here’s a delicious new cocktail in town, and you can find it on the menu at Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar, a rustic, yet modern establishment known for its small-mountain-town vibe, dog-friendly patio and unique seasonal fare. This libation, appropriately dubbed the Meyer lemon margarita, is a crisp, bright, citrusy take on the classic.
Bursting forth with a mélange of surprising flavors, the Meyer lemon margarita intertwines profiles of sweet, fragrant Meyer lemon with yuzu lime acidity, coupled with an herbal freshness of cilantro. The cocktail also showcases the restaurant’s recent collaboration with Lunazul Tequila, a 100 percent proprietary, pure Agave, grown by the Cuervo-Beckmann family on Tierra de Agaves estate in the village of Tequila, at the heart of Mexico’s agave country.
Founded in 2004 by Francisco Beckmann, a seventh-generation descendant of Jose Antonio de Cuervo, situated on 4,000 acres of land with more than 4 million plants, Lunazul Tequilas come from the same botanical line of mother plants used more than 200 years ago.
The liquor is slow-cooked and double distilled in small batches, and allowed to rest in bourbon barrels for six months. It emerges a pale amber color, and according to the company, emits a delicate, fruity aroma with hints of vanilla. The finish is both earthy and smoky, with a surprise peppery kick at the end. Each batch contains only 300 cases. This type of processing allows for the removal of undesirable elements, such as bitter honeys and defective fermentation notes.
So, what dish pairing would also be a perfect match? For that answer, we went to someone in the know, chef Gabriel Caliendo, chef/principal, at Lazy Dog in Irvine.
“Nothing could be more perfect than enjoying our beer battered fish tacos with this refreshing citrus-based margarita,” said Chef Gabe. “Served with our house-made salsa and pickled spicy carrots, an ode to the traditional Mexican escabeche vegetables so often used there. We drizzle the crispy fish with our chile vinegar and serve with rice and cilantro black beans. Our cold Meyer lemon margarita is a refreshing complement to the spicy and savory fish tacos.”
The sweet and citrusy margarita also goes well with poultry and pork, and Lazy Dog has two menu items fitting that bill; bone-in apple-sage pork chops and a nostalgic, autumnal cornish game hen. The pork chops are marinated 24 hours, grilled and served with roasted winter vegetables and gravy, while the game hen is oven-roasted, and accompanied by a sausage and sweet corn stuffing with apple-sage gravy, served with a side of carrots and feta. The Meyer lemon in the margarita blends nicely with the deep, savory flavors of the pork, as well as gaminess of the hens.
As you can see, Fall is on full display at Lazy Dog Restaurant in Irvine. From their enticing patio, with two cozy fire pits, to their warm and rustic interior — pull up a chair, inside or out — and welcome the season!
Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar | The Market Place, 13290 Jamboree Road, Irvine | lazydogrestaurants.com