Let's just say, I may have started the Cocktails Across America puzzle in the middle of the US simply to get some tequila in my belly.
New Mexico's drink - on the puzzle, at least - was one of the only ways I can stomach grapefruit juice: mixed with tequila. Who doesn't love that lip-puckering, jaw tightening tartness when it's mixed with a little smooth agave love known as the Paloma?
See, here's the funny thing about this puzzle. I seriously doubt the drinks depicted on this map are really THE drink of each state. As an example. Wyoming's is a boilermaker. Um, no. Not really. I've lived there for the majority of my life and I think if a beer drink was the state drink, it would be a red beer.
But it makes sense to have one of the best things about Mexico be in the drinks that border our neighbor to the south. A great combination for a Saturday afternoon snack is a Paloma (or two) and guacamole. Sensing a theme?
Paloma's can be as easy or as complicated to make as you want them be. Juice a grapefruit if you want to be fancy, like the above linked recipe suggests. Or pour grapefruit juice into a glass and top with tequila for those days when adulting is too hard. That's what I did. Because pandemic. I did get a bit fancy-pants like and used fizzy grapefruit juice I found in the liquor mixers aisle. Because fridge space.
Moving next door to New Mexico didn't mean I had to switch liquors. Texas likes to do things big and what better way to do big than to tequila. Tequila is all about going big or going home. And if you go big, finding home isn't that easy, but that's another post.
This was the second drink in my cocktail tour of the US but not the first one where I found multiple recipes. I thought Texas's Mexican Margarita was going to be more Bloody Mary-ish based on the red drawing with cherry tomato garnish. But I chose a recipe that is less red and has a different garnish. As you can obviously tell in the pic.
There are yummy tomato margarita recipes out there. And they sound pretty much like their name (tomato juice, sugar, lime juice, tequila). But the recipe I was lucky enough to Google had one of my favorite margarita additions: olives. And this is where I decided to take a little creative license.
Technically the recipe I used is for a Mexican Martini, but because it had (aka Mexican Margarita) behind it, and because I was feely saucy. I chose the below recipe, sort of:
Mexican Martini (aka Mexican Margarita)
I didn't use aged tequila because I had my loverly bottle of Hornitos plata in the freezer. And I didn't freshly squeeze the lime juice, ain't nobody got time for that. But I did garnish. Because olives are amazing. My go-to margarita in restaurants is an on-the-rocks-no-salt-with-olives one. I sometimes get a raised eyebrow or two, but trust me it's worth it.
So far so good on this jigsaw journey.
I think I'm going East next.
We have been friends for more years than we haven't. Perhaps because of that or simply because we both have jobs/family that seem to encourage escape, we often bond over an ounce or so of liquid magic. Through these experiences, we have discovered the joys that can come with a well-crafted cocktail, quality beer, and excellent wine. It's about quality for us, and we want to share that with you.