Dick's Mix - for the Agave Margarita Connoisseur

Richard Dooley is a Tucson Renaissance man – a registered nurse, an artist, a Friday bartender at La Paloma Country Club and an entrepreneur with his creation “Dick’s Premiumargarita Mix.”

As an advocate for handmade cocktails with natural components, Dooley drew inspiration for his margarita mix based on the premise that Southwestern margaritas ought to be comprised of fresh ingredients. 

“I’ve always liked margaritas. So, I began mixing a bunch of things generally based on the knowledge that the combination of several ingredients often makes a better product than just pouring one product, it gives a better balance – so I made a concoction with fresh lime juice and lemonade, some other mixes, the essence of limes, lemons and oranges,” Dooley explains.

“The other thing that is a clincher is using agave nectar, because tequila is made from the agave plant and agave nectar is a sweetener that has a lower glycemic index. That, with some raw sugar imported from Mexico.”

It took Dooley three to four years to develop his formula and Dick’s Mix finally hit the shelves last September. The process culminated with Dooley whittling down several blends to four recipes last summer and inviting margarita-loving friends to a taste testing session in order to suss out a consensus.
“I realize it’s just margarita mix, it’s not rocket science. But it’s not easy to get the proportion of sweet and sour right,” Dooley explicates. “I wouldn’t say that I was working hard every day on it; I was going to nursing school. Once I became an RN, I was putting a little more time into it.”

While the mix is only available locally at three Tucson locations – Maynard’s Market, 400 N. Toole Ave., Rincon Market, 2513 E. 6th St. and The Rumrunner, 3131 E. 1st St. – it is something to seek out if you are interested in a quality mix to complement your 100% agave tequila. As Dooley says, this isn’t for the volume drinker; it is for people with a discerning palate who want an authentic margarita experience and especially for impressing out of town visitors.

Impress them you will, as Dick’s Mix adroitly walks the tightrope of tart and sweet that is oh so delicious, brimming with fresh ingredients that viscerally convey the spring sunshine.

On Trends in Mixology: “Old-style cocktails like the Side Car and the martini. What what makes a martini good is to shake it hard with a lot of ice and splinter that ice. Then when you pour it, you have a nice layer of ice crystals floating on top. That first sip is the most important. That ice needs to lift and melt, that’s the essence of the martini – as it passes over your tongue and down your throat, then the flavors rise up and you taste it through your olfactory senses.”

Favorite Ingredients: “Citrus juices are great in drinks. Keep it simple, make it fresh, it is always better to build a drink by hand.”

Signature Drink: The Dick’s Premiumargarita (single, on the rocks)

In a 16oz pint glass, 2/3 full of ice, add in this order:
1.  4oz of sparkling water (Perrier, Pellegrino, club soda)
2.  1.5oz of 100% agave tequila
3.  1.5oz of Dick's PremiumargaritaTM Mix
4.  1oz of premium orange liqueur (Grand Marnier, Prunier, Gran Gala)
5.  Squeeze of a lime

Follow Dick Dooley at DicksMix.net and on Facebook. 

photo credit and article written: Jamie Manser // thezmag.com

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