TotC: Sauco Margarita
Simon Difford has always been an enigma to me. I was first made aware of him through his great paperback magazine/book diffordsguide. I had been subscribing to Sauce guides for quite some time until one day it appeared, but as diffordsguide. Who the hell is Difford, and why the hell is he messing with my Sauce guides, I moaned. Well it turns out that the authors for both magazine were one and the same, it was just that Simon wanted some name recognition. And who can blame him, for it was a beautiful publication, distributed throughout the world. What better way to get into bars for free?!?
One of the changes that I did notice as the diffordsguide matured, however, was that the quality of the recipes were improving. While the earlier publications had a few interesting recipes amongst a ton of sweet, nightclub drinks, the newer publications had more recipes that were nods to the classics, with a little cocktail history thrown in to boot. Eureka! My first, consistently interesting cocktail magazine! (Now Imbibe has also joined my list of two)
Wandering around the cocktail hour, I noticed a gentleman whom I did not recognize sandwiched between Dale DeGroff and Ted Haigh. Who was this man, and what was he mixing? (If you haven’t figured it out, go back to the top and start reading again) After watching Simon shake, and trying his version of a margarita, I had to inquire: had he ever bartended before? Realizing how bad that sounded, I had to step back and reword the question to: this drink is tasty but I’ve always known you as a publisher/author, have you ever bartended before? (Whew, that was a close one!)
The answer was a yes, first in a dive bar in London, and then under the tutelage of Dick Bradsell. An impressive mentor indeed.
I later discovered that Simon was also the head judge for the awards ceremony (I knew I should’ve thrown him a tip) as he was at my table, furiously scribbling notes right up until he had to present. The awards went without many hiccups, but after Vessel lost out to Bourbon and Branch for Best New Cocktail Bar, I sure could’ve used another one of Simon’s:
1 ½ oz Patron Tequila
1 ½ oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
¾ oz lemon juice
shake over ice
strain into a chilled cocktail glass
garnish with a lime wedge or optional salt rim
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