Posts tagged ‘Margarita’

August 3, 2010

Drinking for a Cause: Moonlight Margarita Run


At 8:00 on Thursday evening, August 5, approximately 1,000 people will get together in the gathering dusk to run 3.2 miles along Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. With the sticky air searing their lungs and scorching asphalt blistering their feet, they’ll line up for this 5k dash with one goal in mind: an ice cold margarita greeting them at the finish line.

That seems like a lot of work for a margarita. Of course there is more to it. This 5k raises money for The Trail Foundation, the venerable organization whose mission is to protect and enhance the Trail at Lady Bird Lake. In particular, the Moonlight Margarita Run will raise money to improve the popular gathering spot known as The Rock, under the MoPac bridge adjacent to Austin High School. Now that’s worth a run on a hot summer night.

The slogan: “There are plenty of chances to run on the Trail, but only one chance to run for it.”

Following the run, there will be a swanky gala under the stars on the great lawn of the American Legion Hall. Maudie’s Tex Mex will provide the food and requisite margaritas. Luke Olson will entertain the runners with his Texas-styled songs. Amy’s Ice Cream will debut a new flavor to commemorate the opening of Maudie’s sixth restaurant in the Hill Country. Now its starting to sound like its worth the silly run in the heat for all of this.

This is the sixth year for the event and organizers hope to raise $60,000 through event fees and sponsorship. Trail Foundation Executive Director, Susan Rankin, tells me that event sponsors make the Moonlight Margarita Run a success. Long-term sponsors like Freescale, Roger Beasley Mazda, LRCA, HEB, Run Tex and Whole Foods get behind it because they see the value of the Trail at Lady Bird Lake to Austin and to their employees. While many of us see the trail as the city’s living room and its athletic training center, some sponsors see it as a lure to recruit top talent to Austin.

Maudie’s Tex Mex has been the title sponsor for five years now. Maudie’s owner, Joe Draker, thinks of his time on the trail as a way to connect with the city and to keep values in check. A walk along the lake reinforces a conscious lifestyle, a connectedness with the environment and the passion to preserve it. He sees the Moonlight Margarita Run as an excellent way to help maintain this jewel of Austin. Joe was a long-time family friend of Roberta Crenshaw, the Austin philanthropist responsible for donating much of the land surrounding Lady Bird Lake. Lady Bird Johnson helped raise awareness and funds to beautify the like, but it was Crenshaw that established the trail and spearheaded the construction of the pedestrian bridge at The Rock. That relationship and Joe’s experiences on the trail running and walking his dogs over the years have cemented a deep passion for it.

Susan Rankin and Race Director, Katie Moran, graciously took a little time away from a registration happy hour to talk with me. Here is what they had to say.

There are a lot of experiences in life that go well with a cold drink. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Thursday night than running with 1,000 friends to support The Trail Foundation. And, yeah, having a margarita or two. Come out and join me.

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July 30, 2010

Tacos and Tequila


There are a lot of classic flavor combinations; you know two great tastes that go great together like chocolate and peanut butter, coffee and Krispy Kremes and Gin & Tonics. Tonight I’m trying out a true Texas combo, Tacos and Tequilla with my friend @ShowMeYourTaco (Nelson) at a new taco place Tacos and Tequila (TnT) on west 5th street in Austin. You can follow them on Twitter @TnTacosTequila.

Nelson is chronicling our adventure in video and reviewing the food on his blog ShowMeYourTaco.com. Check out his post to hear about the food. I’m going to focus on, you guessed it, the tequila.

This urban taco spot recently opened by the good folks at Blue Mesa Grill in Dallas and it has been in business for nine weeks now. Rumor has it that TnT has the 5th largest tequila list in the country with 95varieties and that list keeps growing. This massive list is organized by tequila types  designated by stlye of aging: Blanco, Reposado and Añejo.

It offers more than variety. TnT has a staff that is steeped in tequila knowledge and a passion to share that knowledge with the likes of you and me. If you want to sample a variety of tequila, they offer four different tequila flights to compare three types of tequila. TnT also has cold tequilas on tap – Milagros Silver, 1800 Silver and Cazadores Silver – have you ever seen tequila on tap? If your tastes skew to the higher end, there are currently seven extra ultra premiums ranging from $30 to $65 a shot.

