Margaritas - The #1 Alcoholic Drink in the World

 

The basics of a Margarita is simple (and sometimes simplicity is best): Tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Using only these three ingredients equals a true Margarita. Try 2 oz Tequila, 1 oz orange liqueur, and 1 oz fresh lime juice then shake that with ice and strain that into a glass with or without ice. This is the original way.The sweet orange liqueur should be all the sweetness a true Margarita needs. However, due to America's sweet tooth, sugar (and lots of it!) has been added in recent decades. Just look on the label of any sweet-n-sour mix, Margarita mix, limeade, or sour mix you see on the shelves. If you're addicted to this bastardized-type of a Margarita then at least make your own homemade sweet-n-sour mix from fresh juice. Learn here.

FYI: The Margarita (Mexico) is a cousin to the Daiquiri (Cuba). A Daiquiri is rum, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup.

People always ask me about triple sec. Triple sec is an orange liqueur made from the skin of oranges. The word sec is French for dry. Triple comes from the liqueur being distilled three times. It's more refined than Curacao (cure-uh-SOW, rhymes with cow). Curacao is also made from orange peels, but from sour orange peels in Curacao (a place in the Carribbean). It comes in orange, blue and green. The green is made from unripe oranges that are still green and the blue is simply coloring.


If given a choice, most bartenders would choose Cointreau (QWAN-tro) as the best orange liqueur/triple sec to use in a Margarita.

Grand Marnier (MARN-yay) is an orange liqueur made with a Cognac (CONE-yak) base. If you use this in your Margarita then you are making a cross between a Sidecar and a Margarita because you are adding Cognac in your Margarita. (A Sidecar is brandy/Cognac, orange liqueur, and lime juice)

As far as the type of Tequila to use...well just know that if you walk up to a bar and ask for a Cuervo Gold Margarita then the bartender will know that you don't know anything about Tequila. I talk about Tequila here on my Tequila page, but briefly there are four types of Tequila (well another was added in 2006 to create a category for all the high-end Tequilas). The four Tequila types are: Blanco. Joven, Reposado, and Añejo. Blanco comes straight out of the still and into the bottle. It's also called silver or white. Joven is just a blanco that has had fake coloring added to it to make it look gold (like Cuervo Gold). Reposados and Añejo's have been aged. If you want a great tasting Margarita then I suggest that you use a silver/blanco or reposado Tequila that is made 100% from the blue agave plant. It will say so on front label.

The smooth and aged Tequilas like an Añejo or the ultra aged and filtered do not make a great Margarita. You need that "bite" of the blanco/silver/white or reposado.

The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess shows a great presentation of Margaritas. Just click here.

As you can see, Margarita variations can be endless. You can use different Tequilas, different orange liqueurs, and different lime mixes. To make flavored Margaritas, all you do is substitute the orange liqueur for other flavored liqueurs (or flavorings) like melon liqueur (Melon Margarita) or Chambord (Raspberry Margarita), etc.

The salt used on a Margarita is kosher salt. It's courser than regular table salt and contains no additives like iodine.
The top three glasses are typical Margarita glasses. However, you will find Margaritas served in many glass types.

By the way in my 4th published book, The Everything Cocktail Party & Drinks Book, there is a chapter titled, "Margarita Madness". Here are the recipe names: Tequila Mockingbird Margarita, Strawberry Mojitorita, White Sangriarita, Between the Hotel Sheets Margarita, Swim-Up Bar Margarita, Beer Belly Margarita, Cranberry Cosmorita, Lemon Raspberry Rita, Hypnotizing Margarita, Uno Dos Tres Cuatro Cinco de Mayo Rita, Kiss from a Rosarita, Anita Rita Now, Tasting Away in Margaritaville, Muy Bonita Rita, Le Femme Nikita Rita, South of the Peachy Border Rita, Horny Margarita, Key Lime Pie Margarita, Three Senoritas Margarita, and Tequila Sunrise Margarita.

n my 9th book, Knack Bartending Basics: More than 400 Classic and Contemporary Cocktails for Any Occasion there is a Margarita chapter. Some of the recipes include Bed of Roses Rita, Guacamole Rita, and Jalepeño Marmalade Rita.

 

Margarita/Tequila Tips & Facts

• The steps in making a Margarita on the rocks: 1. Gather everything you need. 2. Prepare your glass by rimming with kosher salt then filling with ice. 3. Pour 2 ounces Tequila into a shaker tin half filled with ice, then 1 ounce triple sec/orange liqueur, and 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice. If you want it a tiny sweeter to balance the sour then just add a spoon of sugar or simple syrup (personally, I like it better this way). If you are making it with sweet-n-sour then use a couple ounces. 4. Shake and strain into the glass. Garnish with a lime.
• If you're not sure if someone wants their glass rimmed with salt or not, just rim half of it.
• When you order a Margarita don't just say, "I'll take a Margarita, please". This will instantly let the bartender know that you don't know anything about Margaritas. Always order it like; "I'll take a Margarita on the rocks with salt" (if you order this way then the bartender will be grabbing the cheap Tequila from the well--the well Tequila) or say"I'll take an 1800 Reposado Margarita with Cointreau without salt", etc. Really specify how you want it. 1. Call out the Tequila and orange liqueur you want. 2. Say how you want it prepared (rocks, frozen/blended, or up. 3. Normally, a Margarita's default comes with salt. If you don't want it then say, no salt.
• Do not ever order the Margarita "on special" or "the house" Margarita.. Chances are they have mass produced it with very little alcohol. When you call out your Tequila then they will be forced to make it from scratch. You want this.
• If you do not have a strawberry to garnish a Strawberry Margarita then use a lime garnish.
• To put salt on the rim simply moisten the rim with a lime slice and dip the outside of the glass in salt. You don't want salt on the top or inside to drop into the drink. Want to make colored salt? Just pour kosher salt in a baggie, drop in some food coloring and shake.
• Try not to order frozen or blended Margaritas. Ice is just water that gets diluted in the whole blending process and it waters down all the flavor. However I have an exception: If you do insist on having a frozen Margarita, the best way to enjoy it is to have the bartender blend it as a virgin Margarita then pour the alcohol on top. It makes an incredible difference. You will not regret it!
• If you order a Top Shelf Margarita the bartender will choose a higher quality Tequila to make your Margarita. However, it's still best to call out what you want and not leave it up to the bartender. There's also a Margarita called a Golden Grand Margarita. This means that the Tequila used is gold and Grand Marnier is used for the orange liqueur. Sometimes people call it a Cadillac Margarita.
• The Margarita is Mexico’s National drink.
• As a bartender you will make thousands upon thousands of Margaritas. If you work in a warm climate or at a Mexican restaurant then triple it.
• There is a lot to know about Tequila. This page just covers the basics. Julio Bermejo is known to be "THE" man when it comes to Tequila.
• Bing Crosby was the first to bring 100% blue agave Tequila into the USA. It was Herradura.
• There are several stories about who invented the Margarita:
1. A bartender named it after a girl named Margarita.
2. A bartender named Daniel Negrete, Pancho Morales that worked at Tommy’s Place in Juarez.
3. A woman named Margarita Sames in Acapulco.

 

Margarita Recipes and Links

Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Gallon of Margaritas
Magarator Recipes
Beer Margarita
Keylime Rita Tini Cadilac Margarita
Blue Margarita Cuervo Margaritas
Margarita Therapy
Cactus Margarita
Tasting Away in Margarita recipes
Vili's Margarita Recipe
Honest-to-Goodness Margaritas for a crowd
Grandma's Frozen Margarita
Margarita Jell-O
How to make a Margarita from wiki-how
Margarita T-Shirts
Margarita Texas  
Misc. Margarita Stuff
Baja Bob's Low Carb Margaritas Margarita Clock
Margaritaville Margarita Man
Margarita Screensaver Make your own Margarita Machine!
Margarita Flower Spa Drinkboy talks about the Margarita
Magarita Map Tequila Aficionado


Below are some videos that may be of interest to you.


Click on an olive to see how NOT to make a Margarita videos:

 

 

Margarita Books


 

Has this Margarita page been helpful? Do you have a question about Margaritas for Miss Charming? Just email her here.