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Drink Wed Feb 22 2012
Who knows why, but today is National Margarita Day. Warmer than usual weather aside, a margarita is in fact a great way to get a taste of summer in cold and dreary February. And the Drawing Room's Charles Joly has a perfect cocktail to fit the season and the celebration. Eve's Answer is a "cool weather margarita" that Joly won the International Margarita Competition with. It was also selected by Chicago magazine as one of the 20 best cocktails in the city, so you know you're in for a treat.
1½ oz. Reposado tequila
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. spiced raisin syrup
1 oz. local cider
mist of mezcal (optional)
cinnamon stick garnish
Joly uses Olmeca Altos reposado tequila in this drink, arguing that it's not necessary to reach for the top shelf here. "When you're mixing at home or even at a bar, you need to be somewhat conscientious of cost," he says. "You don't have to drop $40 for what a bottle of Patron reposado would be. This is half that, and it's just as good, if not better, in a cocktail."
To make the spiced raisin syrup, combine equal parts white grape juice, sugar and water in a pot over low heat, stir until the sugar dissolves, and steep cinnamon and a little star anice in the mixture. Remove the spices and put it in a carafe or squeeze bottle and keep it refrigerated until you need it.
To mix the cocktail, add the tequila, lemon juice, syrup and cider in a cocktail shaker with some ice, shake vigorously and strain it into a highball glass filled with ice. Mist with mezcal if you'd like, and scrape some cinnamon off the cinnamon stick then add the stick as garnish.