Margarita party accents add plenty of pizzaz

A margarita is a party in itself

A margarita is a party in itself

The tiny burst of tart droplets exploding from a wedge of lime creates an aromatic cloud?an airborne aura of fragrance that is like a potent citrus pheromone served with tequila and other ingredients in a frosty glass. The limey temptation imparts no guilt for it is pure flavor. It?s one to be enjoyed?perhaps more than once?at any margarita party where limes are used as components of the frozen tequila cocktail known as a margarita.

What goes into a margarita?

Lime juice or lemon juice traditionally is used to add the zip to drinks served at a margarita party. Tequila is the main ingredient. The inclusion of Triple Sec or Cointreau also is conventional because both impart a strong orange flavor. The International Bartenders Association (IBA) recommends these proportions: seven parts of tequila, four parts of triple sec and three parts of lemon or lime juice.

Variations at a margarita party stem from adding the juice from strawberries, raspberries or mangoes. More than 150 brands of tequila ensure satisfaction for all who imbibe. The margarita is a potent drink, for tequila is processed with the fermented sap of a Mexican cactus plant?the Agave americana. The graceful vessel in which it is served is a common form of standard drink ware?the Margarita glass.

Tequila can pack a punch of between 80 and 100 proof. It?s important to have a variety of foods?perhaps pizzas topped with chilis or beef tortillas?to serve to offset the effect of the alcohol. Nevertheless, a few colorful pi?atas, suspended near a sturdy broomstick, could lend some comedy to the margarita party as the event progresses.

How is a party accessorized?

A margarita party is a fun-filled event but one that calls for designated drivers?or overnight arrangements. Tequila is potent. Its proof reflects a ratio of water to alcohol content. A 100-proof tequila is 50 percent alcohol by volume. Likewise, an 80-proof brand is 40 percent alcohol. The addition of some comfortable hammocks to the party place might be a whimsical but useful move.

Trays of tortilla chips and bowls of spicy salsa make a fine welcome for guests at a margarita party. Tequila is named its place of origin, the Mexican district of Tequila. No wonder a savvy host will tend to include accents of Southwest d?cor to their margarita party.

What makes a good margarita?

Mostly all the variations of tequila drinks served at a margarita party begin with a high-speed whirl in a blender?or a good shaking in a closed container. The mixing ensures that ice cubes are well pulverized and flavors properly married.

The drinks are served in a glasses rimmed with coarse salt. Most servers at a margarita party use a piece of lime to moisten the edge of the glass before inverting the glass into a plate of sea salt or some other coarse variety of salt. Hosts and hostesses find that decorating the serving area with strings of red chili pepper lights adds drama to the bartender?s repertoire of pouring styles.

What part does salt play?

Folks who for any reason prefer to restrict their intake of salt are not shunned at a margarita party. They may be silently pitied but they?re served their beverage salt-free and with a smile. The salted-rim rule is not very strict. Legend has it that salt came into use to disguise the taste of substandard tequila.

Today?s margarita party is in little danger of an influx of inferior tequila. The practice of adding salt to the rim may have originated years ago when manufacturing standards were low or non-existent.

Is the salted rim required?

These days, some servers?upon request?will salt half the rim or leave it bare. Others will provide their guests a straw so that the salted rim can be savored intermittently as the drink is consumed. A margarita party is a convivial gathering and guests? preferences are honored.

Most often, the rim of the glass is salted and the tequila mix poured carefully into the center of the glass, so as to leave undisturbed the rim?s ring of salt. It?s a matter of choice. And those who choose to host a margarita party agree on one thing: there never is a lack of prospective guests willing and able to attend.