Thursday, January 06, 2011

Alphabe Thursday - "M" Is for Margaritas and Mariachis - January , 2011

Last night, I met friends for dinner at a nice little spot in San Francisco for a great
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
(straight up).

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
be good.

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!!


  1. I don't drink but this is one cocktail I've always been tempted to try-- It feels like a very fun, very social drink that always comes with terrific food. Maybe one of these days....

    Cheers, jj

  2. Joanna - I wouldn't recommend tequila to a person who doesn't drink. Even in my drinking days I didn't like the taste of it, or mescal, either.
    Carmen - I am so glad to hear you are out dancing and carrying on like a young thing so soon after your illness. Good for you. I got sick a month ago (at the beginning of our Hawaiian vacation) and am just beginning to get my strength back now. However, if one has to be sick, I recommend Hawaii. The perfect climate for languishing about in.
    And Mexico - the reason I had never been to Hawaii before is I always went to Mexico. I love Mexico. Wonderful for you to run into mariachis in Athens, Carmen.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. makes me want Mexican food for supper tonight:)

  4. I love Margaritas and I love Mariachi, but put them together and they are a party all by themselves!!

  5. I've never really drunk Cointreau, until this Christmas when I decided to buy a bottle. It's delicious, so now I quite fancy trying a margarita.

  6. I would like to have a glass too.

  7. I love the Mariachi festival in Tucson!!!

  8. margaritas and mariachi ... what a great combination!!! i enjoy them both!

  9. Sounds like a fun night! I love Margaritas too! Throw in a big bowl of chips and Guacamole and ooh wee!

  10. hello Carmen? how was your new year celebration? i hope that you enjoyed your celebrations much!

    glad to see you have been enjoying your mexicans, lately! heheheheh.... that phrase can mean something else....but you know what i mean.... this post reminds me of my favorite alcoholic drink the STRAWBERRY MARGARITA! i love my strawberry margaritas!!!!!!!!! but i haven't had one in a looooooonnnngggggg time since the last time i did have one i promised never again to! i was so drunk, i thought i was gonna die! hahahahahhahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

    enjoy! enjoy! enjoy your whole year of 2011!!!!!!!!

  11. Interesting post! And I'm glad you had a fun night in SF!


  12. Now you've got me wanting a margarita. :-) Or maybe a shot of very good tequila. I enjoyed your post, especially the part about your Greek trip. Ole!

  13. Thanks for the spiritual guidance! Though I am a single malt enthusiast, I will give it a try.

  14. Hi Carmen! Hope you entered 2011 in great shape!!
    No margueritas, thanks... Spare a decent mojito for me, please... ;))

    Blogtrotter Two is visiting the third largest artificial lake in the world (by volume). Enjoy and have a superb weekend!

  15. Queste 2 ricette, mi piacciono molto !!!!
    Buona giornata e buon anno 2011 :))

  16. Oh, what a fun time you must have had. Sound truly delightful and I felt as though I was on a cruise ship gazing at far away sunny lands when I read your post.

  17. What a great M post! I love mariachi music!

  18. I like your M today, margaritas are a lot of fun!

  19. Joanna Jenkins -
    I have always enjoyed social drinking - unless it involves gin which I don't like - can't stand the smell of the stuff. You might like mojitos, too...nice, minty, not too strong.

    Kay L.Davies -
    I've been to Mexico many times, too, butI really love Hawaii - mainly because I have some
    really dear fiends there, Japanese friends I've
    known fifty years since they were stationed in my home town of Ft. Benning, Georgia. I think I've been to Hawaii about twenty times over the years.

    gabe -
    Living in San Francisco, there are certainly plenty of good Mexican restaurants around ( and Thai, Japanese, French, Chinese, etc, etc ). This is a great eating town.

    Rocky Mountan Woman -
    You are right! Party time when you have the combo of mariachis and margaritas!

    H -
    I do think Cointreau makes a delicous margarita...far better ( though a little pricier )than with just triple sec.

    rainfield61 -
    I imagine there are some pretty exotic cocktails in Malaysia!! I'll share my margarita with you anytime,though.

    Judie -
    Ohhhh, a mariachi festival would be a lot of fun! Is it like the dueling mariachis where there is some sort of a competition?

    Jo -
    It's a great combination - margaritas and mariachis, especially on a Mexican vacation!!

    NanE -
    I don't seem to have those kind fun nights often enough. Of course, I'm 66 now so I guess I should be slowing down a bit!

    C -
    You are too funny!! I don't drink the blended fruity margaritas too much anymore. I like the premium ones on the rocks and with just a few rocks. I even like straight tequila but I don't like to drink it like shots...I prefer to SIP the good stuff!

    Sue -
    It's fun to get out sometime in San Francisco. I couldn't do it every weekend like my 26-year-old son does! Those guys hit every club in town....though I do remember those days!!!

    Su-sieee! Mac -
    You're a girl after my own heart! I'd prefer a shot of good tequila over a margarita...but, as I said earlier, I like to savor it!

    Shiju Sugunan -
    So, my friend, what is your favorite single malt? They are quite good, aren't they?

    Trotter -
    Wish I'd begun the new year on a cruise. I like those mojitos, myself,especially in Boleros Bar on the Royal Caribbean ships!

    Rosadimaggio63 -
    Hello, Myriam, how is your January going so far? Is the weather cold in Italy right now?

    Mountain Woman -
    It's so nice to have you pay me a visit! Hope the turkeys are doing well...and you and Mountain Man!!

    JDaniel4's Mom -
    It's hard not to like that jivey mariachi music!

    Self Sagacity -
    Well, I have to agree, margaritas can certainly make things fun!!!

  20. Oh Carmen, it just made me smile to read of you having such a great time and dancing the night away.

    If anyone deserves an evening of fun it's certainly you!

    I'm hoping this is the start of a new and improved 2011!

    Thanks for linking!

    And I'll meet you anytime for a 'rita!


  21. Oh yum.. Really put me in the mood for one! What a fun post.