Mexican meal and music! I can't believe I forgot my camera but, nonetheless, the
outing gave me inspiration for today's "M" post - margaritas and mariachis, both
of which were on the menu and made for a lively evening! We drank in moderation
but, no matter, the music was intoxicating and we were up dancing and carrying on
like youngsters! The only thing better would have been to be on vacation in Puerto
Vallarta, at a nice beachfront property, where we didn't have to drive, with the
margaritas flowing freely, the music going until 2AM, and the dance floor filled
with handsome mexicanos who didn't mind a spin with the geriatric set.
For those who aren't familiar with the cocktail, margaritas are made of tequila, triple sec
or Contreau ( depending on your budget )and lime or lemon juice. Traditionally, it is served
served with salt on the rim of the glass ( not a great idea if you have hypertension but I
MUST have a little bit! ). Margaritas are the primary cocktail, using tequila, made in the
U. S., according to that oft quoted resource, Wikipedia. Fans drink it a variety of ways:
served shaken with ice, on the rocks, blended with ice (frozen margarita) or without ice
Premium margaritas ( the only kind I like to drink ) use better quality tequilas and orange
liquers and fresh lime juice. I believe you can tell a difference - at least with the first
couple of drinks! I prefer Persian limes to the more bitter Key limes. I also like my drinks
on the rocks..with just a few rocks, not blended where I can hardly taste the tequila. Of
course, in my youth ( remember, that was a very l - o - n - g time ago! ), I drank all the
blended fruity kind of margarita, ie, mango, kumquat, banana, watermelon. Now, I want
no frills, good tequila, and a double shot! I don't drink that often so, when I do, it has to
Wikipedia tells me that a margarita should consist of: 7:4:3, that is, 50% tequila,
29% Triple Sec, 21% fresh lime or lemon juice, according to the standard of the IBA
( Official list of Cocktails). Again, this varies according to different bartenders.
Credit to the invention of the margarita also varies. Wikipedia lists eight different people
who claim that title. Regardless of its inventor, I applaud the brilliant person who gave that
tasty concoction to the world. Cheers!!
Mariachi music originated in Mexico, primarily in the state of Jalisco ( the state where
tequila is from, by the way ). These musicians were initially street musicians, beginning
in the colonial period and moving into modern times.
The mariachi ensemble generally consists of violins, trumpets, a classical guitar, a
vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar), a guitarrón (a large acoustic bass). Sometimes,
the group may include a harp. Their dress is, traditionally, black charro outfits, with silver
studs and large wide-brimmed hats. Most of the musicians can play more than one instrument.
During the course of a mariachi song, the entertainers or spectators may let out a "grito
mexicano" - a yell which punctuates the rendition and adds emphasis.
Mariachis are often hired to serenade on special occasions. Imagine a group such as
this singing words of love in front of your house some starlit night!
Mariachi music has become popular worldwise. I remember, nearly twenty years ago,
I made my first trip to Athens. Much to my surprise, when I returned to the Athens
Hilton after a day of sightseeing, I entered the lobby to find a whole group of mariachis
performing. Waiters were walking about offering glass of mescal ( complete with a worm
in each glass ). The Greeks did not look enthused about the mescal - perhaps it was the
wee worm that was a deterrant - though they seemed to enjoy the music. I immediately
drank several glasses of mescal and, when there was a break, talked to the musicians,
in Spanish. They were entertaining the whole week, to sponsor a month long Hilton -
Mexico joint venture with Mexican cuisine in the dining room, promoted by Mexico
tourism. I promised to come back nightly to hear them, before heading off to the
tavernas and a a few hours of ouzo ( not my favorite beverage but, when in Greece...... )
and Greek dance. It was a great vacation!
I am participating in Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday - check out the site and join in the fun!!