The first margarita I had was probably in high school, maybe junior high. My mom asked where my glass was so casually I thought for sure she was joking. What? Me? Drink? I tried to NOT run to the kitchen to pour my own. Gold patina’ed liquid flirted with the edges of the glass as I floated my way back to the living room. A.) I couldn’t believe I was drinking; and B.) That shit was strong to an unprimed system.
Since then I’ve gain and lost sophistication by varying degrees. The dirt of life fills in proverbial half-moons beneath my nails. I see the world (mostly, partially) without the filter of naiveté. But I can still have a margarita with my mom and experience that thrill of delight.
This photo was taken in Colibri, a bar/restaurant in San Francisco. The bartender chopped up the jalapeños with cool precision, fingered them into the dish, splashed them with 151 rum, and then took out the lighter.
Woosh! In a millisecond, blue flames danced around the plate. The waxy skins crumpled, turned black. In the dimly lit bar, it was magic. A siren’s call to any pyrophile. Once all the alcohol burned off, the peppers disappeared, were crushed, milked and refortified with tequila, lime and triple sec. They were reincarnated to perform another fiery dance. This one upon the tongue.
-Jalapeño, the word, has Spanish and Indigenous (Nahuatl) roots. They were named for the town of Xalapa, signifying sand (xal-li) and water-place (a-pan).
-The heat of peppers is attributed to capsaicin, which is thought to be a defense mechanism against fungal growth and (naturally) herbivores.
-In Greek, Margarita means Pearl. In Spanish it means Daisy.
-The American mixed drink called the Brandy Daisy is made with gum syrup, Curaçao liqueur, lemon juice, brandy, and Jamaica rum. Replace the brandy and rum with tequila, and you might have something that tastes suspiciously similar to a Margarita.