There are fundamental flaws in our world. Most of them are our fault and I like to think that we are working to make things better, even as I see daily evidence of folks going out of their way to make things worse for others. We are imperfect, but I hope that long arc does, indeed, bend toward justice. Those are problems we can work on and when we finally acknowledge that we are all in this together and worthy of respect and consideration, we can fix them. Others are more challenging. Those things deeply ingrained in our collective psyches or worse, hard-coded into our genetic make-up. I was reminded of one of the most troubling design failures in the human body today, repeatedly. I am speaking of the entirely unnecessary in the modern world, brain freeze. So, in the spirit of self inflicted wounds that we never seem to learn from, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Key Lime Curd Margarita.
We’ve got a lot of problems, but since this one is affecting me today, I am upset about it. That is sort of how we work, culturally. Something affects us directly, we get all fired up and say “Somebody should do something about that!”, sometimes in large groups and then with our anger vented, we move on to the next thing that upsets us without ever making any substantial changes to the system that makes such slights possible. Don’t get me wrong, I am not sure how to fix this one or any of the others, for the most part. I guess we could figure out a way to better insulate the lining of our throats or the blood vessels to the brain that travel that same basic path. Seems so simple that the lack of insulation there is a decent argument against intelligent design, until you consider that in many climates, not eating too much snow and dropping your core temp was a feature and not a bug. On the other hand, one could make a compelling, if ludicrous, argument against evolution, since we have not evolved to be able to eat as much ice cream as quickly as possible. Of course that may also be an annoying but important feature. Sure, we should savor milkshakes, but sometimes you just want to get that sweet, icy, sugar rush in you. Most days this is not an issue for me, while I do dearly love a good milkshake and have traveled to many a yard in search of the perfect one, these days I do not partake very often. I do however, enjoy a good drink and while precious few of those are frozen, when they are, I am in for trouble.
I am, generally, not well-disposed toward blender drinks, nothing wrong with them, they just don’t usually work for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love kicking back on the beach with a frozen Strawberry Daiquiri, Piña Colada or any number of boat drinks. There is something about the whole laying in the sun, sweating vibe that makes the drink work, but for general drinking, I prefer something less likely to freeze up my internal plumbing. Once again, this is not a fault of the drink, but my own. If I had even a modicum of self control, I wouldn’t find myself clutching my temples while my well-meaning but a bit too patronizing wife reminds me to press my tongue to the top of my mouth. The problem with frozen drinks are that they are rarely nice sippers and they have a tendency to be imbalanced, either starting smoothly and getting to weak or coming on too strong and needing a bit of melt and dilution to be really enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, they can work and I adore them when they do, like in the Ice-Berg, Penichillin or the amazing Piña Verde, but I am big enough to admit that I have a bias against them.
So, when we started talking about using lemon or lime curd in a cocktail, I did not consider blender drinks. While we are doing disclosure, this drink is a bit of a work project, we make national award-winning lemon curd and key lime curd and I am always looking for places to use our products in drinks. I love the stuff, but it can be tricky to work with. It is, essentially, lemon or lime juice, butter, sugar, eggs and pectin stirred for a long time as it reduces and thickens into a deeply flavorful custard-like treat. It has an incredible taste and remarkable smooth, thick consistency. You see, the things that make it wonderful on ginger snaps or pound cake are the things that make it troublesome in cocktails. We had pretty good luck with the Double Lemon Gimlet, but it takes a really heavy shake to incorporate that lemon curd into the alcohol. It can be used to infuse vodka or gin to great effect, but I wanted something that used the curd straight from the jar, without making my tins all buttery. My wife suggested a frozen lemon margarita, based on a drink she had a few years ago. We experimented a bit and found that we preferred a key lime margarita to the lemon, though they are both wonderful, and that’s how we ended up here, despite my blender reservations.
I am going to make a big single serving here, but if you double this you can make a full blender cup to share. Grab your blender cup and pop in 3 heaping tablespoons of Captain Rodney’s Key Lime Curd, 2 ounces of tequila, I chose Avion Añejo; 1 ounce of Cointreau or other orange liqueur, 1 ounce each of freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice and a cup of ice. Blend well to the gentle sounds of “Effect & Cause” by The White Stripes. Don’t overdo it, when the drink is smooth and creamy, but still icy pour into something suitably margarita-ish, I prefer stemware and garnish with a lime wheel. For the record, if you would like to try a lemony twist on this one, swap in some Rose & Ivy Linda’s Lemon Curd for a “delightfully decadent” treat.
Of course, I like this. I have been playing with it till I was happy. It is smooth and creamy and lovely. It has the standard blender drink problem, it is so smooth and creamy and lovely, that I end up holding my head while Laura looks at me disapprovingly, wondering why she would marry someone who has no concept of cause and effect. I was in a hurry to go for a walk after I made this one and I paid for my haste, over and over again. It’s a damned fine drink though. Enjoy it, in careful moderation, lest the ice demons in your mind punish you for partaking too recklessly, because once you let them in, it’s Elsa time in your cranium and no one wants that. So take a sip and set it to the side and when that urge to grab it immediately and take a second sip comes, just let it go and stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.