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Drink Sun May 23 2010
Though it's not yet officially summer, this weekend's near-perfect weather convinced my friend Claire and me it was the right time to kick off our Happy Margarita Summer Project 2010. You, dear reader, are invited along as we tour Chicago's Mexican restaurants in search of the city's best margaritas.
How does one get to work on such a fun project? asked one of my Twitter followers. Well, friends, this is the sort of project one assigns to oneself. Lest you think we're a couple of amateurs, though, we've developed both categories and standards to which we plan to adhere as strictly as possible. (Disclaimer: We will be drinking margaritas.)
About the categories: We acknowledge that flavored, frozen margaritas have their place (who wouldn't enjoy a frozen strawberry margarita while lounging poolside?), but we realize they cannot be compared with the standard margarita. Likewise, some establishments aim to get you hammered, while others' raison d'etre is to encourage you to sip, savor, and appreciate the finer things in life. Thus, we've established four awards categories:
- Best Tasting
- Best Flavored
- Most Obliterating
- Most Artisanal
Likewise, we've outlined some rules to level the playing field:
1. Each of us will order the restaurant's standard margarita first.
2. Each of us will jot down our first impressions before verbally sharing our opinions with each another, thereby maintaining our distinct opinions.
3. The second margarita ordered is the taster's choice (i.e., deluxe, frozen, flavored, etc.)
4. We each will sample the others' second margarita.
5. After two margaritas have been consumed, subsequent margaritas will not be subject to judging.
Finally, we've decided upon some criteria for a great, standard margarita:
- Fresh lime taste (ideally from fresh limes, but if not, from a quality sour mix.)
- Even salt distribution on the rim
- Good balance of citrus-sweet-tequila
Please let me know if we've overlooked a critical category or criterion. As you can see, we're taking this responsibility quite seriously.
And stay tuned this week for the results of our first outing, to El Tapatio in Lakeview.