Ah, but TheBeerLady is torn. The cocktail purist says that flavored cereal malt beverages (CMB) are an abomination. The beer geek says that nothing good can come of any company making its fortune from fizzy yellow mass market beer (FYMMB). And then there’s the practical and occasionally slightly lazy home bartender that says, “Doggone it, I need more peppers, because this Jalapeno Mang-O-Rita is pretty good.”
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, TheBeerLady was gifted with samples of the four ‘Ritas’ from Bud Light Lime along with some nice garnishes and several recipes. Now, generally speaking, I abandoned flavored CMBs quite some time ago, along with bottled wine coolers and mullets, but since my cocktail philosophy is something along the lines of “what the heck, try it, the worst that can happen is it’s awful,” I hit the bar and went to work. Oh, the sacrifices I make in the name of thoroughness!
First up, Bud Light Lime Mang-O-Rita, poured over ice as recommended. The bright orange color is a little disconcerting at first – a bit like a glass of Orange Crush™ – but it certainly qualifies as cheerful. There’s a definite odor of tropical fruit. It’s more of a tropical-fruit-flavored-candy than a fresh fruit aroma, but it’s sweet and pleasant. The same can be said of the flavor itself – lightly fruity, definitely sweet, lightly carbonated and with a surprisingly pleasant mouth feel. Personally, I preferred it very cold and un-iced, but it’s all a matter of taste. Either way, it would be good with some nice spicy bar-b-que or a good hot salsa and chips – something to balance the sweetness of the Mang-O-Rita itself.
After that, it was time to try out the recommended recipe, the Jalapeno Mang-O-Rita. Short and simple? I enjoyed it. The muddled jalapeno slices add a touch of heat that cut the sweetness nicely, and don’t dismiss the chili salt rim as just something to look cool – the salty and spicy flavors go a long way to making the Mang-O-Rita taste more like a ‘real’ cocktail.
Recipe: Jalapeno Mang-O-Rita
- 1 can Bud Light Lime Mang-O-Rita
- 4-5 thin slices jalapeno pepper
- Dash simple syrup
- Dash agave nectar
- Chili salt/pepper garnish
- Rim a margarita glass with the chili salt/pepper garnish.
- Muddle the jalapeno pepper slices with the simple syrup and agave nectar.
- Add ice and pour Mang-O-Rita.
- Give a quick stir, just to combine, and serve.
After some experimentation, for my taste, using both simple syrup and agave nectar was a bit of sweetness overkill. I ditched the simple syrup and added a squeeze of fresh lime juice instead.