While at Tacos and Tequila in Las Vegas two weeks ago, I had a conversation with manager Anthony Alba, about the correct way to make a margarita. We have had our signature variation of the Tanteo Jalapeño Margarita since 2010 and I must admit, I am a little stuck in my ways. Our recipe contains 2 oz. of Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila, 1 oz. of Fresh Lime Juice, and ¾ of an ounce of Agave Nectar. This recipe was selected after countless tests at Casa Tanteo. These tests included all of the classic margarita modifiers like orange juice, Combier™ Triple Sec, Grand Marnier™, Cointreau™, and Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur™.
We settled on our recipe for a number of reasons. The most important of these being: keep it simple and let the Tequila do the talking. Anthony, however, was insistent that the margarita evolved from the daisy cocktail, where an essential ingredient is orange liqueur. This got me thinking - it has been a while…. let’s re-test our margarita to help us remember why we stuck to our guns when it came to its signature recipe. Here is how it all came about this past #MargaritaMonday
Before the Test: I went on the official websites of the top four orange liqueurs we already had at the Casa Tanteo bar and found their variation of “The Perfect Margarita.” I made all four of the featured margaritas, in addition to Tanteo’s Jalapeño Margarita. I served them all on the rocks, using Tanteo Jalapeño as the base Tequila. The results are below.
Recipe #1 - The Solerno™ Tanteo Jalapeño Margarita
The blood orange really stood out in this margarita, but it mellowed out the Jalapeño flavor. While it was quite clean tasting, it was a bit too tart. Lastly, the color was really light. Overall Score: 6/10
Recipe #2 - The Cointreau™ Tanteo Jalapeño Margarita
Wow - this is boozy - while all the orange liqueurs tested were 40% abv, this one was the most potent. The orange flavor was nice in the Cointreau™, but again, it masked the Jalapeño flavor. The color was also very light when it came to this margarita. Overall score: 5/10
Recipe #3 - The Grand Marnier™ Tanteo Jalapeño Margarita
Rich, rich, rich. I understand why the "Cadillac Margarita" is made with Grand Marnier™. The cognac base of the Grand Mariner™ made the margarita’s flavor rich, its color rich, and its orange flavor was nothing less than decadent. Still, all of this did mellow out the fresh Jalapeño flavor. The balance was pleasant, but it was a very mild Jalapeño Margarita. Overall Score: 7/10
Recipe #4 - The Combier™ Tanteo Jalapeño Margarita
2 oz. Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila
.75 oz. Combier Triple Sec™
.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
.25 oz. Agave Nectar
This was my favorite of the four. It had a very nice “snap” to it. It was also the variation with the most Jalapeño flavor out of the four orange liquors. The color was very light and generally speaking, it was a very easy to drink margarita... With almost 3 oz. of booze in that one margarita-- be careful! Overall Score: 8/10
Recipe #5 - The Tanteo Jalapeño Margarita
2 oz. Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz. Agave Nectar
Ok, I know it might sound biased, but honestly, this margarita was soo good. I will say that I did like the darker color of the Grand Marnier Margarita™, but the Tanteo Jalapeño Margarita is how a spicy margarita is suppose to be. It is no wonder this is the WOW cocktail that we let every bar, restaurant, liquor store, and consumer test taste. It was spicy, slightly sweet, had just the right amount of booze, and it had the nicest refreshing citrus taste from the fresh lime juice. If you are thirsty, do not prolong the wait and click here to find the closest place to imbibe Tanteo. Overall Score: 10/10
Anthony - I think we have to agree to disagree. While there are many good margaritas made with orange liqueurs, Tanteo’s Jalapeno Margarita is deliciously unique. If you are looking to spice up your margarita, put away the orange liqueurs and start using Tanteo.
A little disclaimer: I did not tweak the proportions on each of these recipes. A little adjustment on the recipes and perhaps we could stumble upon something better than our original recipe. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you find any great recipes and you may be featured in a future post.
Para la Buena Vida,