The influences of the old world and the new are many. A treatise on such a vast topic would be a long an arduous endeavor. However, if the focus is narrowed, the results can be pleasant and at times sublime.
Take fruit for example, and citrus fruit in particular. The lime originates from the Himalayan region of India. Oranges are from Southeast Asia. Citrus fruit carried on seafaring vessels to fight scurvy, made their way to the Americas (a British sailor was called a Limey).
In the high arid climate of southwestern Mexico, an indigenous plant called the Blue Agave was being cultivated for its beauty and sap. It is the heart of this plant that is harvested after twelve years growth.
The intersection of old world fruit and this new world plant occurred when barrels of fermented Agave sap were in the hold of a merchant marine vessel whose Spanish name translated loosely to English as “Daisy”. The Daisy embarked on a journey north from the Jalisco area of Mexico along the Pacific coast toward British Columbia.
Atypical El Niño weather patterns wrought havoc on the ship a few months into the voyage. Wrestling with the stormy sea, the Mexican captain collided with a French freighter out of Hong Kong laden with limes and oranges. The resultant debris was strewn across the beaches near present day Malibu California.
A young man, walking his dog along the beach that afternoon, happened across the wreckage. He was lured by the smell of the debris that was churning in the frothy greenish seawater. Cupping his hand, he dipped it into a tide pool and raised it to his lips, smelling it carefully at first before tasting it. He savored the combination of sweet, tart and saltiness as he swallowed. After several dozen tastes the man unexpectedly passed out.
Later, a survivor of the maritime melee approached the man and revived him. As the young man came to consciousness, he introduced himself as James, James Buffett the second, an importer by trade. The survivor, who spoke mostly Spanish, said his name was José, José María Guadalupe Cuervo. José said he was a sailor of “La Margarita”. James offered José a taste from the tide pool and began discussing a business opportunity…
To recreate your own old world and new collision, empty a can of limeade frozen concentrate into a container that can be closed tightly and shaken without spewing its contents around the room or over your guests.
- Using the empty limeade can, add a can and a half of water into the container
- Add half a can of Tequila
(you may want to verify the quality first with a shot glass)
- Add a third of a can of Triple Sec to complete the mix
(the French portion of the collision)
- Cap the container and shake until it is California sea-frothy
(in remembrance of the tide pools)
- Cut a lime into wedges
(take care as presentation is everything)
- Salt the rim of a wet glass (optional)
- Fill the glass with ice (straightforward)
- Squeeze a lime wedge over the ice
(take care to avert your eyes from the potentially errant squirt)
- Drop the spent wedge into the glass
(harder than it looks if this is a subsequent batch)
- Fill the glass with the frothy Margarita mix from the container
Serves one really big gluttonous glass or four to six normal highball or Margarita glasses. Enjoy with Mexican food and California beach music!