Margaritas aren’t only for cruise ships and Mexican restaurants. They’re a cocktail every home entertainer should have in their recipe. Here’s the anatomy of a margarita, basic recipe, and tips for making the margarita your own with experimentation and flavors.
What’s A Margarita?
Today’s Margarita originated in Mexico. Tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice are the only ingredients. There are several ways to serve the cocktail: straight up, on the rocks or frozen. Some people like to sugar or salt the rim of their glass.
Distilled agave is called mezcal. When the agave is blue it is tequila. Similar to wine, the name makes a difference when labeling. All tequila is mezcal but not all mezcal is tequila.
Easily found at your local liqueur store, Cointreau and Triple Sec are two common orange liqueurs.
Traditionally, margaritas use freshly squeezed lime juice. Select limes that don’t have obvious bruises and discoloration and are heavier than they look.
Basic Margarita Recipe
3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. orange liqueur
1 1/2 oz. white tequila
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with reusable ice cubes. Strain into desired glassware and garnish with lime.
Experimenting With Margaritas
Tequila has a strong taste but you can still have all sorts of fun with margaritas.
First, experiment with the juice. You’ll want a strong flavor but any citrus works: orange, pineapple, lemon, grapefruit. You can also use a combination of juices.
Next, play with the garnish. Consider using salt or sugar on the rims of your glasses to give extra flavor. You can find or make all sorts of custom salts and sugars – the sky’s the limit.
Some people like to sweeten their margaritas. Make simple syrup with white or brown sugar or with agave syrup and sweeten to your taste.
Margaritas are quick, easy and cheap to make. Keep a cheap bottle of tequila in the freezer or fridge for margarita making purposes. If you have good tequila, keep it and drink it room temperature – drastic temperature changes reduce the quality of your tequila. This is fine for a cheap bottle you’re mixing into cocktails but not for high quality sipping tequila.