The Ultimate Margarita Recipe
Nothing beats a properly made margarita; tequila, orange liqueur and citrus juice, shaken and served in a salt-rimmed glass. It’s my favorite cocktail. The sweet and the sour flavors all blend together to create a cocktail that is smooth and tasty. A well made margarita is a work of art and I’ve been working at it for years. You may have to tweak this recipe for your tastes, but this one will make a great drink, every time.
1½ ounces 100% agave reposado TEQUILA
½ ounce Cointreau
½ ounce Gran Marnier
1½ ounces of MARGARITA MIX (or citrus infused simple syrup)
½ ounce LEMON JUICE
½ ounche LIME JUICE
COURSE KOSHER SALT
Fill shaker ¾ with ice, then add tequila, Orange Liquer, margarita mix and squeeze in the juice of ½ of a lime and ½ of a lemon. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds to a minute or until shaker is too cold to hold. Rub the rim of a glass with lemon or lime slice and dip the rim into a saucer of salt until the desired amount is on the glass. Pour the mixture into the salt-rimmed glass, or strain into a salt rimmed cocktail (martini) glass if you prefer your drink “up,” without ice.
ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
I prefer to use 100% agave tequila with my margaritas. My favorites are Herradura Reposado, Cabo Wabo Reposado and Sauza Hornitos. Sometimes I enjoy a silver tequila, so El Tesoro Platinum is my go-to; a great tequila at a great price, making it one of the better values. I suggest trying several different tequilas and deciding which one you like the best. Some other great tequilas include Patron, Milagro and Don Julio.
There are a few different types of orange liquor, the three most common are triple sec, Cointreau and Grand Marnier. In many of my margaritas, I use triple sec because of taste and affordability. Most contend that any 100% agave tequila should be complemented with either Cointreau or Grand Marnier, but feel free to use triple sec. The alcohol content is lower and it’s a bit sweeter than some of the higher end alternatives. If you are in the mood, do some experimenting on your own to find the combination you like best.
Although most purists suggest fresh lime juice as the citrus juice, I admit to using a combination of fresh squeezed lime and lemon juice. I like the flavor of a half and half balance with the acidity mellowed out with the orange liqueur and sweet margarita mix.
To help balance the flavors, I add about 1 ½ ounces of sweet margarita mix to offset the acidity in the citrus and the strength of the tequila. Depending on the mix you use or the flavor you desire, you may have to add more or less. If you are ambitious, try making a simple syrup infused with lemon or lime flavors. I always keep a bottle of Jose Cuervo margarita mix on hand for the occasion. I really dislike their tequila, but the mix is perfect for this purpose.
I suggest using commercial ice sold in bags. The jagged shape of the commercial ice is ideal when making a cocktail. When shaking, small pieces of ice break off and add the right amount of water to the cocktail. The ice is more important than you thought!
The best salt is coarse kosher salt. Buy a box at the grocery store for cheap and keep it on hand.
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