A Look Inside The Decadent Yet Bizarre Margaritas From Netflix’s Drink Masters Cocktail Competition – Including One Too Dangerous To Drink
Netflix’s Drink Masters cocktail competition is taking the world by storm. Imagine the Great British Bakeoff but with 12 experienced bartenders, elaborate boozy theatrics, a dollop of snarky banter and a $100,000 grand prize. In other words, reality TV gold.
For its premiere, Drink Masters’ 12 bartenders were tasked with concocting their twist on “the world’s most ordered cocktail,” the margarita. By the end of the episode, we were treated to all manner of gourmet jellies, salted foams, fruit purees and more. There was even a drink that judges deemed so dangerous that they refused to drink it.
We’re going to take a look at each and every bizarre margarita in competition, highlighting their ingredients, laborious recipes and presentation whenever possible.
(First Place Winner) When the Smoke Clears – Aisling
First, we’ll look at the episode’s winning cocktail, When The Smoke Clears. Its maker aptly described it “like a drink and a hug.”
To pull off this winning drink, Aisling rapid infused mezcal with the unexpected combination of pomegranate and morel mushrooms. The cocktail was them combined with white pomegranate seeds, kiwi, and handmade vermouth jellies that the hosts insisted on trying seconds of.
Oaxacan On Top of the World – Kate
Kate’s Oaxacan on Top of the World goes all in on the presentation, featuring a full-blown tribute to an agave field made with chocolate dirt and an orange mezcal jelly wedge.
The main course is a reposado cocktail mixed with clementine, orange and lemon, topped off with a smoked sea salt foam and five-spice syrup. The judges loved both components of this homage to mezcal’s home state.
Deconstructed Margarita – Kapri
It wouldn’t be a cooking show with a deconstruction!
Kapri’s Deconstructed Margarita featured an orange and coriander-infused tequila paired with a tomato lime sangria and sour watermelon jellies – an experience meant to emulate the process of taking a shot, then chasing with juice and a lime wedge.
The sour watermelon jellies were made using a congealant called agar agar, a plant-based gelatin derived from seaweed.
The Fellowship – Meredith
The Fellowship – most likely named after its fantasy-tinted Lord of the Rings-esque presentation – featured dollops of savory spice within a saffron-infused reposado that was mixed with mezcal. If that wasn’t enough, Meredith added saffron-infused ice cubes.
Saffron can prove quite the overpowering ingredient if used in too large a quantity, but the judges thought that Meredith’s cocktail hit the perfect spot.
Bonsai – Suzu
Suzu’s simply titled Bonsai is described as a re-imagination of a bonsai garden as well as an homage to his Japanese roots. The judges loved the clean, delicious flavor and aroma of tea found within, but sadly Suzu didn’t reveal exactly what tea blend was used to make this silky-smooth cocktail.
3-Way Margo – Alex
We’ve arrived at Alex’s infamous 3-Way Margo, which boasted a margarita jelly wedge and a margarita-flavored air that were sadly overshadowed by a dangerous orange-infused sparkling margarita.
The drink spewed a constant stream of frothy bubbles, an effect that Alex achieved by anchoring dry ice to the bottom of the glass. After a moments silence, one of the judges curtly remarked of the dry ice, “if I were to consume one of those pellets, it would stick to my esophagus, it would then create carbon dioxide, and I would choke to death.”
The judges refused even a sip.
Sunshine on a Cloudy Day – Natalie
Natalie’s Sunshine on a Cloudy Day Aperol spritz has a presentation befitting of its maker’s career as an Instagram bartender. Inside is tequila, Aperol, lime juice, strawberry syrup and a fluffy prosecco foam.
Sadly, the judges thought it was all style in no substance. And, spoiler alert – it was somewhat bizarrely ranked low enough that Natalie became the first bartender to leave the show, but not Alex and his literally undrinkable dry ice margarita.
Yellow & Red Beets with Honey & Lavender – Loyd
Loyd’s unnamed margarita mixed red and yellow beats with honey and lavender syrup. The presentation was evidently top-notch, but the judges thought that the flavor of beets were an overpowering addition not at home within the flavor profile of a margarita.
Japanese in Mexico – Tao
Tao’s Japanese in Mexico mixed tequila with a signature Japanese flavor blend of sugar snap peas, coconut and yuzu.
The judges loved the cocktail but opined that it couldn’t quite be classified as a margarita.
Beyond Glass Ceiling – LP
Arguably the show stopper in terms of presentation, LP’s Beyond Glass Ceilings mixed blanco and reposado tequila with a handmade “nogave” pineapple nectar syrup and salt foam. The cocktail was sided with a lime jello wedge.
The judges lauded it as one of the very best combinations of presentation and flavor.
Chips & Salsa Marg – Raj
Certainly one of the more “out there” recipes came with Raj’s Chips & Salsa Margarita.
Little was revealed about the contents of the cocktail itself other than the fact that it was topped with a flavorful tomato salsa foam. The judges commended the foam, but thought that the presentation was a little wonky.
The Looking Glass – Michael
One of two cocktails to feature beets as a signature ingredient, Michael’s The Looking Glass used blended beets as a base alongside tequila, orange juice, and agave nectar.
As was said of several of these sometimes too-inventive cocktails, the judges were hoping for it to capture more margarita flavor, but liked it nonetheless.
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