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Posts Tagged: Mexican

El Camion’s Margarita Travels!

If there’s one thing we love at El Camion, it’s margaritas. We would consider ourselves connoisseurs, in fact. But – you can’t be a connoisseur if you aren’t out there in the open world absorbing all there is to know – and (it goes without saying) continuously trying and tasting all the margarita world has to offer.

Recently, on a trip to Thailand, we stumbled across WooBar in Bangkok’s Hotel W. It has to be said, we were pretty impressed at the column space their menu gave to margaritas. ‘MARGARITAS ARE HOT!’ it announced. Yes, yes, they are. We think we’ll get along juuuuust fine…

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We like the way that you can have your margarita YOUR way. Firstly, you have a choice of whether you want it straight up, frozen or on the rocks. Then, you can (if you want) add up to two ‘enhancers’. With a whopping sixteen to choose from, they range from things like pomegranate and passionfruit to coriander and cucumber.

But if you’re not hot on your flavour combos, you can leave it down to the work of the mixologists. They’ve put together four bad boys – the Beer Margarita, the Blueberry and Sweet Basil, the Watermelon and Kaffir Lime and the Spicy Mango Margarita – for you to pick from.

Knowing we’d be in good hands, we chose the Spicy Mango Margarita, made with tequila, mango, Tabasco and lime juice, and (a little experiment of our own) a Dragon Fruit and Sweet Basil.

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Served on the rocks and garnished with a bright red chilli, the Spicy Mango Margarita was fresh, zingy and sublimely tropical-tasting. Real mango, whizzed up there and then, was used, making the margarita come alive with flavours and colour. The Tabasco gave it that firey kick, which went so well with the sweet mango, and the scent of the fresh chilli lingered after every sip. A triumphant margarita.

The Dragon Fruit and Sweet Basil was an awesome combination, if we do say so ourselves. Herbaceous, floral and delicate, the fresh dragon fruit did enough to set off the distinct flavour of the sweet basil without being too sweet and overpowering. Again, we had this one served on the rocks with a slice of dragon fruit and a lone basil leaf to garnish. A very fun, playful and attractive margarita, too.

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WooBar is down as a destination bar in Bangkok, and now we know what it can do, we’ve made it one of our destinations for a great margarita. If margaritas are your favourite drink too, come down to El Camion and ‘talk margarita’ with us. How do you like yours?

Delicious Batidas at El Camion!

Batidas aren’t something you’ll find on every cocktail menu, which is a shame because they are damn tasty. They are also noted as a good remedy to cure a fiery stomach if you’ve been on the sauce the night before. Sweet, creamy and blended with ice, Batidas are a treat of a cocktail – and that’s why we’ve dedicated a whole section of our menu to them.

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Batida means ‘shake’ in Spanish and typically refers to a milkshake. In Portuguese it means the same, except when referring to a road accident, where it is usually used to describe a car crash. Not to confuse (or mix) the two.

A drink originating from Brazil, Batidas are made with Brazil’s national spirit, cachaça – which can be replaced with vodka where cachaça is not available, but that would be a little like sacrilege. Cachaça is known as Brazilian rum, as, like rum, it is made from fresh sugar cane juice that is fermented and distilled.

The cachaça is mixed with fruit juice or coconut milk, cane sugar and, ideally, condensed milk to make it creamier, and then blended with ice. It is served in a tall glass. With an umbrella if you like.

An umbrella always looks good

An umbrella always looks good

At El Camion we use Sagatiba Cachaça, an ultra-premium silver cachaça that has a smooth sweetness, making it perfect for cocktails. The sugar cane used is hand-selected in fields near the Sao Paulo distillery and is pressed within 24 hours of cutting. Fresh spring water is added and it is then distilled five times, resulting in a clean, sweet spirit. The tasting notes are at first sugary and intoxicating, then mellow out into velvety, caramel flavours.

Sagatiba Cachaça

Sagatiba Cachaça

Our Batida menu:
Coconut Batida

Sagatiba Cachaca, cane sugar, coconut cream and condensed milk. Blended.

Strawberry Batida

Sagatiba Cachaca, cane sugar, strawberry and condensed milk. Blended.

