Friday, May 05, 2006

The Official Drink of Cinco de Mayo

I couldn't tell you what the reason is for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, but if somebody's going to hand me an excuse to get liquored up who am I to say no? In fact, wouldn't it be some kind of slap in the face to ignore such a time-honored tradition? Okay, maybe not, but you can't blame a guy for trying.

Though I'll be toasting the day with beer (much like any Friday), the margarita is probably the official drink of Cinco de Mayo. Since I'm not a huge fan of the drink -- thanks to countless exposure to cheap-ass tequila through the years -- I figured there was one basic way to make it... tequila, orange liqeur, lime juice, and sugar. In other words, four things I'm not overly fond of, two of which would probably make me heave.

Apparently, I was wrong. How else to explain Kim Haasarud's new book, 101 Margaritas available from Wiley Books. Refreshingly, Haasarud dispenses with the history of the cocktail (both possible and totally fake) in a couple of paragraphs so don't come here looking for esoteric tales of margarita lore. And, much to her credit, I didn't spot one reference to the Patron Saint of Margaritas and drunken middle-aged idiots, Jimmy Buffet.

Unfortunately, any book with 100+ recipes for anything is screaming out for a table of contents, ingredient index or some sort of oragnization. I was stone cold sober while looking for the recipe for a Sake Margarita and it took me three tries. The author mentions a margarita made with coffee in the introduction but I'll be damned if I can find it.

I also have to complain about the binding, which completely prevents the book from being left open on a bar, counter, table or shelf while you look for and mix ingredients. Granted, this is a perpetual complaint I have about drink guides and cookbooks, but it's particularly annoying here.

Lavishly illustrated with big pictures of many of the recipes, 101 Margaritas makes a nice addition to my drink library, but could have been even better.

Looking for more info on Cinco de Mayo? Check out Liquor Snob for recipes, party tips and more.

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