Dave's Perfect Margaritas

This recipe was created for the wedding of my good friends Amy & Curt Engelmann. They asked if I would make margaritas for 60 people, a challenge I could not refuse! Prior to this my margaritas had been made without a measured recipe but for their wedding they would have to be pre-mixed for dispensing by the hired bartenders. To perfect the recipe a small group of friends got together for a margarita tasting session. Various samples were made, each ingredient measured precisely using chemistry lab equipment. A little more tequila here... a little less lime juice there... a little more tequila here...etc. The end result is the perfect blend of ingredients, not too sweet, not to tart, just right! Arguably the best margaritas on the planet! Many friends have asked for the recipe so here it is.

(I've been asked if the tequila can be omitted for a "virgin margarita". My answer is "why bother, have a glass of lemonade instead!" Part of the perfection of this recipe is the balance in flavors of the tequila with the rest of the mix.)

A note about ingredients. I've found that a good quality gold tequila such as Jose Quervo is fine for making margaritas. The subtlety of flavor and smoothness of premium tequilas are lost when mixed with the citrus juices. Save the really good stuff for sipping on the side!

Please use only freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice. The reconstituted stuff you can buy in the market is good for cleaning copper cookware, but that's about it!

To make six servings.

3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
9 ounces gold tequila
2 ounces Cointreau liquor
1 ounce orange simple syrup*
kosher salt
lime wedges

Pre-mix liquids in a jar or other container. For each serving, shake about 3 ounces of mix with ice and strain into a salt rimmed glass. Enjoy!

*To make orange simple syrup add 1 cup of sugar to 3/4 cup of water in a saucepan along with the grated zest of one orange and simmer until sugar is dissolved and the entire volume has reduced to 1 cup. Allow to cool completely and strain out the zest.

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Edward's Eggnog

My father first created this holiday recipe and it is rightly named for him. Be careful, it's smoothness masks it's potency!

1 dozen large eggs - at room temperature
1 1/2 cups whipping cream - chilled
4 cups whole milk - chilled
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
4 cups good quality Kentucky bourbon - chilled
1/2 cup Dark Jamaican rum - chilled
whole nutmeg

Separate eggs being careful not to get any yolk mixed in with the whites.

Beat whites until stiff enough to support a teaspoon upright. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat some more to mix in.

Beat yolks separately until smooth then add remaining cup of sugar and beat to mix.

Carefully fold the yolks into the whites with a spatula so as not to beat down the meringue.

Carefully fold in the milk and then the cream. Carefully fold in the whiskey and rum. Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg and refrigerate overnight to mellow. The mellowing is extremely important as the mix will be a bit harsh at first.

Prior to serving stir to remix. Serve chilled with freshly grated nutmeg.

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Security Council Punch

This punch was created for a Security Council reception at the XXIX Session of the Model United Nations of the Far West in 1979 and has been a personal favorite for parties ever since. A word of caution, the fruity citrus flavor of this punch belies it's potency and if you drink too much of this elixir you may find yourself banging your shoe on the table!

1/5 gallon white rum
6 ounces fresh lemon juice
6 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate - thawed
6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate - thawed
3 quarts 7-Up - chilled
1 quart soda water - chilled
sliced fresh fruit

Combine all the ingredients except the sodas and stir until blended. Add sliced fruit. Just before serving add the sodas and chunks of ice.

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Dave's Sangria

The perfect cool summer drink while enjoying a bar-b-que with friends. The secret to this recipe is using a good, cheap, fruity (but not sweet) red wine. I suggest a nice Gamay Beaujolais, Beaujolais Nouveau, or Pinot Noir.

2 oranges, halved and thinly sliced
2 lemons, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup simple syrup*
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 lemons - juiced
1 bottle (750ml) red wine - chilled
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup soda water - chilled

Put the sliced oranges and lemons into a large pitcher along with the simple syrup and lemon juice and bruise lightly with a wooden spoon for about 15 seconds. Add the apple slices, wine, orange juice, and sparkling water, and pour over ice.

*To make simple syrup add 1 cup of sugar to 3/4 cup of water in a saucepan and simmer until sugar is dissolved and the entire volume has reduced to 1 cup. Let cool before use.

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Contents copyright © 1999 David Goldberg, all rights reserved.