Tequila is not a spirit I often used in cocktails. I can’t say that I don’t like tequila but usually I prefer gin and whiskey. The cause is unclear. Maybe tequila isn’t as flexible as other spirits in use or I just have no chance to enjoy good tequila yet.
In any case, usually I take a bottle of tequila only to make Margarita, a perfect cocktail that I can’t stop to enjoy. Besides classic Margarita, I love to make mandarin and strawberry versions from time to time.
It’s funny that it’s harder to buy high quality strawberry liqueur rather than the same mandarin liqueur. Cognac-based Mandarine Napoléon is a quite expensive stuff but it’s widely available and of highest quality so this liqueur is a must for the cocktail I’m talking about.
Mandarine Margarita was my long-term wish since I’ve saw it at Science Of Drink. Version with Cointreau was a bomb so I was burning with desire for Mandarine Napoléon version. And when I’ve bought the liqueur, I’ve made Mandarine Margarita right away.
When enjoying the cocktail, I was frustrated to get no balance in drink with my Lejenda del Milagro Tequila Reposado. Harsh aftertaste was so disappointing that I was forced to buy another tequila reposado. Casa Vieja Tequila Reposado became my choice. I think that this tequila brand is little known so maybe my opinion on it will be useful. Casa Vieja Reposado has mild oily taste with citrus and earthy notes. That’s quite smooth tequila and it work better in cocktails rather than being drunk neat.
Another issue was mandarin juice. This citrus can be sweet or sour, that depends on the fruit origin. I have sweet mandarins so I was compelled to increase lime juice amount and it means that I should take more mandarin juice too.
Also I’ve preferred to serve the cocktail straight. I don’t like watered-down Margaritas and at the same time love to drink it without rush.
- 60 ml tequila reposado (Casa Vieja Tequila Reposado),
- 30 ml Mandarine Napoléon,
- 20 ml fresh mandarin juice,
- 20 ml fresh lime juice.
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker. Shake with ice and then strain in «margarita» glass with salted rim. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
The cocktail was citrusy and offered delicious composition of lime fresh sourness and mandarin exotic sweetness. Also it was tart and sweet in the beginning and with a little bitter flavour of zest and tequila in the end.
Tequila worked well from the beginning to the end. It brought citrus notes at the start, it became oily and created mild candy flavour in combination with Mandarine Napoléon on the swallow. In the end tequila added some bitter and smoky notes to dry and tart aftertaste of citrus zest.
The liqueur was amazing at the background. While mandarin and lime juices dominated on the front, Mandarine Napoléon formed deep and rich aftertaste of wood, candied citrus and spices. Also it helped to control sourness level and assisted tequila in underlining fine wood note on the background.