess my notifications settings were off. How's the margarita life? :-) Loved your account of migrating from Citronge (which won't die, it seems, probably because of the very much over-lauded Patron name) to Cointreau. Also, I got a kick out of your becoming a restaurant Margarita snob. That totally happens. My wife says my at-home mixology has ruined her for bar drinks. (note: we do live in KY, and the epicurean cocktail craze is finally landing here. Now we, too, can pay $12+ for a decent drink) The only thing I have to add in the triple-sec category, three years later: Gran Gala — which is produced by the Sazerac Company — is pretty tasty for not a fortune ($20). I'd rank it below Cointreau but easily above Citronge.
And finally, I've come to a controversial conclusion about margaritas: Namely, that the pedigree of the tequila is the least important thing. What?! Yep, that's what I think. Take FRESH lime (and lemon, sure) juice, Cointreau, FRESH ice (I only use bag ice), and any half-ass decent tequila (or not! I tend to use — I swear — El Toro, no sh!t) and you can wind up with a Margarita that your friends RAVE about. I've done it over and over.
The key is to make them fresh. No mixes. Ever.
Hope you're well! More Margaritas for everyone! ¡Olé!
Now I'm going to have a Corazon Anejo-Cointreau Margarita (Hey, I didn't say to *always* use cheap tequila. ;-)
I WISH I could get some real curacao, I assure you! I don' t know-- my luck with staple mixers like triple-sec, curacao, and a few others is that i can't find any premiums, despite the existence in these parts of a pretty huge big-box liquor chain called Liquor Barn. Somewhat hilariously, I can't seem to pay more than about $7 for bottle of these things. Streetgourmet, know anywhere I can order me up some fine curacao? (and some quinine while yr. at it, 'cuz I wanna make my own tonic water.)
my first post to CHOW.
I wanted to chime in on the topic from a couple of angles.
First, I, too, have been looking for a "decent" tequila for margaritas, recognizing that you just don't necessarily have to have top-shelf tequila for a margarita. I'm gonna happily give 1800 silver a shot! (Sauza Gold has served me well, too)
Regarding the orange component, I have to share--- I recently did a (kinda) blind taste test with a cocktail fanatic friend of mine and had some interesting results. The simple fact: I, too, hate that Cointreau costs so much. I mean --- damn.And Gran Marnier? double damn. Anyway, we did a test of C, GM, Patron's offering Citronge, plus some cheap triple sec and orange curucao, just for good measure.
The results were dismaying at least for a cheap dude like me who was looking to spend less cash on superior cocktails. The short version: the oranges pretty much ranked by price. That is to say: Cointreau is king. I hate that, but it's true. Gran Marnier is amazing, but it's almost too orange for a Margarita (although a splash is mighty fine), and the cheapies (triple sec and orange curucao) are candy-like. But the real exposé IMHO is Patron Citronge, which I had high hopes for. I thinkthey're clearly positioning themselves as a competitor to Cointreau (since there is a Margarita recipe on the bottle's hang-tag). Suffice to say: it failed miserably, with an overall reek of alcohol and pretty much none of the charm and distinction of Cointreau. Blind test, okay?!
I know--- I hate it, too. I was really excited about spending $15 less per bottle, but it ain't worth it, people! 'Fraid the classic margarita is with Cointreau.
FYI: Based on something I read on the web (so you know it's true), Cointreau is the *original triple-sec.* They stopped using the term after a host of inferior competitors seeped into the marketplace. Or so it's said: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cointreau