Cool Summer Cocktails – Lunch at Borgne and Their Presa Margarita
Has this ever happen to you? You dine out, and like everything about the place well enough, but after you leave, one of the items you ordered lingers in your taste memory and continues to haunt you over the next several days. I had that experience recently at Borgne, where my brother, Eric, my cousin, Raoul, and I went, a couple of weeks ago, for my last lunch in New Orleans before returning to L.A.
We were dying for an ice cold drink after our several block walk in hot, muggy weather from Canal Place to the Hyatt, where Borgne is located in the lobby. The Presa Margarita caught my attention.
It wasn’t that the food wasn’t outstanding- it truly was. Eric started with a Golden Tomato Gazpacho with Crabmeat and Cantaloupe, and after a week of eating in New Orleans, I was really craving salad, so I ordered the Grilled Romaine Heart with Idiazabal Cheese, Ham Chips and Garlic-White Anchovy Dressing (not your Mom’s Caesar, the menu warns), while Raoul ordered the Broiled Louisiana Oysters with Spicy Garlic Butter.
Then we shared a daily special of house made Ricotta Cavatelli with a creamy Tasso infused sauce topped with Smoked Sausage and White Shrimp from the Gulf. And just because Raoul’s Broiled Oysters looked so wonderful- and that garlic butter was so enticing – we ordered another round of those to share. The breading on the Broiled Oysters was golden brown and crunchy on top, but the oysters were cooked only enough to heat them through leaving them custardy. Perfect!
Our young server- well, that, and it was paired with Southern Comfort Ice Cream (who can pass that up?), convinced us to split an order of the Cornmeal Pound Cake with Peaches for dessert.
But halfway through my flight home, and then especially, as I trekked my way through LAX, it was that Presa Margarita I was really jonesing for a rerun off. Presa- translated from the Spanish-capture or seize- and capture me it did.
Made with Sauza Silver tequila, yuzu, Créole Shrubb and jalapeno (Créole Shrubb- what’s that, I wondered) it was delightfully tart- a little too tart, Eric said, but that’s what I found so delightfully refreshing about it- a wonderful example of advanced mixology. Fortunately for all of us, Borgne generously shared its recipe. Ah- and Créole Shrubb? Clément Rhum, its manufacturer, describes it as “a superb blend of the finest white and aged Agricole Rhums, married with macerated Créole spices and sun-bleached bitter orange peels.”
Hey, I’ll drink to that!
- 2 ounces Sauza Tequila Silver
- 1 ounce Clément Créole Shrub
- ¼ ounce Yakami Orchard 100 % Pure Japanese Yuzu Juice 12 oz. / 375 ml
- 2 slices fresh jalapeño
- 2 1/2 ounces San Pellegrino Pompelmo soda
- Hawaiian salt and crushed pink peppercorns to rim the glass
* Fresh yuzu – widely used in Japanese cuisine – is difficult to find outside of Japan. Fortunately, bottled yuzu juice is an acceptable substitute, available for purchase online.