Rainbow colored food is, for some reason or another, becoming a trend. It’s in our lattes. It’s in our bagels. Even our pizza isn’t safe. I’ve even done some research into why we keep eating these things (the colors might trick our brains into tasting flavors that aren’t there). Now you can jump on the bandwagon while tying one on now, and we got an expert to show us how its done just in time for Cinco de Mayo.
Welcome to Gizmodo’s Happy Hour. Substance abuse for nerds.
Rael Petit is a damn good bartender. He’s slung drinks at Mulberry Project and the Tribeca Grand Hotel, but mostly he’s known for his work with food dye and stencils. Want a Che Guevara sour or a sloe gin with Carlton Bank’s grinning face floating on top? He can do that for you, using some meticulously cut paper and these weird little misting bottles full of every color under the sun—although you could probably get away with a regular spray bottle. Don’t worry—the technicolor margarita doesn’t require Petit’s level of X-acto dexterity or any hugely uncommon ingredients (see the video below for directions on making it).
The resulting cocktail is uniquely beautiful and definitely tasty—even for someone like me who isn’t the biggest fan of tequila. The mouthfeel is thick on account of the egg whites, and it’s more savory than your run-of-the-mill marg, which tends to taste like old Sprite laced with floor cleaner. Rose water gives a nice sensory pairing to the floral-inspired food dye pattern, and the jalapeño oil added just the right finish.
Did my brain imagine richer, sweeter, or more interesting flavors on account of the color, as per the research? Hard to say, since I’ve never tried this recipe without all the food dye. What I can say for certain though is that the dye will ABSOLUTELY get all over your mouth and stay there all night. It’s almost a prank cocktail if it wasn’t so damn delicious.
Most people know by now that Cinco de Mayo has almost nothing to do with Mexican independence, and is barely celebrated there. Most people also know that the origins of the margarita might not be Mexican. But at a certain point you’re shouting “actually”s into an unstoppable tide of alcohol—if you’re going to do some serious tequila drinking today, you might as well drink something good.