This isn’t a sandwich. Whatever. Life isn’t always sunshine and sandwiches. The darkness of limited human mortality manifests in a thick hard reality, cold and creeping up your spine to fill the back of your skull with the slow recognition that, yes, there will be no sandwich. Not tonight. There’s no bread here. And you can’t drive. Shouldn’t drive. Because you’ve had too many margaritas.
Not just any margaritas, mind you. The best margaritas. Why? Because they’re made with triple sec that wasn’t designed for 12 year olds. Real triple sec. Painful triple sec. Tearful. Like life. Like loneliness. Like a night without a sandwich.
The ingredients to this 100 proof triple sec are as follows. And for godsake, this isn’t science. This is your life. Adapt as needed.
- Half a bottle (about 2 cups) of pure grain 190-proof alcohol. I understand some states do not permit the sale of pure grain alcohol. Move from these states.
- A big root of raw, fresh ginger. Big, like some malformed club foot, twisted and grotesque. As big as you would imagine the hand of one of your childhood nightmare creations.
- One jar/bottle of mandarin oranges. This one was 23 ounces.
- Half a cup of sugar
- One cup of water
1) Gingerclear – Course chop the ginger root with a total lack of regard. Clean it first, maybe, doesn’t matter. The grain alcohol solves all problems. Chop it up and stuff it in a container with the alcohol. Let it sit overnight to mingle.
Ready for action:
2) Simple Syrup – bring the water to boil Add sugar. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes until good and dissolved.
3) Drain the mandarin oranges. That juice is bad for you. Too many carbs.
4) Combine the oranges and gingerbooze into a blender, and puree until you’re satisfied.
5) Filter this puree through the most elaborate filter system you can invent. Use at least one coffee filter.
Note: this wasn’t elaborate enough. I had to do more. That puree is nasty stuff.
6) Add the simple syrup to the filtered fluid. This should result in roughly one liter of finished product. I just re-used the grain alcohol bottle.
And that’s it. One bottle of 95-proof pure flavor awesome sauce. All the sweet orange zest of triple sec, with the glorious bite of ginger.
Now make a margarita to celebrate.
The golden ratio for margaritas is this (and only this):
3 parts tequila (preferably blanco, no more than reposado)
2 parts lemon (hint: a fully juiced lemon is close to one shot)
1 part triple sec
You can do all the math you want, or just own up and make your drink with 3 shots tequila, 2 lemons, 1 shot triple sec. Shake or stir or muddle or whatever. Salt or not.
It won’t matter in the end. Nothing does.
Q: Why lemons? Aren’t margaritas made with limes?
A: Life doesn’t hand you limes. It hands you lemons.
Q: This tastes like gasoline, what did I do wrong?
A: Use better tequila, add more ice, or add more ginger triple sec. The last seems counter intuitive, but works. Science can’t explain it.
Q: My local farmers market offers organic satsuma oranges (the authentic name of the mandarin orange), grown in a bamboo forest and harvested by Tibetan refugees. Can I use these instead of canned oranges, and at what ratio?
A: You’re dumping them into pure ethanol? Sure. There are no rules here.
Q: How in holy hell did you actually filter this? I’ve spent 45 minutes here, me and the counter are covered in ginger-death, and I’ve only got 3 inches of sauce.