With inspiration from Latin American markets where fresh tropical fruits are served sprinkled with salt and chili pepper, our new summer margarita serves up fresh muddled pineapple, our own house made ginger syrup and fresh squeezed lime juice with a salt, sugar and cayenne pepper rim that tantalizes your sweet, salty and spicy senses
Usually, I sit down with one of the product development Chefs, and talk mostly about fresh ingredients and dish inspiration. This time around was a little bit different in an awesome way… I got to sit down with our Head of Beverage Development, Cameron Bogue. Now let me tell you, I love margarita’s and I make an awesome margarita, if I may say so myself; so it was a treat being able to discuss a craft margarita with a pro, while sipping on one! Check out what Cam had to say:
Sepy: This drink can’t just be Pineapple, Ginger and Tequila… are there any secret ingredients?
Cameron: Often times, people [on either side of the bar] think that a great cocktail comes from mixing a plethora of ingredients and/or flavours together. The secret to great drinks, however, is to showcase fresh, simple ingredients… think quality, not quantity. Another secret component to this drink is in the perfect extraction of the bright, ginger flavour into our house made Ginger Syrup!
Sepy: What’s that around the rim of the glass?
Cameron: The rim around the glass is a mixture of Sugar, Salt and Cayenne Pepper. The traditional salt-rim has been kicked up a few notches! When you take a sip, the rim hits first, giving you a little bit of sweet and a touch of heat. The salt then helps open up your tastebuds as the margarita itself hits your tongue, extinguishes the heat from the cayenne, leaving only the flavour behind, and hopefully a little buzz.
Sepy: Where did the inspiration for this drink come from?
Cameron: I’ve spent a lot of time traveling and living abroad, but the inspiration for this drink came from the bright and vibrant produce markets of Latin America, where they would serve fresh tropical fruit with a mixture of salt and crushed chili powder. I had to try the combo of sweet, salty and spicy in a beverage, and it came out delicious!
Sepy: How long does it take you to perfect a drink from step 1 until the point that it hits the menu?
Cameron: There’s no real cut and dry formula for the time or effort it takes in creating and launching a new cocktail at Earls. Some of them start as great flavour combinations which mix easily into an amazing cocktail, and others take weeks to months of tweaking and perfecting the balance of flavours into a menu worthy cocktail. Once the drink is perfected it takes about 3-4 months to launch the recipe… First in one restaurant, followed by each region, and finally, if the customer’s are enjoying it, company wide. The Pineapple Ginger Margarita has been en route to your favourite Earls Patio for some time now! Enjoy!
Many thanks to Cam for giving all of us a bit of time out of his day to chat Margaritas! I hope everybody got to know the Pineapple Ginger Margarita a bit better, and hopefully you’ll be sun-kissed on an Earls patio with one of these margs nuzzled in your hand in no time. Let us know how you like it!
Assistant Marketing Manager
Earls Restaurants Ltd.