Passionfruit Batida

Sagatiba Cachaca, cane sugar, passion fruit puree and condensed milk. Blended.

Pineapple Batida

Sagatiba Cachaca, cane sugar, fresh pineapple and condensed milk. Blended.

Peach Batida

Sagatiba Cachaca, cane sugar, peach liqueur and condensed milk. Blended.

Sangrita, You Say?!

As a house policy we don’t serve tequila with salt and lime. Instead we serve a homemade red sangrita, made with fresh pomegranate juice and hot sauces. All our tequilas are made from 100% agave and are some of the finest tequilas coming out of Mexico – we don’t want to sully them with salt!

 

Sangrita

 

Don’t confuse sangrita with sangria, though. Sangrita, meaning ‘little blood’, is a customary companion to a shot of straight tequila and is traditionally made from leftover juices (like orange and lime), pomegranate, fine pepper powder and spices. Its peppery, citrus taste compliments the tequila, also peppery and citrusy in taste, and highlights the tequila’s crisp acidity.

 

Tequila and sangrita

 

Traditionally, sangrita and tequila are poured into separate shot glasses and sipped alternatively, so that the sangrita cleanses the palate between each sip. We won’t judge you, however, if you decide to chase your shot of tequila with the sangrita. It’s more fun that way. It’s also used in a drink known as ‘The Mexican Flag’, where three separate double shot glasses are filled with lime juice, tequila and sangrita.

 

Mexican flag

 

Make your own sangrita!

A basic traditional recipe:

1 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 to 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. real pomegranate-based grenadine
1/4 tsp. ancho chile powder or 3 dashes hot sauce
1-2 slices jalapeño

OR… just pour the juices left over from a fruit salad into a cup, along with some hot sauce, chilli powder, pepper and pomegranate juice, mix it altogether and there you have it – a traditional slap-dash sangrita, the way it was meant to be. Now onto choosing the tequila…

An introduction to mezcal – Del Maguey

Mezcal – have you given it a go yet? If you’re a staunch fan of tequila then it’s high time you expanded your horizons and embraced the other Mexican spirit that we love.

We’ve already gone into the difference between mezcal and tequila here, and now let us introduce you to one of our house pours – Mezcal Del Maguey1056744x.

 

There is a delicious smokey earthiness to Del Maguey – this is in part due to the way it is produced. With tequila, the agaves are baked or roasted in autoclaves. However, in traditional mezcal, they are smoked in earth pits called “huecos.”

 

Del Maguey is a great introduction to the spirit, as it has lovely citrus notes, layered with the pepper and smoke that good mezcal imparts. It is hand crafted and twice distilled, very slowly in small wood-fired, riverside copper stills.

 

When trying, expect to find a nose of fruit aromatics, with a hint of sweet honey, vanilla and then the delicious roast agave. The taste merges ginger, cinnamon and burnt sandlewood, along with fruits from banana to tangerine. The finish is long and soft, making it not only make it a delicious drink to sip, but it has huge versatility in cocktails.

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.

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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?

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El Camion Classic Margarita

CLASSIC:

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.

TOMMY’S MARGARITA

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.

POMEGRANATE MARGARITA 

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!

Day of the Dead Tonight at El Camion!

The time is upon us… The part of the year where the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead is at its thinnest – and for this one night of the year, for one night only, it’s time to party with the ghostly ones!

Dia de los Muertos is really about honouring and celebrating dead friends and relatives by remembering them in a fun light and generally having a blast. We ain’t gonna say no to that! We hope you’ve got your costume sorted and your face-paints at the ready because we are about to share some Day of the Dead traditions with you to get you into the spirit of things.

1. Dress up

If we’re going to party with dead people, we’ve got to blend in. That means dressing in old costumes (and make some effort – it’s a party!), painting your face like a traditional Mexican sugar skull and wearing flowers in your hair.

2. Make noise

If the dead are going to wake up, you’re going to have to make some noise! Some people wear shells so that they make a sound when they dance, but we reckon if the music’s loud enough, it will do the job. Turn it up DJ!

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3. Eat and drink well

Remember your loved ones’ favourite foods and drinks and consume them by the bucketload in their honour. This is a time for delicious food, cakes and sweets – and cocktails! Luckily we’ll have our fabulous selection tonight to choose from – and judging by our special fishbowl cocktails for tonight only, you won’t go dry.

