About Jeff Dalton

I am a PhD student in Computer Science and a serious food geek.  In my spare time I hack food.  This blog documents my experiments, and what I had for dinner.  I use high-tech and molecular techniques to create new food experiences.  My cooking is hyperlocal and seasonal gastropub cuisine, comfort food elevated using modernist techniques.  I ♥ pork.

@cookingphd on Twitter. 

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Best Agave Mezcal Margarita for Cinco de Mayo

These are the best margarita's ever!  What makes them special is a homemade sweet-sour-smokey agave and mezcal vinegar.  

Mezcal is a relative of tequila made from distilled agave.  It is roasted over a fire, giving it a smokey and complex flavor.  It is made in small batches, mostly in Oaxaca.  It is usually drunk straight on the rocks, like a scotch.  So have a shot first!

For today, I am mixing up a less than traditional cocktail.  The base is the Perfect Margarita from chow, which is a simple classic.  Not too sweet, the drink highlights the mezcal or tequila and lime.  

Instead of the traditional cointreau, this recipe uses a small quantity of precious elixir: Lou Bank's homemade Agave Nectar Mezcal Raspberry Vinegar.  Lou honed his skills as the first distiller for Rogue.  His homemade vinegars are out of this world.  


1/2 oz Lou Bank Agave Nectar Mezcal Raspberry Vinegar (or Cointreau)

1 1/2 ounces traditional Mezcal, like Real Minero (or 100 percent agave blanco tequila) 

1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice


Mix all ingredients.  Add a bit of simple syrup for sweetness if desired. A dash of angostura bitters can also add a bit of spice. 

For a salty edge, dip the rim of the glass into a shallow bowl of mezcal, drip off excess.  Then dip

the rim in a coarse salt to coat.  The alcohol evaporates more quickly than water, leaving the salt crispy and not too sticky.


For the version in the picture I served it over maple sap ice cubes left over from my maple syrup experiments.  It provides just a hint of sweetness.

Enjoy Cinco de Mayo!  Be sure to tune in to watch Masterchef on June 6th!


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