Frequently Asked Questions
Q:Where did Jimmy get the REAL "Cheeseburger in Paradise"?
"The myth of the cheeseburger in paradise goes back to a long trip on my first boat, the Euphoria. We had run into some very rough weather crossing the Mona Passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico and broke our bow sprit. The ice in our box had melted, and we were doing the canned-food-and-peanut-butter diet. The vision of a piping hot cheeseburger kept popping into my mind. We limped up the Sir Francis Drake Channel and into Roadtown on the island of Tortola, where a brand-new marina and bar sat on the end of the dock, like a mirage...." (read whole story)
Q:How do I make the perfect margarita?
The Perfect Margarita
- Fill shaker with broken cubed ice
- Squeeze 2 fresh lime wedges into shaker
- Add 2 oz. of Margaritaville Tequila Oro
- Add 1/2 oz. Margaritaville Tequila Blanco (for bite if you wish)
- Add 1 1/4 oz. of Roses Lime Juice
- Add 1/2 oz. of Bols Triple Sec
- Add a splash of Bols Orange Curacao
- Cover shaker & shake vigorously
- Rim glass with lime peel and salt, add fresh ice
- Strain mixture over ice
- Squeeze in 1 lime wedge
Q:What is a Cajun Martini?
When the Martini itself first came to print in an 1862 drink mixing guide called The Bon-Vivant's Companion, written by a bartender at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, the name was "Martinez." There was less gin and more vermouth that in the cocktail we know today, but the drink gradually moved on to equal proportions, and then 2 parts gin to 1 part dry vermouth just before Prohibition kicked in. By the time the Volstead Act was repealed and WWII had ended, there was very little vermouth in the recipe at all. Arguments then turned to the rightful place of a lemon twist or an olive.
Meanwhile, Ian Fleming arrived on the scene in 1960 with James Bond, a British spy who cared not at all for the gin, but preferred vodka instead. While you might want to pause here and debate the merits of Shaken vs. Stirred, it is more relevant that you thank 007 for having given us the Vodka Martini, forerunner to this particular cocktail.
The Cajun Martini remains a favorite in New Orleans, especially at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, where it is said to have been created by Chef Paul Prudhomme and his wife, Kay. This can be made with commercially-prepared pepper vodka, or you can prepare your own spicy vodka or gin. To do so, carefully wash 3 fresh cayenne peppers, 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, and 1 habenero pepper. Gently puncture the peppers so that the alcohol will be able to flow through a become infused with their flavors. Add the peppers to a bottle of quality vodka or gin, then refrigerate for a least 3 days. After a week, any remaining alcohol must be strained.
- 1 jigger pepper vodka
- 1/2 jigger dry vermouth
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, for garnish
- Fill your shaker with ice.
- Add the pepper vodka and the dry vermouth
- Shake altogether well, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a jalapeno pepper.
Q:Who invented the Margarita?
Basically, this is the concoction that created the Americanos' taste for tequila in the 1960's. Before this, tequila (which is technically a brandy) was best known in Central America and Mexico. Tax records in the Mexican town of Tequila note that 3 barrels of "mezcal wine" had been shipped to Texas in 1873, and American troop in pursuit of Pancho Villa had brought some back in 1916. Still, folks north of the border had not quite taken to the taste of tequila. Even when there was a shortage of gin during World War II, the gringo interest in tequila proved to be nothing more than a flirtation.
Then California college students discovered the Margarita, and the rest (as they say) is history.
As for the creation of the drink itself, several bars and bartenders have staked a claim. The Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana boasts of its origin around 1930, as does Bertita's bar in Tasca, Mexico. Later claims have been insisted upon not only by the Garci Crespo Hotel in Puebla, Mexico, around 1936 (where the bartender says he named the drink for his girlfriend), but also by a couple from San Antonio, Texas, who spent many an hour wasting away during the 1950's at the bar of the Flamingo Hotel in Acapulco, where they owned a home. (Her name, of course, was Margarita.) And not to be denied a piece of the legend is an LA restaurant called The Tale of the Cock, where they claim to have created this recipe first during the Eisenhower Administration.
But the most documented story comes from Danny Herrera, who owned Rancho La Gloria between Rosarito Beach and Tijuana. In the late 1940's, a showgirl named Marjorie King stopped there often, and she had a drinking "problem" of sorts: she was allergic to every form of booze except tequila, which she needed mixed.
Among the many tequila experiments that Danny Herrera tried was a concoction consisting of 3 parts white tequila, 2 parts Cointreau, and 1 part fresh lemon juice. These he shook together in a container of shaved ice, then served up in a short stemmed glass rimmed with lemon juice and salt. This she liked, and so he gave the drink the Spanish name for Marjorie: Margarita.
Q:Who invented the blender?
One evening back in 1936, a visionary named Fred Osius put on his dark blue woolen shirt, some striped pants, a bright parrot-yellow tie, and a cutaway coat, then headed for Manhattan's Vanderbilt Hotel, where a musician named Fred Waring had just signed-off from regular radio broadcast with his popular singing group, the "Pennsylvanians."
Mr. Waring was backstage when the colorful Mr. Osius appeared with the prototype of a gizmo he claimed would "revolutionize people's eating habits." The inventor had come to ask the successful entertainer to invest in both the making and the marketing of this thing he called the "Miracle Mixer."
But when Fred Osius turned it on, it simply didn't work, and he left the same way he had come in.
Undaunted, Osius spent the next six months and some $25,000 more without any further success. Meanwhile, Fred Waring remained intrigued and eventually became interested; he liked this guy and his idea, so he joined up with the project. By September of 1937, Fred Osius and Fred Waring had a working model for the National Restaurant Show in Chicago. And the crowd loved it.
Soon Fred Waring was hyping the machine on the radio with a singing group called the "Waring Blenders." A teetotaler himself, Waring kept in his dressing room to make juice from fruits and vegetables. And though the two Freds had first viewed the invention as a food mixer, the folks at Ron Rico Rum Company looked upon it as a machine for mixing some rather spectacular drinks. Before long, homemakers were eager to have this new appliance in their kitchens, and nearly every bar and restaurant was becoming equipped with a Waring Blender.
Thanks Fred, both of you. You can rest assured that your efforts have not been wasted.