May 2, 2012

An avocado margarita? Believe it or not, it works

One of the things that happens when you're a food writer is that when even a marginal holiday rolls around, your mailbox fills up with recipes from companies that want you to promote their products.

click image to enlarge

Mexican Avocado Margarita

Photo by Meredith Goad/Staff Writer

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CINCO DE MAYO 2012 IS 150 YEARS IN THE MAKING

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, the Consulate General of Mexico in Boston is sending Mexican restaurants pamphlets that they can pass out to their customers to explain the history and meaning of Cinco de Mayo. (Locally, Zapoteca will be passing these out.) Here's what the pamphlets say:

"On May 5, 2012, Mexico celebrates 150 years that (the) Mexican Army, commanded by Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated a powerful foreign power in the famous Battle of Puebla. This battle took place on May 5, 1862, between the Mexican army and French Army in the current city of Puebla. The battle of Puebla was a massive achievement for Mexico, but more important was the moral impact of their success: Mexican people realized that the French army was not invincible and that Mexican forces were able to face one of the most powerful armies of the time.

"When news of the Battle of Puebla reached the United States, the Mexican army's victory, as well as the contributions of those who had migrated to this country, were acknowledged. Years later, the institutionalization of this celebration in the United States has brought Mexican immigrants and other ethnic and national groups together.

"Today, through their growing civic participation, 50 million Latinos have rewritten the meaning and importance of Cinco de Mayo as a tradition that has full membership in 21st-century American society. Mexican-Americans and Latinos alike take great pride in their roots and have acknowledged, generation after generation, that the United States' prosperity depends in part on the incorporation of immigrants into its society, culture and economy while at the same time adopting its values and way of life.

"Cinco de Mayo is an opportunity for Americans to come together in celebration and to acknowledge the many contributions made by Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and Latinos to the United States.

"For Mexico, the commemoration of the Battle of Puebla pays homage to the courage and determination shown by our soldiers in their triumph against the French Imperial Army. It symbolizes our solid will to self-determination, and is a reflection of how much can be achieved through national unity."

Around May 5, the recipes invariably include either avocados or tequila.

These are fun to look at, but usually I just ignore them. I'd rather get ideas from local chefs and bartenders.

This year, however, the folks from the industry group "Avocados from Mexico" sent a margarita recipe that I couldn't resist trying. It contains both avocados and tequila.

I love avocado, but I have to admit the idea of drinking it um, let's just say it wasn't the most appetizing notion.

Feeling adventurous, I got out the blender and gave it a whirl.

The result was a margarita that tasted something like melted lime sherbet. The avocado flavor was subtle, and actually helped to cut the sweetness of the margarita mix and the Cointreau I used, as well as the acidity of the lime.

I liked the flavor, and while it was a little thick, it wasn't too thick. Still, I couldn't shed the thought that I was drinking avocado. It didn't ruin the drink for me, but I probably wouldn't make this a regular part of my repertoire.

As a novelty drink for a Cinco de Mayo party, though?

Muy bueno.

MEXICAN AVOCADO MARGARITA

Yield: 6 drinks (about 5 cups)

1 fully ripened avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and chopped

2/3 cup sweet-and-sour margarita mix

1/2 cup tequila

1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur (such as Triple Sec or Cointreau)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

In a blender, combine avocado, margarita mix, tequila, liqueur and lime juice; cover and process until smooth. Add three cups of ice; whirl until almost smooth; do not over-blend. Serve in glasses rimmed with salt or chili-lime salt if desired. Garnish with thin slices of avocado.

TEQUILA TRIVIA

• TEQUILA has been one of the fastest-growing spirits categories during the last decade. Since 2002, U.S. imports of tequila have grown 67 percent, an average rate of 5.8 percent per year.

Source: Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

• TEQUILA TERMINOLOGY 101:

Blanco – Aged under two months, this style of tequila is the purest, and imparts the natural flavors of the blue agave plant.

Reposado – Aged two months to a year, this tequila meshes the mellowing traits of wood with the herbal qualities of the blue agave juice.

Anejo – Aged over one year, Anejo tequilas possess vanilla flavors of the oak in which they're aged.

Source: Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

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