Cocktails in the rain

One of the biggest new things I discovered this year whilst traipsing California was the Margarita cocktail. You'd be quite surprised to discover that this hasn't got a massive fanbase here - Irish people seem to prefer the sickly sweet cocktails like Moscow mules (which was rather popular when Smirnoff bottled it for a while in the mid 1990s), Pina Colda (oh all that cream!) and Mojitos. There is a legend, probably true, that the mojitos in the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin 4 cost 20 lids a serving, though I must admit my source for this is the Ross O Carroll-Kelly spoof guidebook. I did try checking on their website, but in the best possible taste of a high star chain, they hadn't the poor taste to do something as low brow as publish the prices of their cocktails online!

But alas, there is no margarita to be had on the normal menu!

Captain Amercias in Cork doesn't do it, however, their Dublin branch does!

However there seems to be several schools of thought on the makeup of the margarita. The base appears to be 2 parts tequila (preferably silver but not always specified), 1 part lime juice and 1 part triple sec served in a glass with a lightly salt frosted rim (this certainly is nice on the tongue). The extra in many variations is usually the addition of a "sour mix" which appears to be a 50/50 mixture of sugar syrup and lemon or lime juice. I've tried it and actually I think it oversweetens this cocktail, which I think gains a lot of its pleasure from its essential sourness from the mixture of tequila and lime.

I managed to drink my way through many of these by the poolside of the Wyndam and Zoso hotels in Palm Springs, enjoying Sandy Sachs spinning on the decks. Anyway, I'd recommend it, even for the pouring rain of the south-western Irish summer. I'm beginning to get used to the persistent heavy rainfall. Don't bother with trying to sweeten it - that beats the whole point.

If you do like something sweet, and pricey, since Moet & Chandon is around 40-50 euros a bottle in Ireland still, I found an interesting honey based concoction being sold by a hotel in Toronto - Festive Buzz.

1 oz. White Peach Puree
1/4 oz. of Royal York Honey
4 oz. Moet Chandon
Serve with a garnish of a sugar powdered mint leaf.

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