The Test Results

It was grueling; two rounds of margaritas in a blind test. Not double-blind, since I was making them and didn’t want to bother trying to hide the Cointreau from myself. I used the same recipe and technique for both rounds, including the same shaker, the same number of ice cubes, and even approximately the same number of shakes! My expert panel was enthusiastic, and even sober (I made sure to do the test at the beginning of the evening). And judging by the stories shared toward the end of the evening, they were all experienced drinkers.

The consensus of the tasters was that the Cointreau made a smoother, more balanced margarita. But they all liked the “layers” of taste in the Triple Sec version. The choice was unanimous: Triple Sec! But they also said that both versions were very good. I liked the Cointreau drink, but since my tasting wasn’t blind it is less valuable data. In fairness to the Triple Sec, I think that it made a very nice margarita.

I think that the Cointreau‘s extra bit of alcohol and more pronounced orange flavor smooths the tartness of the fresh lime juice. And tasting the Cointreau against the Triple Sec showed clear differences.

So, Tommy:Eats is correct, at least for me. But my expert panel thinks otherwise.

4 Replies to “The Test Results”

  1. by “layers of flavors” did your guests mean “high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor, and red dye #7”? Heck, I don’t know what’s in triple sec, and I’m glad you all enjoyed it. I, however, am still looking in the mailbox for my invite.

  2. Why yes! They just loved the corn syrup undertones. Actually, I did understand what they meant. It seemed as if I could taste the tartness of the lime, the sweetness of the Triple Sec, and the bite of the tequila all at once. Not a bad thing, but I did prefer the Cointreau version. It was very smooth, almost seamless, but still full of flavor. Look what you made me do! I sound like a pompous wine writer blathering on about “brambly fruit with overtones of horse sweat and burnt tire.” I think the most important upgrade to the typical margarita is the fresh lime juice, followed by good tequila, and ending with Cointreau. At least my recipe doesn’t call for beer (believe it or not, a few do!).

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