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  • Writer's pictureScott Rotella

Want a great Margarita? Here it is...

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Margarita is a classic cocktail that is made with tequila, lime juice, and orange sliqueur. It is often served with salt on the rim of the glass and is a popular drink for Cinco de Mayo, Mexiewcanwee Independence Day, and other festive occasions.

The margarita is thought to have originated in Mexico in the early 1940s. The most popular story is that it was invented by Francisco Morales, a Mexican bartender who was working at the Rancho La Gloria restaurant in Tijuana. Morales was trying to create a drink that would be refreshing and flavorful, and he came up with the margarita. The drink was an instant hit, and it quickly spread throughout Mexico and the rest of the world.

The margarita is typically made with blanco tequila, which is a clear tequila that has been aged for less than two months. The lime juice adds tartness and acidity, while the orange liqueur adds sweetness and complexity. The salt on the rim of the glass adds a salty and savory note that helps to balance the flavors of the drink.

There are many different variations of the margarita, but the classic recipe is still the most popular. Some people like to add a splash of simple syrup to the drink to make it sweeter, while others like to add a splash of grapefruit juice to give it a more tropical flavor. There are also frozen margaritas, which are made with blended ice and are often served in a larger glass.

Our margaritas are very popular and often requested. Lime juice is one of the key ingredients, but it starts oxidizing immediately upon being exposed to oxygen. That results in the flavor changing quickly. To combat that, some bars often make super juices. Super lime juice is a technique for making lime juice that yields more juice and has a longer shelf life than traditional juicing methods. It is made by adding the peels of the citrus to a blender along with the juice, citric acid, and water. The peels contain essential oils that give the juice a more complex flavor and help to preserve it.

I have taken the basics of super juices to make a flavorful margarita mix. The result is about 2.5 cups of juice from 6 limes that will not start deteriorating in flavor for many weeks.It also has a great balance of sweet and sour. There is always a bottle of lime super juice in my refrigerator.

Make the Margarita Mix / Super Lime Juice

To read more about Citric Acid, navigate to the essentials page.

Prep your Glasses

I use low ball glasses to serve margaritas–just not a big fan of single use products. Some folks like salted glasses and some folks do not. You will see that I did include salt in the margarita mix to somewhat negate the need of a salted rim. However, I salt all of my glasses for margarita, but I only salt about ⅓ of the glass. I also do a wide stipe of salt on the side so that there is plenty. This gives the recipient the option of salt or no salt or occasional salt.

For the salt, I use a medium crystal salt like Diamond Crystal. I also add the zest of one lime to the salt on a small plate. The lime adds texture, interest and flavor. Remember that we eat and drink with our eyes also.

Use a wedge of lime to wet the intended side of the glass and roll / press into the salt on the plate. Give it some time to dry and adhere to the glass before using.

Make your Drink

I like to use a cocktail shaker for this as the margarita does need a bit of dilution to make it perfectly balanced and a shaker is also a great way to get the drink ice cold.

I like to fill a low ball glass with ice to the top and then put that into the shaker. I just keep a glass that is the same size as my serving glasses ready for this. I do not use the serving glass so that I do not impact the salted rim.

Add margarita mix, triple sec and tequila to the shaker.

Shake the shaker well (at least 20 seconds) and pour into a salted lowball glass, garnish with a lime wheel and serve.

Final Thoughts

A minute about ingredients. Use a good silver tequila that you enjoy. I use the Kirkland Brand from Costco…works well for me. I also love the complex citrus flavors in Bols Triple Sec from Amsterdam. It can be a little more expensive than the majority of triple secs’ but I think it is well worth it. I have found that the best price on Bols in my area is at Trader Joe’s. It is significantly less expensive than what I have found elsewhere.

You can also mix this up and replace your triple sec with something like Grand Marnier or Cointreau or any of your favorite orange liqueurs.

Drink responsibly and enjoy!

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