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Posts Tagged: margarita

£5 Cocktail: The Toreador!

Before the Margarita became the tequila-sipper’s drink of choice, another boozy tipple was making a name for itself among agave aficionados. This, friends, was THE TOREADOR!


First mentioned way back in 1937 in the ‘Cafe Royal Cocktail Book’, this delicious concoction of Reposado Tequila, Apricot Brandy and freshly squeezed lime juice predates the margarita’s first appearance in the history books by sixteen years.

Our new head barman Will Hawes is bringing this awesome cocktail back as the first of our £5 monthly specials. He follows Simon Difford’s classic recipe:

2 shots of Reposado Tequila (100% agave!)
1 shot of Apricot Brandy
1 shot of freshly squeezed lime juice


Enjoy now at El Camion for just five round shiny ones!



Today is a very special day that unites agave fans around the world, as it is NATIONAL TEQUILA DAY!

Yes, today is globally recognized as the day where everyone celebrates the wonders of this gorgeous beverage distilled from the leaves of the blue agave plant. And don’t forget, Mexican law states that tequila can be produced only in the state of Jaliscoand limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit andTamaulipas. Plus, did you know that Mexico is granted international right to the word “tequila”?!!

So how will we be celebrating this wonderful day? Naturally we have to do something, since we have over 100 different types of Tequila and Mezcal (and that doesn’t even include the rare tequila cabinet!)

So the plan for today is to do specials on Herencia tequila – A small batch superior quality Highland Tequila produced and aged in the traditional way by Destilería La Fortuna.

We’ll be doing £6 margaritas, tequila flights (£14 for a blanco, repo and anejo) and another special surprise cocktail for £7… watch this space!

So come enjoy Tequila Day with El Camion, and let the good times roll!


A Mezcal Tommy’s made by Jonnie

Our Tommy’s Margarita is one of our bestselling cocktails. You guys love the sweetness of the agave syrup, which rounds the sourness of the lime and peps up the tequila kick. We’d recommend it anytime!


But for some time now our bar guys have been experimenting with mezcal cocktails, and fast becoming a firm favourite is the Mezcal Tommy’s.


Instead of 60ml of tequila, we use 60ml of Mezcal – we like to use Del Maguey Vida, a double distilled, organic, single village Mezcal that is beautiful to mix. At a slightly lower proof than Del Maguey’s other mezcals, it is smooth to drink, with the fruity flavour of the agave still very much there. Then, it’s 30ml of lime juice and instead of triple sec that you would use in a regular margarita, we use 15ml of agave syrup.



Fill a rocks glass with ice and when all of the ingredients are in the shaker, shake!


Watch Jonnie shaking his Tommy’s right here:

Jonnie’s Mezcal Tommy

Then, as Jonnie just did, you strain it over the ice in your glass and add a lime wedge on the side.




There you have it – a Mezcal Tommy’s! It’s everything you love in a Tommy’s Margarita but it’s smoky, woody and a little more complex – just like Jonnie. Enjoy one of these next time you visit us in The Pink Chihuahua!


The Perfect Margarita

Now, if there’s one thing that can divide a bar quicker than the time it takes to say ‘Ay Caramba’, it’s the age-old question: ‘How do you make the perfect margarita?’

Is it stirred or shaken, served with ice or straight up? Should you only use Mexican limes? How much triple-sec do you use – and should it only be Cointreau? And the salt – rock salt, pink salt, cayenne salt or no salt at all? The glass – a coupette or a rocks glass? And the TEQUILA. White, aged, expensive, cheap – and we haven’t even touched on RATIO!

Calm down, calm down. The Margarita is meant to be a simple drink – it has been drank for years in places where they don’t have posh glasses or fancy salt. Simple it may be, but balance is vital to the taste and quality of this drink.

First of all… The Glass

Well, it does depend on whether you want your margarita straight-up, on the rocks or frozen – and also what you have to hand. There’s an actual margarita-specific glass, which resembles something like an upside-down sombrero and this is a good if you want your margarita frozen or straight-up. For straight-up margaritas, you can also use a martini glass, coupette or even a wine glass. On the rocks is best served in an Old-Fashioned glass.



Classically, you run a cut lime around the rim of the glass and roll it in a small saucer of salt. It might be preferable to salt only half of the rim and just add a pinch of salt to the cocktail, as a heavily salted rim can be too overpowering. As for white, pink or cayenne? Pink isn’t much different to white, apart from it looks pretty – and cayenne salt will have nice red speckles it in and give a spicy kick. Avoid harsh table salt though – flake form salt is the best.


Mexican limes are traditionally used – and these are probably what you’re using anyway as Mexico is the world’s largest exporter of limes. This kind of lime is often nicknamed the Bartender’s Lime.


