Cocktails & Spirits


Ultimate Margarita Blind Taste Quest Phase 5: Key Limes or "Regular" Limes?


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Ultimate Margarita Blind Taste Quest Phase 5: Key Limes or "Regular" Limes?

TombstoneShadow | Aug 15, 2013 09:53 PM

Continuing on in my quest for the Ultimate Margarita (for my palate of course), today I blind tasted two drinks using the tequila, triple sec, and ratios established in prior phases, and experimenting with use of fresh squeezed regular lime juice vs. that of key limes. Tasting notes follow, I knew the ingredients in both drinks except which glass held which lime juice.

Basic Ratio: 2 parts tequila, 1 triple sec, 1/2 agave, and 1 lime juice

Drink 1: Bright, lip-smacking, yummy… could play with the ratios here. Could stand a bit more tequila as this lime / agave / TS combo really balances the basic tequila…. Will try another 1/2 part tequila in this drink after sampling Drink 2.. [Note: did not do this b/c on the fly I decided to combine the remainder of the two drinks as you'll see].

Drink 2: A bit tarter than Drink 1. Awesome delayed tart lime backnote…. This is about dialed in, perhaps could use slightly more tequila.

NOTE: The KEY difference (no pun intended) is that Drink 1 is on the "sweet lime" side and Drink 2 is on the "tart lime" side… both imminently drinkable. My palate preference vacillates between the two… but it really is a tie…

Now what have I been drinking?
1: "Regular" lime
2: Key lime

NEXT Step before adding any tequila, is to combine the regular and Key lime drinks…. See if there's any combined effect creating more delicious flavor complexity…

WOW… this is really on the right track… the two limes maintain their character in a "sweet / sour" flavor battle of lime nuances, followed by that sharp key lime tart backnote… This is a Bingo here, highly recommended…

Further, note that several neo-classic Margarita recipes call for a squeeze of both fresh lime and fresh lemon… I think this may be a similar but more interesting approach, to combine both sweet lime and key lime! This way you stay with a singular lime flavor dimension, but with much more complexity. Just delicious.

This is more evidence of a tentative conclusion I reached yesterday, that the single most important flavor ingredient in a Margarita may not be EITHER the tequila or the triple sec... but really the fresh lime juice! This was so apparent when I added lime after sampling the tequila/triple sec combos for the ideal ratios yesterday (see ratio test thread). The drink was just completely transformed, sharpened, and truly defined by the lime.

With thanks to a poster who suggested key limes on one of my other threads on this topic.

The search will continue....

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