Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tequila and the Mexico Robert's Margarita

I know what your going to say...we ALL have a tequila story. Mine was the night of Princess Diana's funeral. The less said the better, just substitute my name for yours in your story and there you have it.

I didn't drink tequila for a very long time afterwards. This seems to be a trend after a wild night with tequila. But one night in Mexico and a little gentle prodding I ventured to sample this beverage again. Much to my delight there are better tequilas than I experienced and better ways to mix it too. The first night I had the best margarita I ever had. It was also just the second in my life since the first one was so terrible. I made it my mission to sample as many different establishment's version of a lime margarita while in Mexico. Wow. They are not all the same!

On returning to Canada my mission changed to make a copy of the best margarita I had tasted. I only used fresh ingredients and good tequila, I brought home a bottle of Don Julio Blanco. I started with the classic recipe but that wasn't it. Needless to say there were multiple attempts over several months. Then I found the way that suits my taste. On returning to Mexico I can't find anything that is as good as my version now. Although that doesn't stop me from enjoying the odd one while I'm there.

Mexico Robert's Margarita 


2 parts Don Julio Blanco tequila (or the best you can afford)
1.25 parts Cointreau
2 parts fresh squeezed lime juice
Course salt (salt fleur de sel, you may want to mortar a little to have some fine grains too)


1. Chill glass in freezer

2. Squeeze lime and reserve a used lime skin

3. Combine lime, tequila and Cointreau and mix together (shake or stir depending on your double Oh status aka 007)

4. Put salt on a small plate

5. Rim glass with used lime skin (or you can use a wedge)

6. Salt rim of glass by tipping glass upside down on salted plate

7. Fill glass with ice. Lots of ice- really, lots. Like my friend said about drinks in Puerto Rico: there needs to be enough ice that the glass is full and the weight of the ice keeps it from floating.

8. Pour in the tequila mixture.

9. Garnish with a lime wedge

10. Drink--responsibly!

For Lesli's Birthday party I premixed 7 litres in a water dispenser to save on mixing time. If you wanted I'm sure you could mix up a large batch and keep it in the fridge for a while. Instead of beer on tap more of a margarita on demand. But then again the ritual of making the drink is half the fun.

Tequila Guide

For those of you new to tequila here are some guidelines.

1. Blanco is aged for one year and is for mixing in beverages.

2. Reposado is aged two years and is usually served for "shots" although you might sip a particularly good one like "Casamigos Reposado" which has a beautiful vanilla flavour
3. Anejo is aged three years and is the sipping type drink you might enjoy like a fine scotch, some of my favourites are: From the less expensive end: Cazadores Anejo, middle: 1800 anejo; higher: Aha Toro aniejo

4. Extra Anejo is aged four years and is even smoother usually. Also more expensive. The most unusual and tasty one I've ever had is Cava de Oro extra anejo It is like a desert wine crossed with port: a great after dinner drink to sip. Grand Mayan anejo is another that is very smooth that I had given to me for my birthday that is wonderful!

Grand Mayan Ultra Anejo

Tequila is a very fine clean drink that is good for anyone that has hay fever and wants to stay away from the sugary side effects of scotch or bourbon.  Enjoy responsibly though ;)

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Tequila Lime Chicken Skewers

Here it is folks! As requested the recipe for those tasty party treats I served at Lesli's Birthday party. There was such a great response from everyone about how tasty they were that I decided to bump it to the front of the blog line up. I got the body of the recipe from the "Taste" magazine the liquor store puts out in BC. I recommend picking up a copy quarterly for some tasty ideas.


1 lime zest
1/2 cup lime juice
3/4 cup pulpless orange juice
1/4 cup gold tequila ( I used Cazadores Anejo tequila)
1 Tbsp clover honey
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnish (important)
2 Tbsp kosher salt (I like Maldon salt)
1 Tbsp smoked chili powder (I used a pinch of smoked paprika and chill powder)
2 Tsp ground black pepper
1.5 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1" chunks
1 red onion


1. Combine all ingredients except onion and chicken in a mixing bowl- whisk until the salt dissolves and everything is well mixed.

Add chicken and stir to coat in marinade, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Or put in ziplock bags and massage the chicken to coat. If you don't use all the marinade save it in the mixing bowl. (I let them soak in ziplock bags for closer to 7 hours, the chicken started to cook a little because of the lime but it was super tasty!

2. Meanwhile soak 12 wooden skewers in water. Unless you want them to burst into flame! For a large chicken breast you will need about 4 skewers with 5-6 pieces on each one.

3. When ready to cook the chicken preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken and save marinade. Place the marinade (that had the chicken in it) in a small sauce pan and boil for 1 minute over medium-high heat. We'll use this when cooking the chicken.

4. Thread chicken onto skewers alternating with a few pieces of red onion.

5. Season the grill with a spray bottle of oil. Alternatively you can pour some oil on a paper towel and lightly smear it on the grill. If you have a 3 burner BBQ just leave the flame on the two outside burners and place a 5-6" folded tinfoil over the middle burner. We will be laying the wooden skewers onto the tinfoil to further protect them from burning.

6. Grill the chicken. Brushing with reserved marinade frequently and turning often until cooked through; about 8-10 minutes.

7. Place on a platter (that your wife made in pottery, or go to PotteryLove.com to get some of my wife's pottery) and garnish with additional cilantro.

This was easy and fun to make. I skipped the red onion and used 3 pieces of chicken on shorter skewers to make them finger-food-friendly for a party. Everyone will take a small portion, but 5-6 pieces is too intimidating a commitment at a cocktail party. For dinner I would use 5-6 pieces with side dishes on a plate.

I tripled the recipe with 4.5 pounds of chicken and had an extra cup of marinade I kept "clean" for basting the skewers with on the BBQ. It made about 50 skewers and loads of happy party goers!

We had tequila lime chicken skewers again and paired it with the fennel and orange salad (coming to the blog soon) and what a great fresh summer dinner. Give it a shot you will be pleased!