Stirred and Shaken

In all of the restaurants I have ever worked in, the bartender was a creature apart from the kitchen staff. While both chef and barman create comestibles for customers, traditionally they don't interact with each other. But at Ibiza Food & Wine Bar (2450 Louisiana, 713-524-0004), a Midtown dining concept where a number of restaurant conventions have been successfully challenged, chef and co-owner Charles Clark has created their signature cocktail. Clark calls his drink the Ibizarita. It has the tequila and orange liqueurs of a classic margarita (to take advantage of the fact that Houstonians drink margaritas by the tanker-truckful). But the finished libation, presented in a blue water glass, is thick and cool and not as sweet as most commercial margaritas. The main ingredient is a puree of mangoes that are kept for a week in the kitchen to ripen, then peeled, boiled, pureed and strained.

At Ibiza, the cocktails are made up in a frozen margarita machine in large batches. Here is Clark's recipe, modified for the home mixologist.

Charles Clark's Ibizaritas for two:

2 ounces white Patrón tequila
1 ounce Cointreau liqueur
A splash Torres
Sevilla Orange brandy
3 ounces mango puree
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 cups ice
3 ounces cold water

Add ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or blender and grind into slush. Pour into a large goblet and garnish with a slice of ripe fresh mango and a mint leaf. Goes well with spicy, peppery appetizers. Be inventive.


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