Anyone else kind of irritated that National Margarita Day is on a Monday? If you’re going to make up a drinking holiday, couldn’t you at least aim for something closer to the weekend?
Regardless, I couldn’t let this day go unnoticed. I love Champagne, but I might love margaritas even more. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Texas, or because tequila makes you happy, or drinking a margarita makes it easy to imagine you’re sitting on a beautiful beach. Either way, there’s nothing better than a good margarita.
Please notice that I said a good margarita – that means no sugary mixes and no cheap tequila. If margaritas tend to give you a hangover, those two things are the likely culprits. If you happen to have a bottle of store bought margarita mix in your pantry, throw it away. Right now.
Because as always, quality ingredients matter…freshly squeezed lime juice and 100% agave tequila make all the difference.
The ingredients in a classic margarita are almost always the same: tequila, lime juice, and a splash of orange liqueur. But play with the proportions to find the right balance for you. If you like your drinks a bit sweeter, add a splash of simple sugar or agave nectar. You may prefer Grand Marnier to Cointreau for the hint of citrus.
If you typically use a blanco or ‘silver’ tequila, try using a Reposado, which has been aged in oak barrels, and has a bit of a mellower taste. Salt or no salt, it’s completely up to you.
The best margarita is the one you love. Here’s my favorite:
The Classic Margarita
- 1.5 oz. 100% agave Tequila (I prefer Reposado)
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 1/2 oz. triple sec
- juice of one lime (use a squeezer to get as much juice as possible)
- crushed ice
- lime wedges to salt the rim, and for garnish
To make simple syrup, bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Once boiling, add 1 cup sugar and stir. Continue to boil until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once cool, transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for up to a week.
If you’re salting the rims, fill one small plate with kosher salt. Run a slice of lime around the rim, and then dip it into the salt. (Note: this won’t work with water, you need the stickiness of juice to hold the salt.) Set aside.
Next add tequila, lime juice, triple sec and simple syrup (agave nectar works, too) to a cocktail shaker, and shake or stir until combined. Taste, and if you would like it to be sweeter, stir in a bit more simple syrup until the mix reaches your desired level of sweetness. (I think the original recipe is sweet enough, but if you get a particularly tart lime, you might need more to balance it out.)
Fill glass with crushed ice. Pour in the margarita mixture over the rocks. Serve immediately, garnished with an extra lime wedge.
And if you want to get fancy with your margarita, check out this list of interesting margarita’s curated by Town and Country.
Let me know what you think!