Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

Want to know more about me? Friend me on facebook, follow me on twitter, or even look up my New Yorker cartoons on instagram! NB; different platforms not all food related)

A big thank you, as always, to my sponsors at Blue Vapours (use them for all your design and advertising needs - we are waiting for your call!).

Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Margarita Madness!

“America, America, my nation’s heart to thee! Oh endless skies, and deep tanned thighs, can I eat KFC?”

Maintaining the rage for all things American, it’s Tequila time here at Kit’s Cucina, and much like Floyd on Alcohol, I too have been known to have a tipple while slaving away over a hot anything. Particularly when sponsored (hint, hint all liquor marketers out there – particularly Don Julio of who I am about to rave).

I was at a party at Katka and Neil’s flat last year (Hi Katka and Neil!). Neil had invited a whole lot of his “telcoms” colleagues to come over for the party. It was like walking into the UN; there was an Englishman, a Scott, an Irish fellow, an Indian, an American, a Canadian and a Malay, and their girlfriends were from all over the world… particularly Eastern Europe.

The American guy was really very nice; hugely fat, beardy and weirdy (he either had one of those “draw-strings-that-you-pull-to-give-your-buttocks-definition” or a lopsided G-string – urk! – showing through his pants). He seemed a bit of a chuckle head, so I immediately smelt a rat and suspected he might work for the CIA. And why not? He perfectly fit the profile. Or have I read too many Smiley’s people book scenarios?

Regardless, he was drinking Tequila and offered me a glass or two. And WOW! The very best tequila I have ever drunk. It was called Don Julio, known colloquially as ‘the Don’ and is Mexican (a quick aside here – I know that Mexico is not the USA, but it is in the Americas, so I feel I’m on safe-ish ground with my opening song).

You will recognise the Don by its wooden stopper. It’s unavailable in stores here (he had brought it back in his luggage – or through the diplomatic bag), but would be worth your while chasing on the internet. It’s made with 100% blue agave with no other ingredients but water. Aged in white oak, such tequilas have much the quality of single malt scotchs. Awesome. See how they make it here:

Tequila Don Julio

This should probably (definitely) NOT be used for cocktails. But it just goes to show the difference between good and terrible tequila.

Anyway, over summer I cranked out the ice shaver my brother Jim (Hi Jim!) gave me last Chrissy (it was nudging 40 degrees at the asbestos beach shack) and made some cocktails. Here’s a few takes on the margarita for the next time you’re losing your cool. Try to get the best quality tequila you can (look for the word agave):

2 parts tequila
2 parts triple sec (Cointreau)
1.5 parts fresh lime juice
Crushed ice
Lime wedges
Salt flakes

Rub glass rim with lime wedge, dip in salt to crust rim. Shave ice, fill glass. Pre-mix cocktail in a jug, pour over ice. Top ice, garnish with lime wedge.

60ml tequila
20ml Cointreau
20ml lime juice
Treat glass as above. Shake ingredients over ice and strain into glass.

One part tequila
Three parts Jose Cuerva margarita mix (triple sec and lime cordial pre-mix from your bottle shop – yummy)
Mix, pour on crushed ice, drink, beat children, set self on fire from BBQ.

1 3/4 cups chilled pomegranate juice
Salt flakes for glass rim
1 1/2 cups silver tequila
1 cup triple sec (Cointreau)
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
Ice cubes
8 lime wedges, for garnish

Shake pre-stirred jug of cocktail mix in portions over ice and pour into salted glasses. Make face. Pomegranate? Who ever has this stuff? Erk! Really? It’s good for you? Well, we’ve already made this much, better drink it. Hey, second one’s not so bad. Ole! Yes please. Has the ambulance arrived yet for the burns and beating victims from previous recipe? Better have another then. Blur memory. Wake next morning with straw sticking out of hair, a cracking headache and bruises.

Until next time (and particularly in light of the espionage comments above), it’s bye from me till next time!

p.s. Tell Julian Assange I'm on my way with the ice shaver!