Raucous rita party with the Tipsy Texan

David Allan

Taking a long drink from his margarita, David Alan, founder of the Tipsy Texan consultancy, cooed, “Tastes like childhood.” In one of the most spirited sessions of the 2015 Austin Food & Wine Festival, Alan described the history, ways to mess up and proper ways to make a margarita in “Rescue the Rita.”

A proper margarita has only three ingredients: tequila, orange liqueur such as Cointreau and lime juice. Oh, and perhaps a touch of sugar. According to Alan, there are “five ways to fuck up a margarita:”

  1. Bad tequila. Avoid anything that says “gold” or is does not say 100 percent agave on the label.
  2. Sweeten it. The trend of “skinny” margaritas takes out the sweetness of the classic by adding lots of water. Skip it.
  3. Margarita mix. The premade mixes are loaded with all kinds of unpronounceable ingredients, but absolutely no lime juice. Yuck.
  4. Not cold or diluted enough. Put it on ice and shake it like you mean it. Make sure that shaker makes noise.
  5. Crappy lime garnish. There is nothing worse than a hard lime that is brown around the edges. Throw it out.

The crowd was provided with a shaker, a juicer and all the ingredients to make their own classic rita. While they were shaking things up, a spirited mariachi band marched onto stage to end the festivities in style.

 

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Matt McGinnis

As a marketing strategist for Pen & Tell Us, Matt McGinnis provides marketing, branding and communications counsel to food and beverage as well as other clients globally. He is also an avid beverage enthusiast, chronicling his interests as a Food & Drink contributing writer for CultureMap, as the Food & Drink columnist for Austin Man Magazine, and as a blogger for What Are You Drinking?. He is passionate about the wine industry having previously worked at a winery in Oregon and in wine sales. He has served as Guest Host of Sommelier Cinema at the Alamo Drafthouse, and is a Certified Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers. His writing has been recognized as a Top 10 Food Blog by the Austin Chronicle in 2013 and 2014, with a 2011 Texas Social Media Award from the Austin American-Statesman.

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