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4. Have a good time!

Dia de Los Muertos is a holiday for a reason – so eat, drink, give gifts and party! We’ll see you tonight!

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Check out our Facebook page for more info!

El Camion Halloween and Day of the Dead Weekender

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It’s Thursday, which probably means the weekend wriggles have started – the office suddenly feels even more of a cage than usual, and our minds drift away from spreadsheets and towards all of the fun we’ll be having as soon as the clock hand ticks round to Friday sign-off.

And today there’s a chance you’ll be even more excitable than usual, because this weekend brings all the ghoulish delight and spooky spectacle of Halloween with it. And, to paraphrase Mean Girls, it’s the one time a year where you can dress up and no one else can say anything about it…

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So, are you one of the clued up people that already have plans with us here at El Camion, or are you still racking your brains as to what the best festivities might be? We can tell you that – it’s a no-brainer on the scale of someone that’s just had their cranium sucked dry by a zombie. The only party to attend is the El Camion Weekender – two days of cracking, creepy cocktails, face-paint fandangos and more thriller dance moves than a Michael Jackson convention.

Beginning on Friday 31st from 6.00pm, we open our doors to all of those wanting to celebrate Halloween in style. Fling on your most hair-raising attire, mount your broomstick and come join us for one spooky Halloween party, where our expert bartenders have created some creepy and creative cocktails for you to enjoy. Our resident DJs will be spinning some spooky tunes to get your spirit in the mood for dancing, and there will no doubt be shots galore to ward off any evil souls. Then on Saturday night we bring in Day of the Dead in true Mexican fashion, with tequila galore and the necessary face paints – join us in getting your skull-face on for a Dia de Muertos spectacular.

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Both events are completely free, with no charge on the door, and continue into the early witching hours of 3am at our awesome late license Pink Chihuahua bar. There really is no where better to take your body this weekend.

Take a look at our Facebook event here, and we hope to see you dressed up to the max for some spirited fun!

Our Day of the Dead Party Punch Competition

Our infamous Day of the Dead party is fast approaching on the 1st November and we are working hard to make sure that it is a party to remember! (Or not, as the case may be…)

There is one thing that is certain to kick any party off to a great start – and that is one tasty, juicy, fruity punch. We’ll be serving a punch so special at our Day if the Dead party that our bartenders actually fought over who would be creating it.

Everyone thinks that their punch is the best – that they have a “secret ingredient” that will blow all other punches out of the water. But, to make it a fair fight, we decided to hold an in-house cocktail-making competition – and the winner’s concoction would be the featured punch at Day of the Dead.

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There were many entries from our talented bar team. We had a pink coconut shake garnished with a chilli-salt pineapple slice; we had a creme de cassis fan’s dream, which was fruitier than Carmen Miranda’s headwear. A hot contender was a peach iced tea cocktail, made up with our favourite spirit of all, tequila, mixed with peach liqueur and black tea.

Punch

However, a decision had to be made. Which punch was to be served by the gallon in sharing fish bowls at our Day of the Dead party? We needed something fresh, something spicy, something with a kick, something that would scare the spirits away back to the other world – or something to make them stay and party with us into the night.

Roman’s creation, served up in a cactus-stemmed margarita glass, was crowned the winner. Made with Chartreuse, vanilla and chilli, it was fruity enough for a punch bowl but demonic enough for Halloween weekend. Party-goers you are in for a treat!

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We look forward to seeing you, punch in hand, at Day of the Dead!

Mexicano Mariachi Style!

 

Mexico got style! If you’ve ever seen a Mariachi musician, it’s plain to see. Don’t know what we’re chatting about? If you watch Steve Martin’s 1986 smash, Three Amigos!, that might give you half a clue.

Read more on “Mexicano Mariachi Style!” »

Celebrate World Vegetarian Day in Mexican Style with El Camion

Grab your greens, chuck your chicken and step away from the steak – today is World Vegetarian Day! And while we love a bit of animal flesh as much as the next person, we also offer some absolutely awesome options for those wanting to avoid meat.

 

The secret horror

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