I’ve searched for a very long time to find the “perfect” margarita recipe, and while I’ve had many delicious drinks, I’ve yet to find one that hit all of the notes I was looking for. I have found one that was just nearly perfect, which I’ll share with you below, but even it is missing… something.
The perfect margarita has a few key ingredients: lime, tequila, and some salt for flavor. The perfect lodge has a few key ingredients as well: ritual, brotherhood, and some education for flavor. And just like a margarita, there are many different opinions as to what goes into the “perfect” lodge experience. Some people will say that the lodge needs charity work, while others will say to focus solely on ritual work. Some crazy people even say that reading the minutes brings something special to the lodge, and should never be skipped. (Coincidentally, these are the same sort of people who put mint in a margarita… odd, to say the least.)
Some people prefer the “original” margarita, while many enjoy the newer fruit flavors, such as strawberry or mango, and some have even created exotic flavors such as red chili or hibiscus. This same attitude is mirrored in our lodges; many are perfectly content with sticking to blue lodge Freemasonry, while others will pursue the Scottish and York Rites, the Shrine, and a few adventurous individuals will seek out Rites such as Memphis and Misraim.
Who is to say which is right, and which is wrong? While I personally think it’s insane to put red chili into a drink, I’ve met people who will swear by it. At the same time, however, I’m willing to sample all of the different flavors that Freemasonry presents, even when I find one that doesn’t agree with me, because it is better to have been exposed to it than to spend my Masonic years sheltered in the safe harbors of blue lodge.
Whatever flavor of Freemasonry you find that you enjoy, I hope you will throw yourself into it with gusto to get the most out of it. And remember: don’t eat the lime.
The “Good Eats” Margarita: (by Alton Brown, food nerd)
2 ounces 100 percent agave silver/blanco tequila, divided
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 limes, divided
1/2 small Hamlin or Valencia orange
2 tablespoons light agave nectar
3/4 cup ice cubes, about 3 to 4
Pour 1/2-ounce of the tequila into a small saucer. Spread the kosher salt in a separate small saucer. Dip the rim of a martini or other wide rimmed glass into the tequila. Lift out of the tequila and hold upside down for 10 seconds to allow for slight evaporation. Next, dip the glass into the salt to coat the rim. Set aside.
Halve 2 of the limes, cut a thin slice for garnish from 1, and set aside. Juice the halved limes into the bottom of a Boston-style cocktail shaker. Cut the remaining 2 limes and the orange into quarters and add them to the juice in the shaker. Add the agave nectar to and muddle for 2 minutes until the juices are release. Strain the juice mixture through a cocktail strainer into the top of the shaker and discard the solids.
Return the juice to the bottom of the shaker, add the remaining 1 1/2 ounces of tequila and any remaining on the saucer. Add the ice to the shaker, cover and shake for 30 seconds. Strain the mixture through a cocktail strainer into the prepared glass, garnish with reserved lime slice, and serve immediately