If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'

Episode 5: Margarita – Commentary

This episode was an important turning point in the show. Remember, Jay and I had already produced many episodes together in the 50s and 60s episodes, Mick had joined us relatively recently and we had a formula that was working pretty well. I liked our production; I liked the show.

So in this episode Jay laid out the origin of the ingredients and the drink really well. I learned a lot about pulque and tequila and how difficult it was to research this drink because of the lack of records and remoteness of the region. Jay’s story ramped up to the Mexican Revolution and then shifted over to how the Revolution made tequila the popular drink in Mexico.

This session sparked my curiosity and so not long after our recording session I looked into the Mexican Revolution. What I discovered was so amazing and interesting; it was a fantastic story and I really wanted to share it.  Simultaneously I was researching the Blue Moon and learned of how Mexican Revolutionaries were meeting in New York making plans to change their government. So I was seeing really great stories about interesting people and times and I was also seeing crossover stories between episodes we were going to produce that ultimately created a really fascinating total picture of the times. It was this revelation that made me realize we were missing an even better story that served as the backdrop for our show.

I gathered the information for the Mexican Revolution from internet sources and we recorded that add-in for the episode at the next session. It felt like cheating but I wanted to try it.

In discussions with Jay we kind of realized that as we continued we were going to find cocktails with either no significant background, or a background that was impossible to research properly, and ingredients were going to repeat so our content was going to start thinning out as the show progressed. By shifting a little and pulling in wider historical stories we would have endless content. Also, flipping through our book I could see that the focus for our episodes was going to be amazingly varied. It was exciting.

So from this episode on for every cocktail I looked for a historical angle to present along side Jay’s information with the cocktail and we look for ways those concepts come together. We always ask why did a drink earn the name it has, what about this concept or event or person did the bartender who made the drink value to honor the beverage with that name? The show and our methodologies continued to evolve to adapt this change and I’ll discuss these changes as I made them in future episodes of our production.

But also, we started noticing that there were repeating themes that informed us of cocktail cultural values – what cocktailers were paying attention to. I will discuss this later with another cocktail when I really started to see this.

Thank you for listening everyone!

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