Triple sec

The triple sec most commonly used in margaritas is Cointreau, which will make a nice margarita, but a more superior triple sec is De Kuyper, which unlike other liqueurs that are made from a third-party essence, is made from distilled oranges in their 100 year old distillery.


A good-quality, 100% agave tequila should be used. We use Altos Blanco. An aged tequila, like Altos Reposado is good in the more distinguished Cadillac Margarita, which calls for a weightier, smokier taste.



The 2:1:1 ratio works best – two parts tequila, one part lime juice and one part triple sec. Sometimes a dash of agave syrup can lend it a nice sweetness – or substitute the triple sec for agave syrup all together and you’ve got our infamous (and delicious) Tommy’s Margarita.


Optional. Everyone likes an umbrella, though.


So, there you have it. The perfect margarita is all about quality ingredients and balance – drink it out of a shoe for all we care. On second thoughts, don’t. Drink it in (slightly) more civilised fashion our Pink Chihuahua basement bar and enjoy!

Where to go for a good margarita if you’re not in Soho!

El Camion is a whole 5 years old this year, so celebrate with us, wherever you are in the world, by raising a glass filled with our favourite cocktail: the margarita.

If you don’t happen to be in Soho and can’t join us in the Pink Chihuahua bar to sip our infamous margaritas, we’ve scoured the world for amazing margaritas – so wherever you may be, you can join in with the celebrations, El Camion-style.

1. Tres, San Francisco

Tequila Lounge and Mexican Kitchen, Tres pride themselves on specialising in 100% Agave Tequilas. When it comes to margaritas, we like Tres because they put the tequila first – their goal is to highlight the character of 100% blue agave tequila, rather than mask it with sweetness. Tres hand-squeeze Mexico imported limes and use agave nectar to sweeten (the most expensive natural sweetener in the world). Plus, they also make a note of always giving a full pour. Tres is our kinda place.


2. Mayahuel, New York

A year after opening, Mayahuel won Best New Cocktail Bar in the World at Tales of the Cocktail 2010 by championing the complexity of agave spirits. Their aim is to use agave spirits to their full potential and have created a menu of over 50 cocktails to suit all palates. Though we’ll bet our bottom dollar that Mayahuel make the best margaritas in NYC, they might encourage you to try something different – we like the look of The Kessel Run, made with Reposado Tequila, Tapatio 110, Giffard Apricot, cumin, honey, lemon, orange & Angostura Bitters.


3. Ohla Boutique Bar, Barcelona

Starting life with the guidance of one of the world’s most highly-rated bartenders, Max La Rocca, the Boutique Bar in Barcelona’s Ohla hotel is definitely a must-visit for incredible cocktails in this crazy city. It’s certainly on the fancy side, but totally worth it – there are no smoke and mirrors here, just beautiful cocktails made with an excellent selection of spirits. But it was the margaritas that caught our eye – we like the sound of the Jalapeño-infused Tequila Margarita with a smoked salt rim. Yum.


4. Freda’s Bar & Canteen, Sydney

One of Sydney’s hidden drinking dens, we hear this is the place to come for a well-made margarita that packs a punch. Their signature cocktail is the Grapefruit Mezcal Margarita, made with El Señorio Mezcal Reposado, Cointreau, fresh lime and pink grapefruit juice, with a Murray River pink salt rim. Served straight up in a chilled coupe, it is the smokey taste of Mexico.


5. The Basement, Edinburgh

Offering ‘imaginative home-spun cocktails’, this Mexican joint is the place to come in Edinburgh for a well-made tequila cocktail, as they have a whole menu dedicated to them. Their Classic Margarita is made with Sauza Hornitos Reposado Tequila, Cointreau and fresh lime and is served on the rocks or frozen with a salt rim. They also have a choice of Sangritas, which we like and respect.



El Camion’s Top Cocktails

Not only do we make the best Mexican fare in town, but we’re a dab hand at mixing cocktails too, with some of London’s most talented bartenders at the shaker. When you’re out for dinner, enjoy scanning your eye over our cocktail menu, where we use premium spirits with inventive ingredients to bring something fresh and innovative to the palate.

Take a peek at some of the most popular cocktails here at El Camion.

Tommy’s Margarita

One of BarChick’s faves, we mix Altos tequila with agave syrup, bringing a sweet agave kick to your classic margarita. Shaken with fresh lime juice and served on the rocks, this is a zesty taste of the Mexican party spirit.



Pink Chihuahua

So good we named our members bar after it. Or did we name it after our members bar? What came first – the chicken or the egg? Altos tequila shaken with lime juice and almond syrup is delicious enough, creating a fruity, tart concoction. The addition of fresh pomegranate juice mellows the flavour and gives it its beautiful rose hue and, with a topping of shaken egg white, the texture is smooth, silky and completely moreish.

