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Cocktail Chatter - "Don't Cry for Me, Margarita"
June 17, 2010
by Ed Sikov

Craig was giddy on the ferry. “Margaritas are my favorite drink!” He clapped his dimpled hands in excitement and began sing-songing, “Goodie goodie gumdrops!” He was still jolly because I had withheld my control-freakish plan. I had no intention of using that sticky-sweet frozen concentrate he loved, and I was too much of a food snob to even let the bottled pigswill variety into the house. Once, in a notorious act of radical foodie-ism, I poured Sal’s bottle of Yucatan Yuri’s Primo-Papi Mix off the deck. Before I had a chance to tell an outrageous lie about Yucatan Yuri’s whereabouts, Sal saw me, rushed outside in a fury, and punched me in the shoulder. We didn’t speak for a month.

“We need frozen concentrate, of course. We do have orange liqueur….”

“I have to tell you something,” I began, but the two nasty Pomeranians owned by the cable sex show hostess Raven Wren – who apparently didn’t have enough smarmy gay men around her in the city, so she bought a place in the Pines – suddenly defined the term “bad canine karma” by attacking a distraught muscle-boy’s twin white Shih Tzus. The ensuing screeching and yelping (by Raven) drowned out further discussion.

We were in the grocery’s frozen foods section with one of Craig’s giant-size Cabbage-Patch-Kids fists engulfing a can of corn syrup with artificial lime flavor when I yanked it out of his hand; declared, “We’re not using that”; and threw it back into the freezer. Craig looked stricken. “Let’s make our Margaritas from scratch, OK?” I demanded, none too consolingly. “I don’t want scratch,” Craig whined; “I want my Margaritas! Why are you so mean? Why can’t I have what I want?” Then came big whopping tears streaming down his colossal face, which rippled with despair.

At first I was mortified. But I’m here to tell you that mortification is preferable to the near-suicidal guilt that followed. I wasn’t on the ferry any more so I couldn’t jump off. I could do nothing but hate myself to the bone. “Don’t cry! Get what you want! I’ll make Margaritas my way, and you make yours your way.” I pulled the can of frozen concentrate out of the freezer. “See?” I said, putting the wretched junk into our cart. Then I took one of Craig’s soft hands in mine and led him toward the unsweetened lime juice.

The Margarita, Two Ways

Craig’s way: Dump a can of children’s frozen concentrate into a blender, add ice and enough tequila to keep everyone from realizing how crummy the drink tastes, and press “ultra-high”; if you’re lucky you’ll forget to put the top on the blender.

My way – makes four cocktails:

3/4 cup inexpensive white Tequila (it’s dumb to waste fine tequila by drowning it in a Margarita, but then I’m a cheapskate)
1/3 cup unsweetened lime juice
1/4 cup orange liqueur (we had Orange Curacao on hand – you can use any type)
1/4 cup Really Simple Syrup (you can buy Simple Syrup ready-made, or you can boil sugar and water and stand around staring at a candy thermometer, or you can make Really Simple Syrup by putting equal parts sugar and water in a jar and shaking it until the sugar dissolves)

Pour some flaked salt onto one small plate and a thin layer of lime juice onto another. Add all ingredients to a large cocktail shaker with some ice; shake. Dip the rim of each glass first in the juice and then in the salt, then pour the Margaritas in the center.
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