How did we go almost three weeks in Mexico City and not once have a margarita? This is a traditional drink associated with Mexico.
A margarita is a delicious alcoholic cocktail consisting of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice, often served with salt on the rim of the glass. You can order it on ice, blended as in the picture, or straight. Fact be told, mixed drinks rarely appear on most menus, so it never occurred to us to ask about ordering one. Our resolve to change this was determination once we reached Oaxaca.
We were in search of the best Margarita. We have been taking our research seriously, but we have had to eat along the way, so the food tempers the alcohol in the system.
After tasting a shot of Mescal, we wanted our Margaritas created with this as opposed to tequila. The agave plant is the base for both liquors; the plant is indigenous to Mexico. The State of Jalisco is the prime producer of tequila. A particular variety of the agave fruit that grows in that area is from what the drink derives.
Mescal or mezcal has an earthier overtone since the distillation process is distinct from tequila. Generally, the alcohol content exceeds 45 percent. A mezcal margarita honestly does not taste much different to me, most likely due to the other ingredients.
What does make a difference is the coating on the rim of the glass. Most places will have a salted rim, so as you sip the drink you are getting a taste of salt as well. What we noticed was a few places put small bowls of what appeared to be chili powder on the table. We assumed incorrectly that this was for our meal. We were finally educated when we ordered a margarita at yet another restaurant where they laced the glass rim with a mixture of salt and chili powder. Wow, this makes for one incredible taste experience that is going to make other margaritas pale in comparison.