Vegan Margarita

A Classic Margarita SoCal Style and Vegan. Pic by M.C.

This is not my usual healthy recipe but once in a while I need a hard one. I mean a stiff one. Oh never mind. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s like a sauna in California from the 58,000 pools of water that blew into the atmosphere from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption. So I’m enjoying summer with a margarita or two.

Not all tequilas are vegan but most are. I use Patrón since I like it and it just so happens to be vegan. Growing up, my dad and I would to sing, “Jose Cuervo you are a friend of mine.” I couldn’t find the commercial, but they do make great ads. And Cuervo tequila is vegan too. As far as the Grand Marnier, Barnivore says it’s vegan, but if I find out it’s not then I will update the recipe. You can also use Cointreau or Triple Sec in place of Grand Marnier which is probably more affordable and they seem less sugary to me.

The purpose of this recipe is to get as close to what I have experienced in San Diego restaurants in Old Town. Except they use an oversized margarita glass. The pink Himalayan salt is my addition. I’ve never seen anyone use it on a margarita glass and it’s delicious. I used Rick Bayless’ Classic Margarita recipe and made it my own.

Fine pink Himalayan crystal salt, Sunfood
1 lime for wedges
20-25 ice cubes
4 1/2 ounces lime juice, fresh-squeezed
1 1/2 ounces agave syrup
1 1/2 ounces orange liqueur, Grand Marnier
4 1/2 ounces silver Tequila, Patrón

Yield: Perfect serving for two, in my opinion

Sprinkle about a tablespoon of pink Himalayan salt on a plate. Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim and then press the rim into salt. Add ice cubes to blender. Twenty five ice cubes works best to keep it slushy. For measuring, I use a shot glass that has the ounces written on one side. Add lime juice which may take 6-8 limes. Add agave, liqueur, and Tequila. Blend in blender.

Sanpellegrino mixed with Gerolsteiner. Pic by M.C.

When not in the mood for alcohol I love Gerolsteiner Sparkling water and/or Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa Sparkling water with blood orange juice. Gerolsteiner is my favorite and the best buy at Trader Joe’s. The water has bicarbonate in it that is good for pH balance and a good acid buffer. Sanpellegrino’s is currently vegan but I guess they weren’t before. I don’t like their water, but I discovered their carbonated juice. It does have added sugar which says stevia online, but not on the can. I don’t think I’ll buy this one again since I’m not clear on it being vegan. Others might like it if you need something nonalcoholic, but still tastes like you’re having something other than plane water or soda. ¡Salud!

Happy Vegan!

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Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon

Vegan Mexican Food

The Gaslamp has lots of great restaurants. Hotel rooms around here can be loud due to the police station. Also, there are Seaworld fireworks in the bay on summer weekend nights, which is strange to me because they are so loud I think it will disturb the marine life at the theme park and in the sea. If you are sensitive to noise then stay a few roads out if you need to be in the downtown area. Please don’t support named theme park. Read “War of the Whales” by Joshua Horwitz to see how marine mammals are captured and sold. Pic by M.C.

Someone was asking me where to find good, authentic Mexican food, but vegan. I recently had a cucumber and jalapeño margarita in Oregon. I guess that’s the trend. It was okay. So this is what prompted me to share my vegan, Mexican recipes—some old, some new.

Lucky for me, anytime I have eaten Mexican food in the southwest it has been good. Since I’m in California I can say most of the time the Mexican restaurants are pretty good up and down the state. I think you could throw a rock in San Diego and find a good Mexican restaurant. Just pick a mom and pop place not a franchise. If you can’t get to California then look at Rick Bayless’ recipes for margaritas, salsas, and main courses. Typically, his recipes aren’t vegan, but some of them can be veganized.

Options are limited when it comes to eating out, being vegan and gluten free, but not bad. The last time I ate at a Mexican restaurant I had a salad with avocado and vinaigrette at El Adobe de Capistrano. They also have veggie fajitas with corn tortillas. El Adobe has the best service and they have a banquet area for weddings where I have seen a harpist playing for a reception. So beautiful. Another great place that is out of the way is El Jardin in Fallbrook, North County San Diego. They have great fajitas and a margarita pitcher. I did look for vegan Mexican restaurants on Yelp. It looks like there are some in San Diego. Another thing that we used to do was go to a drive-thru hole-in-the-wall and ask for frijoles de la olla—boiled beans—and hoped to get beans cooked in water, salt, and onion not with pork bones. My dad taught us how to ask for simple beans. You know when the beans aren’t vegan—they taste super salty. When Oscar De La Hoya was fighting, Renaissance Man would ask for beans Oscar De La Hoya and get a smirk from the guy at the counter. I have also recommended El Indio on India Street that is near Old Town and not far from the San Diego airport. I’ve always loved their chips and salsa. They sell the chips by the bag. El Indio has a potato taco. I have noticed that the potato taco is trending in brewery restaurants for a vegan option. Whether the fried potato is gluten free I’m not sure. And of course there is always the slew of restaurants in Old Town San Diego not far from El Indio.

But in the end I enjoy home-cooked food. In future posts, I will share recipes of my family’s version of vegan Mexican food.

Happy Vegan!

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Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon