By Elizabeth Speth
Last night I watched Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’ exploration of the SXSW Festival in Austin, TX, a rerun of a great episode I had somehow missed.
SXSW (as in ‘South By Southwest’) is a film and music festival/conference that settles on the city like an electrified storm cloud each year in mid-March. It began in 1987, and it’s been growing ever since.
That is not what I mean to write about here, though. Because SXSW is a thing for another generation. I’m sorry about this. It looks like a lot of fun. I would have no objection to giving it a once-over in person, but there doesn’t really seem to be a place for someone my age there.
Even Bourdain — the epitome of coolly cynical and dissolute living, the expert on naughty pleasure, all close-cropped gray hair and rangy frame, his blood-shot eyes inscrutable behind Ray Ban aviators — Bourdain himself noted that he felt like someone’s perverted uncle as he followed all that exuberant, writhing, partying youth around with his camera crew.
My point here is this: Somewhere in the tangle of roasted pigs, tacos, blues, grunge, tattoos, etc., the subject of Avocado Margaritas came up.
A throaty-voiced, dark-haired, laughing siren named Sleigh Bells brought it up, actually.
I watched her mix half a blender’s worth of tequila, some other stuff, and the innards of about three avocados into a green, frothy, salt-rimmed glass of brilliance.
When Bourdain said: “This should not have worked, but it did”, I admit I was hooked.
Now I must see this thing through to its conclusion.
There was no recipe offered on the show. Everyone was lurching around too much.
So I’ve done some research, some soul-searching, some recipe-searching, some blending on my own.
Here is what I have come up with so far. I don’t drink blended margaritas generally, but in this case, we must make an exception. Thank me or curse me, and proceed at your peril.
– 2 cups crushed ice
– 6 oz. tequila (white or brown, make it good)
– 1 avocado, peeled, sliced, and pitted (if a little firm, no worries — blender time ahead)
– 2 oz. triple sec
– 4 oz. lime juice
– pinch of cilantro
– salt on your glass (please see below for an important note)
Place ice, tequila, avocado, triple sec, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender, and blend until desirably smooth. Add agave syrup, a dash at a time, if additional sweetness is needed. Salt your glasses if you wish. Close your eyes, take a sip, think of it as a healthy smoothie.
I am still trying to figure out how to incorporate jalapeno peppers. Because that warmth in the mouth is the only thing missing.
Here are my thoughts: If you have a week ahead of time, infuse your tequila with a jalapeno pepper. Then proceed as above.
If you don’t have a week, rub the rim of the glass with a cut jalapeno, getting the oil from the seeds and the pepper. Discard any seeds or membrane in or on the glass. Dip rim quickly in lime juice, then salt with a little lime zest mixed in for color. Proceed as above.
Below is a picuture of Bourdain after his Avocado Margarita, which was followed by a whole roasted pig and then this massive crawfish boil.
Apparently, this is how musicians eat now.
This is obviously an enlightened man, to whom good and bountiful things happen. A man completely without regret.
Blame the margarita.