Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Margueritini

This potion has nothing to do with tequila or margaritas. The name is based on my name in French class: Marguerite. Like my first two potions, it is purple and contains Parfait Amour, but in an effort to achieve more purpleness, it contains Chambord. Since Chambord adds more sweetness, I found that I had to include lemon juice instead of my usual lime.

The Margueritini

1 oz vodka
1/2 oz Chambord
1/2 oz Marie Brizard Parfait Amour
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake with ice and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon slice.

The Margerita

After the success of my first potion, the Margini, I then wanted to create a Margerita. (Pronounced like "Marge-a-rita.") It had been a long time since I had tried tequila. I'm so glad the quest for the Margerita brought me back to this spirit which had been missing from my liquor cabinet for far too many years.

Unfortunately, my early attempts at creating the Margerita involved gold tequila, which I found to be too smoky in flavor for what I wanted. Once I got the clear kind, it was just a matter of getting the proportions right. Incidentally, I also wanted the Margerita to be purple, like the Margini. So this potion also uses Parfait Amour instead of Triple Sec. This is a frozen (blender) recipe. I'm not big on margaritas on the rocks.

The Margerita

1 oz tequila (the clear kind)
1 oz Marie Brizard Parfait Amour
1 oz fresh lime juice (about a whole lime)
1 tbsp Grenadine (about a third of a shot)
1 tbsp Blue Curaçao
1 1/2 to 2 cups of ice

Blend all ingredients in electric blender on high setting and add ice until you get the consistency you want. In the photo, I used a green, apple martini rimming sugar.

The Margini

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to create a drink called the Margini. I wanted it to be purple, and I wanted to like it. The problem with purple is that it usually requires red and blue, and using food coloring, to me, is cheating. The only blue ingredient I could think of was Blue Curaçao, but I figured you'd have to mix it with Grenadine (red) to get purple, and that sounded too sweet already.

Then one day my brother said he read an article about some unusual spirits. He thought I'd be interested in Strega (Italian for "witch") or Parfait Amour, which is purple. Unfortunately, in North Carolina, one must purchase liquor at State-run ABC stores, which don't typically cater to unusual interests. Fortunately, I like to travel, and I found a bottle of Marie Brizard Parfait Amour at a liquor store in Banff, Alberta.

Marie Brizard Parfait Amour is a liqueur that is purple in color but tastes like orange - with maybe a hint of vanilla or violet. I find that it can be used in place of Triple Sec or Blue Curaçao. I believe there are other brands of Parfait Amour out there which may have a different flavor, but I haven't come across them, so I don't know if they would work as well.

My first couple of attempts to create a Margini were a bit too sweet, but I finally perfected it with this recipe, which is based on my brother's Cosmo recipe (only instead of Triple Sec, the Margini has Parfait Amour).

The Margini

1 1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz Marie Brizard Parfait Amour
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (about half a lime)
Splash of cranberry juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Serve with a small twist of lime rind.

This was my first potion.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"I think she's a witch!"

People have commented on my apparent witchiness periodically throughout my life. Although I admit I sometimes perpetuate the witchy image myself (or at least don't mind it), people have commented about it even after having known me for only a few hours, even people who never met me but just observed me from afar, even when I wasn't dressed in all black or a broomstick skirt. Apparently, I exude a witchy aura.

So, am I a witch?

Well, what does that mean? Once upon a time, just being able to swim could get you burned at the stake. Or having a mole, or speaking French, or being a smart woman, or being uncomfortable in church. It's probable I never would have survived the 17th Century, but neither would most of my modern chick friends. Nowadays, folks seem to think being a witch means you're Wiccan, which isn't so officially illegal at least. The US Army will print "Wiccan" on your (or your husband's) dogtags, but I am not Wiccan. Well, I don't know; can you be a non-practicing Wiccan? I mean, I don't perform rituals or speak in rhyming incantations or create potions -- oh wait. Maybe I do.

I concoct cocktails that alter consciousness. I drink dark brews. I play with candles. And cards. I have two black cats! I collect charms. I am nocturnal. I observe obscure ancient holidays with strange rituals. I enjoy flying in the sky to strange lands and speaking in strange tongues. I'm a wicked speller. I have even been known to make people disappear with a mere glance.

Maybe I AM a witch. Maybe modern magic manifests in making mixed drinks (or in liking alliterative language). Are my quirks and affectations just a random combination of things that other people associate with witchcraft, or are they actually the outward manifestations of my true witch self and I really am leading a charmed life? Witch is it?