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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hey, Barkeep: Meet Ciaran Wiese from Agustin Kitchen and Danny Gallego from Trident Grill

    Rebecca Marie Sasnett

    This weekend kicks off with a twist. The ninth annual World Margarita Championship will be held on Saturday at the Plaza Colonial Courtyard at 6 p.m. The margaritas entered into competition must be classic, four-ingredient margaritas with tequila, a sweetening ingredient, a tart citrus ingredient and an orange component. Though professional mixologists hailing from the Tucson Originals Restaurants alliance will be squaring off, guests who have purchased a ticket will be able to try each entry. A couple of the bartenders entering the competition give their take on all things margarita.

    Daily Wildcat: Personally, what is your favorite margarita to drink? Why?

    Ciaran Wiese of Agustin Kitchen: I’m a purist. There is only one margarita. I see this competition as an homage to a great classic that deserves respect, and that’s what I aim to do with my drink, though my drink isn’t a margarita per se.

    Danny Gallego of Trident Grill: I personally like a margarita that has some spice to it.

    What type of margarita will you be making at the competition?

    Wiese: My drink is called the Vagabond with hints of sage and caraway, a drink that has traveled the globe.

    Gallego: I will be making an infused cucumber-jalapeno tequila margarita.

    What’s the trick to making a quality margarita?

    Wiese: 100 percent Blue Agave tequila, top quality orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier, maybe a dash of simple syrup, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. It’s just that simple.

    Gallego: Having ingredients that complement each other well.

    What’s the easiest way to mess up a margarita?

    Wiese: Adding too many ingredients, sour mix, mixto tequila, not respecting simplicity in a great classic.

    Gallego: Over-pouring the tequila or making it too tart.

    Have you made any particularly strange margaritas with ingredients you wouldn’t have thought would work?

    Wiese: You’re asking the wrong bartender. I’m the guy who uses ingredients like blue cheese, tobacco, vinegar and seaweed in drinks. Nothing is too strange for me. I love a good challenge.

    Gallego: I tried a margarita with some chocolate liquor and didn’t get good results.

    Any misconceptions about the margarita or something that most people wouldn’t know about the drink?

    Wiese: There used to be a very popular drink lost to modern times. This drink was the “daisy.” A daisy consisted of spirits, citrus and a liqueur as a sweetening agent, typically an orange liqueur. Does any of this sound familiar? Tequila, orange liqueur and fresh lime juice? Can you tell me what “daisy” translates to in Spanish? I’ll give you one guess.

    Gallego: Some bars, bartenders just do not know how to make a properly mixed margarita and end up making a tequila sour. So, if patrons get a bad margarita at one place, they are less likely to ever order one again.


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