Pink chihuahua

Espresso Martini

The world-famous Espresso Martini was invented by none other than our cocktail aficionado, Dick. Wyborowa Vodka with fresh espresso, Tia Maria, Kahlua, and a dash of sugar is the answer to your prayers when you’re feeling a little less than party. Served straight up in a martini glass, it tastes like strong coffee with notes of chocolate and the texture is smooth and frothy.

Espresso martini


Also give these two a try:


Another one of Dick’s creations, the Chilli-pina-rita is as exotic as it sounds. Altos Blanco Tequila is given a tropical hit with fresh pineapple spears, pineapple syrup and lime juice. Fresh red chillies bring a fiery dimension to it, awaking those tastebuds and delivering a helpful swift boot to your metabolism. Fresh, vibrant and spicy, it’s a great pre-dinner choice.

El Diablo

A favourite with those who like their cocktails how they like their dancing: fresh and fruity. Altos tequila mixed with lime juice and ginger ale, then topped with crème de cassis. Served long over ice, it is the taste of summer, whatever season we’re in.

Margarita Mayhem

Our new cocktail menu is ready for your perusal, complete with tasting notes and descriptions of the delights on offer. There’s some old favourites, some exciting new additions, and three different varieties of that cocktail of the tequila gods – the Margarita.


So who invented the Margarita? Actually, this is lost to history, and no one truly knows who’s responsible for this tangy and punchy drink beloved of so many. The first mention of it in print is in the December 1953 issue of Esquire, where the following description can be found –

‘She’s from Mexico, Señores, and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative’.

Yep, that sounds like Miss Margarita. But there’s question about whether it was actually invented  by a Mexican, since there wasn’t initially a huge cocktail culture in the country. And, while it may have been created on Mexican soil, the locals don’t tend to drink them in huge amounts.

Experts believe it to be quite possible that the drink was created at some point during Prohibition, when rich, booze-thirsty Americans went in search of tasty drinks served in public. As well as Cuba, London and Paris, another popular destination was Mexico, especially Tijuana.

Well, we tip our hats to whoever managed to come up with such a fabulous combination of tequila, triple sec and lime. So what are the three El Camion options you can choose from?


El Camion Classic Margarita


The Classic Margarita does just what it says on the tin – it’s a tangy, refreshing and zingy combination of Altos tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice served on the rocks with, of course, a rim of salt.


For those with more of a sugary tooth, this version of the classic swaps triple sec for agave syrup, making for a sweet, citrusy drink that has major notes of agave.


Favourited by those of a fruity nature, this drink takes the classic margarita and adds the gorgeous ingredient of fresh pomegranate juice. The result is something earthy, sweet and nicely balanced with a fruit kick.

So, what are you waiting for? Come along to El Camion and find your favourite Margarita tonight!

Spotlight on – Olmeca Altos Tequila

Here at El Camion, and in our Pink Chihuahua bar, we love a few cocktails. And what’s one of our favourite spirits to put into these creative concoctions? Yep – tequila!


Today we’re taking a look into the history of one of our favourite varieties – Olmeca Altos 100% agave tequila.

What: Altos Reposado Tequila – sweet and citric, with a robust yet pleasant body. Agave, vanilla and woody flavours make this an easy drinking, quality spirit.

Who: Los Altos 100% blue agave was the created from the partnership of Jesus Hernandez – Olmeca’s own Master Distiller – and internationally renowned UK bartenders Henry Besant and Dre Masso.

Where: Los Altos is 2014 meters above sea level, in the western state of Jalisco in Mexico. A combination of the mineral-rich, volcanic tierra roja and the unique microclimate mean that some of the highest quality blue Agave can be produced there – hence the super taste of Olemca Altos!

How: At the peak of maturity after 7-8 years of growth, the blue Agave plants are harvested by a team of jimadores, using skills passed down from generations. The leaves are chopped to reveal the pina at the heart of Agave, which removed the bitter tasting cogollos – hence the best flavour and highest quality. Traditional brick ovens are then used to slow cooked the pin as to bring out the naturally sweet, fruity agave notes. Then a traditional Tahona method that is over 500 years old is used – this is a process of crushing cooked pin as with a 2-tonne volcanic millstone to draw the sweet juice from the fibres. It is then distilled on small copper pot stills to produce the smoothest, finest tequila.

Best Enjoyed: With lots of friends, in an El Camion margarita!

Visit the website to learn more about Olmeca Altos Tequila here


Feeling Hot, Hot, (Hot Sauce)

We all know what it’s like heading to your local Mexican restaurant for dinner. There are a few things that are pretty much guaranteed – there will be food envy from the person who ordered salad not fajitas; someone will drink too many margaritas and slump into a tequila-coma in the corner; you’ll be fighting for the last guacamole-laden nacho. And also at least two people are going to have a Scoville Sauce-Off.

Chilli saw-ce


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