If you like mixed drinks, this is your place. TnT bartenders have a fabulous bent for making creative, delicious drinks with this venerated liquor. And the drink menu changes on a monthly basis. They mix signature recipes with fresh, hand squeezed juices and organic, locally sourced produce. Bar manager and assistant GM, Shelby Lynne, loves her job and it shows. Her favorite thing about working at TnT is exercising her creative genius and artistry in cocktails, surrounded by like-minded people. She aims to dazzle guests with inventive drinks made up on the fly.  

Our waiter recommended that we start off with a flight of infused tequila shots. Shelby dreams up all the infusions herself and the team makes up all the concoctions fresh daily. Here is what they brought us:

  1. Corzo Reposado infused with Mexican chocolate and guajillo peppers
  2. 1800 infused with peach, apricot and organic green tea
  3. Cazadores Reposado infused with cantaloupe

With the preamble complete, it’s time to start the margaritas.

Watermelon Smash

This refreshing summer of love is made with Milagro silver, fresh smashed up watermelon and lime juice. The watermelon pulp is fleshy in the glass and satisfying.

Look The aftermath of a July picnic. Abused watermelon takes solace in a pint glass.    
Smell Sweet like a watermelon Jolly Rancher on a bender.   
Taste  Well, hello fruit smoothie in dominatrix leather. I wasn’t expecting you, but now that you are here. . . I’m going to have to chew your melons. The lime may make you perky, but that tequila shows you who’s really in charge.
Price $9

 

Dirty Margarita

Dirty is the operative word for this margarita made with Cazadores Reposado, house-made caramelized simple sugar roasted fresh on the stove, tamarind nectar and fresh-squeezed lime juice. While it’s dirty, Shelby tells me it’s nowhere near as dirty as her thoughts. Oh how I’d like to keep talking to her on the subject. This is one of Shelby’s favorites because she likes the duality of sweet and dirty. It’s how she envisions herself. She wants you to tell her how pretty she is while spanking her.

Look Masquerading as a golden brown Hefeweizen with a thin head of creamy mousse.
Smell Understated honey and a lime mist at sunset.
Taste This is the bad kid on the playground that you think is your friend. “Oh come on. It’s only Coke with lime.” Don’t believe him. This drink might be sweet and tangy on the surface, but deep inside, he’s out to pick up your mom.
Price $10

 Cucumber jalapeño margarita

This one is made with 1800 Silver chopped fresh cucumber, jalapeño slivers and lime.

Look Lemon grass green with a salad swimming about.
Smell Agave, cucumber and lime hanging out at the spa.   
Taste Cool as a cucumber right from the start, accompanied by fruity lime tang followed by acidic  heat. The spice is enough to keep me in line, but not too much to spoil the mood. I was a little disappointed by the amount of floating jalapeño seeds. They detracted from the overall experience. I didn’t need to chew this drink beyond the actual pepper and cucumber slices and the seeds added more kick than needed on each chew.
Price $9.50

 

Shelby Lynne’s Special

This one isn’t on a menu. All we had to do was ask and Shelby was extremely happy to show off her creative skills. Watch the video clip to hear what she mixes.

Look Raucous laughter lemon yellow with orange and lime wedges skinny dipping below the salt snow pack rim.
Smell Perky citrus with a wry smile.
Taste A provocative come-on that’s not going to get you slapped in the face. The smoky, oaky tequila runs this show without being domineering or rude. Mellow orange and laid back lime in a ménage a trois with caramel steals the show midway through, but steps out of the way to let the guest of honor close out this party in style. Thank you. Thank you tequila. You are awesome.    
Price $13

 

Nelson and I had a fantastic experience at TnT. The food was delicious – read about that on ShowMeYourTaco.com – the drinks were tasty and the service was stellar. We acknowledge that we were writing  a review, which in part accounts for the highly attentive service. However, this was actually my second visit and Beautiful Wife and I had an equally enjoyable time with prompt and helpful service. I’ll definitely go back.

To close out this post, the one thing I really want is a good tequila song. There’s that one instrumental that PeeWee Herman dances to, but that doesn’t quite cut it for me. Maybe we could alter the Doors song:

Well, show me the way
To the next tequila bar
Oh, don’t ask why
Oh, don’t ask why

 Nah. A friend on twitter suggests M.I.A. Teqkilla. Here it is.