Friday, June 27, 2008

Lessons from Margaritaville

This time, last year I was up at the cottage with family and friends enjoying the summer sun. I remember sitting by the water, listening to tunes and having a good chat under the clear blue sky. It was pretty hot sitting in the sun so I offered to make up some margaritas. Everyone welcomed the offer so I ran up to the kitchen to whip up a batch. Unfortunately things didn’t quite go as planned. Here’s what I learned that sunny yet bitter day in Margaritaville.

Lesson 1 - Make Sure Your Blender Is Up For the Job

I new I was in trouble the second I started using the cottage's vintage 1970s blender to crush the ice. It happened to be extra tired that day as it was only in the mood to crush one or two cubes of ice at a time. Not a good thing when you have a thirsty crowd waiting for drinks. One of my friends noticed things weren’t going smoothly so he offered to help crush the ice with a blender he had brought from home. It was one of those magic bullet blenders that are only a few inches tall. It couldn’t deal with large quantities of ice so it wasn’t much faster than the clunker I was using. It took us more than 20 minutes just to get 4 cups of crushed ice…a task that should have only taken a few minutes with a good quality blender.

Lesson 2: - Last Minute Experimenting is Not a Good Idea When Serving a Crowd

The ice was crushed and all my ingredients were in the blender ready to go when at the last minute I decided to try out a tip I had once seen on the Food Network. The T.V chef had said that the secret to making the perfect margarita was to include the whole lime. So I tossed one in and blended it all up. Big mistake! The rind from the lime made my margaritas super bitter. The worse part was that I didn’t realize my mistake until I served them… which brings us to the all important lesson number three.

Lesson 3: Sample before Serving

As I served the drinks, I was hit with a barrage of questions and a fair amount of jokes about why it took me so long to make a pitcher of margaritas. I confidently reassured everyone that once they had a sip of my concoction they would realize it was worth the wait. Oops! The drinks were so bitter that after they took a sip their lips drew in and their eyes bugged out. If I had only sampled before I served I could have fixed the drinks by adding more sugar and avoided the awful display of fish faces.
I now laugh thinking about my embarrassing day in Margaritaville but believe me you wouldn’t have wanted to have been standing in my flip flops that day. Keep my tips in mind the next time you decide to offer the crowd a round of margaritas and they’ll always be a rockin’ success! Blend-On!

Live It Up Lemon-Lime Margarita
Rock the house with a batch of these showstopper margaritas.

Juice of 4 lemons
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup liquid honey
2 oz tequila
1 oz triple sec
1 oz blue Curacao
4 cups crushed ice

Combine lemon juice, lime juice, lime zest and honey in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Add tequila, triple sec, blue Curacao and crushed ice to blender. Blend for 15 seconds. Pour into individual glasses and serve.
Makes 4 servings

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