If you ask me to list the top five things I love in life, bacon and booze would rank Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. So, naturally, when I heard that Tortilla Coast on Capitol Hill was combining the two into a frosty libation, I got down there in the blink of bleary eye.
This tantalizing combination of Topaz silver tequila, Triple Sec, fresh pineapple juice, pineapple syrup, sour mix, jalapenos and bacon syrup—-yes, there is such a thing; recommended for Old-Fashioneds and Bloody Marys, too!—-has thrown down the gauntlet in an epic challenge to margaritas everywhere. Or, at least, the non-kosher world.
Sweet, savory and spicy, this frozen cocktail, priced at $7.50, arrives at your table with a salted rim, adorned with a lime wheel and a crispy strip of bacon to top it all off. According to general manager Bil Anderson, the guy who came up with this particular bacon-topped cocktail concept, the subtle spiciness comes from fresh jalapenos that are de-seeded and chopped in house, then added to the sour mix and strained out again before it’s put into the spinning margarita machine behind the bar. One bartender, who identifies himself as Rick, tells me that in the two weeks since the drink made its icy debut, he’s heard mixed reviews from the imbibing public. “They either love it or hate it,” he says.
Count me among the lovers. A sign on the table says, “World Famous Bacon Jalapeno Pineapple Margarita- Your Life Will Never Be the Same.” Well, the “world famous” part might be a stretch, but I’ll concur with the life-changer bit. From now on, bartenders, I’ll be expecting the crispy-or-chewy question right after your standard salt-or-no salt line.
Tortilla Coast, 400 1st St. SE, (202) 546-6768
Trixie Tamerlane is the author of From The Other Side: Pourings from the Mind of a Bartender
Photo by Trixie Tamerlane