Thursday, June 18, 2009

Top Mixologists Reinvent Summer Classic: The Modern Margarita

As Americans become more cocktail savvy, bartenders are looking to classic cocktails for creative inspiration. “Sometimes the best way to move forward is to go back to the beginning,” says leading mixologist Andy Seymour. Mr. Seymour is one of four mixologists in CORZO’s Modern Margarita all-star lineup which includes Dale DeGroff, Junior Merino and Adam Seger. All four have lent their skills to create a modern interpretation of America’s most popular cocktail, the margarita. Made with CORZO Tequila, each Modern Margarita recipe has distinct character and flavor, each reflective of the current demand for innovation, taste and technique at the bar.

Today, the margarita remains the number one bar call in the country. While many variations of the traditional recipe exist, CORZO’s Modern Margaritas are designed for more contemporary tastes. When creating a cocktail, “take a look at the drink’s origins,” says Andy Seymour, “and find a parallel to drink makers’ trends of today.” Modern Margarita variations transcend the traditional margarita glass with the use of stemless glassware. Recipes also incorporate alternative sources of sweeteners such as fresh agave syrup, an ingredient unique to Mexico. Unlike conventional brands, CORZO Tequila combines the age old secrets of Mexican tequila making along with an advanced production process that triple distills and twice mellows the tequila in American white oak barrels for perfect smoothness and flavor. As for the classic salted rim, modern versions call for the addition of pepper to the salt mix as seen in Adam Seger’s CORZO Modernita or the combination of chocolate and ancho chili powder in Dale DeGroff’s CORZO Mayan Margarita. Some even suggest salting half of the rim, as every sip need not be the same.

New mixology techniques include “the hard shake,” which makes the drink colder and better balanced. Large cubes made from purified water prevent flavors from diluting. And lastly, these cocktails use savory ingredients such as ginger, jalapeno and pepper – all trends that are popping up at hot bars across the nation. “We all have read about the culinary cocktails that are appearing around the country and, for that matter, all around the world. There has been a change in the DNA of the cocktail, an evolutionary jump,” says Dale DeGroff.

The Modern Margarita represents the evolution of the cocktail while preserving its deep rooted traditions. The CORZO Mayan Margarita features an unsweetened cacao and ancho chili powder rim. “The cocoa powder goes back 1000 years to the discovery of the sacred cacao by indigenous peoples in Mexico, Central, and South America and forward to the cutting edge culinary cocktail of the new millennium,” says Dale Degroff. Andy Seymour’s CORZO Postmodern puts an updated spin on The Daisy, a popular drink of the 19th century. As the story goes, this recipe took on a familiar look in Mexico when The Daisy was born from the combination of tequila and prominent citrus fruits (limes), later becoming the Margarita. Seymour says, “The original lemon based recipe is a perfect complement to CORZO tequila, as the bright citrus draws out the agave flavor of tequila. Sherry and bitters go back to mixology’s earliest days, but until recently had been forgotten items behind most bars.”
Creating a new, modernized drink isn’t just about mixing cocktails. “It's about sharing experience, knowledge, passion, and creativity to make ingredients come together in a well balanced and harmonized cocktail,“ says Junior Merino. With this new, evolving cocktail culture, CORZO and the nation’s best mixologist present four original Modern Margarita recipes for the progressive cocktail connoisseur:


1 1/2 Parts CORZO Reposado
1 tablespoon red pepper jelly or half red pepper half jalapeño pepper jelly
1/2 Part Agave Nectar
1 Part fresh lime juice
Orange slice
Unsweetened chocolate powder mixed with ancho chili powder; 2 parts chocolate powder to one part chili powder to dust the rim of the glass.

Prepare the rim of the glass with a dusting of the chocolate /chili mixture by wetting the rim with an orange slice. Fill the glass with cracked ice. Assemble the ingredients in the glass half of a Boston shaker and shake very well with ice. Strain into the prepared glass. And serve immediately.


2 Parts CORZO Anejo
1 Part Agave Nectar
Juice and Zest of 1 Lime
Zest of 1/2 lemon

Build in a 16 ounce pint glass. Shake vigorously with fresh ice until metal part of shaker is frosted. Strain into a kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper rimmed martini glass.
Float a sprig of fresh rosemary on top.

CORZO LA FUTURA by Junior Merino

1 ½ Part CORZO Silver
¾ Part Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
¾ Part Pineapple Juice
1 Part Fresh Lime Juice
½ Part Agave Nectar

Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a margarita glass or rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of crystallized ginger and lemon peel.


2 Parts CORZO Reposado Tequila
¼ Part Medium Dry Sherry
½ Part Premium Orange Cognac
¾ Part fresh lemon juice
¼ Part Agave Nectar
1 bar spoon Blood Orange Bitters

Begin by chilling a medium sized cocktail glass. Then, in a tall mixing glass add all ingredients: bitters, agave nectar, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, Sherry and Corzo Reposado. Fill mixing glass with ice and shake vigorously. Strain mixture into cocktail glass and garnish with a wide twist of lemon zesting the oil over the drink and rimming the glass before floating twist

About the Mixologists


Often referred to as the “King of Cocktails”, Dale DeGroff developed his extraordinary techniques and talent tending bar at great establishments where he was one of the first to pioneer a gourmet approach to recreating great classic cocktails, inventing hundreds of his own using fresh squeezed juices and exotic ingredients. A three time James Beard award nominee, Dale is author of the IACP award winning "The Craft of The Cocktail" and the newly released "The Essential Cocktail".


Adam combines his rich culinary exposure with influences from world-class mixology mentors to create his distinctive cocktails. In addition to using specialty and boutique liquors for his drinks, he also sources artisan products, such as the organic agave syrup from Peru. He has been dubbed a “Spirits Guru” by Food & Wine and Fast Company and a “Beverage Guru” by Wine & Spirits. Seger resides in Chicago.


Master Mixologist Junior Merino has built his career on fusing exotic, unexpected flavors. Junior has created signature cocktails for dozens of restaurants and bars across the world. Due to his well-known creativity, Junior has won a "Rising Star" award from Star Chefs and a special recognition from Mexico's government for his knowledge of Mexican ingredients. Junior also holds advanced certifications in cognac and tequila expertise, and continues to study the various types of spirits for his upcoming book, to be released by early 2009.


One of America’s top mixologists, Andy Seymour brings a diversity of experience to the profession. Andy’s mixology credits include rendering cocktails at exclusive events for a long list of top entertainers from Oprah Winfrey to Jennifer Lopez. His drinks have been featured at the New York and Sundance Film Festivals and the Gotham Independent film awards, Andy’s company, Liquid Production, is devoted to raising the bar on cocktail and helping others accomplish the same.


One of today’s fastest-growing brands, CORZO™ Tequila offers luxury with credentials, a contemporary image that defines the concept of modern luxury and a legitimate quality story that distinguishes it from other spirits in the category. Created to take the category to a new level of refinement, CORZO Silver tequila is one of the few tequilas to incorporate a triple distillation process for an impeccably clean, ultra smooth finish. Moreover, CORZO Reposado and Anejo are the only tequilas to be mellowed prior to this third distillation, a unique method requiring twice the amount of premium agave as most brands. The result is a remarkable tequila with the perfect balance of flavor and smoothness. Demonstrating a commitment to excellence unprecedented in its category, CORZO symbolizes a progressive step into the new world of contemporary luxury spirits. For more information, visit

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