4 April 2022

It's margaritas on wheels as the cocktail Kombi rolls into Canberra

| James Coleman
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drinks van

The Cointreau Margarita Kombi will be parked outside Loquita in Garema Place until Sunday, 3 April. Photo: Cointreau.

The humble margarita is one of the most ordered cocktails in the world and a dedicated van is bringing the best to Canberra this weekend.

The Cointreau Margarita Kombi will be parked outside the Loquita Mexican bar and eatery in Garema Place until Sunday, 3 April, serving a range of original, passionfruit and spicy margaritas.

The repurposed retro Volkswagen Kombi is owned by Cointreau and has been rolling down the entire east coast of Australia since the beginning of the year.

Drinks van

If you’re going to see a man about a van, it’s good when he has margaritas. Photo: Cointreau.

Cointreau is the company behind the orange-flavoured triple sec liqueur produced in Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou, France, a key ingredient in margaritas.

The Kombi will be using it to concoct three different margaritas, including the Original Margarita, the Passionfruit Frozen Margarita and the Spicy Margarita.

Man making cocktails

Margaritas: 1 oz Cointreau, 1 oz Lime juice, 2 oz Tequila. Photo: Cointreau.

The drinks, made before your eyes in the van and starting at $12, will complement the range of Mexican offerings at Loquita.

Loquita was designed during the COVID-19 lockdown here in the ACT. With international travel off the cards, the brains at HARVAC Group – who are also behind Kokomo’s (now Wilma), Sage and Akiba – decided to bring a taste of Mexico here.

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On top of the tacos and nachos fare, the bar has an extensive range of tequila and agave spirits on offer, as well as sangria, cocktails, and a range of beer and wine.

The classic taste is said to be taken care of with the Original Margarita, but for those of a more adventurous spirit, a Jalapeno is dropped in to make the aptly named ‘Spicy Margarita’.

The Cointreau Margarita Kombi will also be offering a frozen Passion Fruit Margarita which includes Passion Fruit Liqueur to add a summer twist on the classic Margarita recipe.

Three margaritas

Three different margaritas will be served, including the Original Margarita, the Passionfruit Frozen Margarita and the Spicy Margarita. Photo: Cointreau.

Cointreau hails from the French industrial revolution when confectioner Adolphe Cointreau decided to diversify into liqueurs. His brother joined in and within eight years, the new product received its first award in 1857.

A family member then took over and refined the recipe until they struck gold in 1885, with a crystalline liqueur that was three times more concentrated in flavour and less sweet than anything else on the market at the time. It was made using a precise blend of dried and fresh orange peels.

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Then followed more family members, more awards, more medals, some film and recipe book appearances, grand advertising efforts, and an American socialite who claimed a margarita without Cointreau “isn’t worth its salt”. Today, an estimated 13 million bottles are sold each year in more than 150 countries.

Canberrans can find the Cointreau Margarita Kombi at Loquita on Saturday (2 April) from 12 noon to 9 pm and Sunday (3 April) from 12 noon to 6 pm.

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