“Sometimes the best way to move forward is to go back to the beginning,” says Andy Seymour, one of four mixologists who have lent their skills to create a modern interpretation of America’s most popular cocktail, the Margarita. King Cocktail Dale DeGroff, mixologist Junior Merino and bar chef Adam Seger of Chicago’s Nacional 27 joined Seymour in creating Corzo Modern Margaritas, each designed for more contemporary tastes.
When creating a cocktail, “take a look at the drink’s origins,” says Seymour, “and find a parallel to drink makers’ trends of today.” Modern Margarita variations transcend the traditional Margarita glass with the use of stemless glassware. Recipes also incorporate alternative sources of sweeteners such as fresh agave syrup, an ingredient unique to Mexico, and Corzo Tequila, which combines the age-old secrets of Mexican tequila making along with an advanced production process that triple distills and twice mellows the tequila in American white oak barrels for smoothness and flavor. As for the classic salted rim, modern versions call for the addition of pepper to the salt mix as seen in Segar’s Corzo Modernita or the combination of chocolate and ancho chili powder in DeGroff’s Corzo Mayan Margarita. Some even suggest salting half of the rim, as every sip need not be the same.
New mixology techniques include “the hard shake,” which makes the drink colder and better balanced. Large cubes made from purified water prevent flavors from diluting. And lastly, these cocktails use savory ingredients such as ginger, jalapeno and pepper – all trends that are popping up at hot bars across the nation. “We all have read about the culinary cocktails that are appearing around the country and, for that matter, all around the world. There has been a change in the DNA of the cocktail, an evolutionary jump,” says DeGroff.
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