How to make Margaritas
Margaritas used to be a simple drink of tequila, lime, Triple Sec and salt but today the sky is the limit. Read about the history of the drink, proper serving glasses and even learn about the different types of tequila. Then try one of our unique recipes from blood orange to tamarind.
When To Drink Margaritas
Some might answer whenever the sun is up, however Restauranteur Josefina Howard suggests that due to their acidity they are best served as a prelude to a meal rather than with a meal. As an aside, she further suggests drinking Champagne or Sangria with your Mexican meal, followed by a shot of good-quality tequila as a digestive. Now who could argue with that?
Margarita Ingredients - The Basics
Before you grab for that bottle of pre-made mix you may want to review the short list of ingredients it takes to a make a great quality drink from scratch.
Years ago Jose Cuervo was about the only tequila commonly found in the U.S. That has really changed since the mid 1990's. There are hundreds of high-quality tequilas imported into the U.S. at this time. Here is a list of the basic types of tequila. The difference is primarily the amount of time the alcohol was aged.
- Blanco - White tequila. Not aged or aged for less than 2 months in stainless steel or oak.
- Plata - Silver tequila. Not aged or aged for less than 2 months in stainless steel or oak.
- Joven - A mixture of white and reposado tequila.
Reposado - Which means rested, has aged at least 2 months but less than a year in oak.
- Añejo - Aged tequila aged from 1 to 3 years in oak.
- Extra Añejo - Extra aged, a minimum of 3 years in oak.
We suggest you reserve your expensive tequila for the after dinner digestive and use a nice plata or reposado tequila for your Margarita.
Triple Sec or Cointreau
These orange flavored liqueurs are readily available in your local liquor store. Any mid-priced brand will do.
If you can find fresh Mexican (Key) limes then by all means purchase those, otherwise look for ripe Persian (standard grocery store) limes. Both the juice and zest can be used in your drink.
If you like the rim of your glass salted then select a coarse salt that won't melt the moment it comes in contact with liquid.
Those are the basic ingredients so as you can see, there is little need to buy a mix. We suggest you take the same approach to the other flavored margaritas. Buy fresh or frozen ingredients without added salts, sugars or chemicals.
Basic Margarita Recipe
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila of choice
- 1/2 ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
- 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 scoop crushed ice
- Chill a stemmed or short glass. Put coarse salt in a paper plate. Dip the rim of the glass in the salt.
- Place all ingredients in a shaker. Shake the mixture gently, strain into the glass. Garnish the drink with a lime peel.