A south of the border classic whose popularity has spread across America, the classic Margarita can be a truly refreshing experience as long as you don’t corrupt the recipe with sweet mixes, artificial flavors and other lazy additions.
There are a myriad of different theories to explain the genesis of this iconic cocktail. One theory claims that the Prohibition drove Americans south of the border to indulge in tequila. Another theory claims the drink was invented in 1941 at Hussong's Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico, when bartender Don Carlos Orozco created and named the drink for Margarita Henkel, the daughter of a German Ambassador.
2 ounces Tequila
1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
1 ounce Orange Liqueur
Before you prepare the cocktail, rub a slice of lime around the rim of your glass, then turn it upside down into a bowl full of salt, so that it sticks around the rim. Fill a shaker with ice, and add the tequila, lime juice and liqueur. Shake and then pour the mixture into your salt-rimmed margarita glass. Garnish the drink with a slice of lime.
Here are three different tequila brands suggested by the pros:
Patron Anejo Tequila
“There are diverse aspects of agave character in this tequila, earthy and vegetal flavors as well as floral, citrus and spice.” – Robert Krueger of Extra Fancy, Brooklyn.
“The tequila is only filtered once, and no oxygenation takes place. This tequila is fresh and the true flavor of the agave is evident in every sip.” – Julia Momose of GreenRiver, Chicago
Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila
“This tequila is vegetale, savory, with hints of spice. It is extremely round and plays well in cocktails. It stands up to citrus and the aroma never fades.” – Julia Momose
The easiest way to jazz up the margarita is by adding different, unique flavors, like watermelon, raspberry, strawberry and cucumber.
Bartenders at New York’s Diamond Horseshoe exchange triple sec for blood orange juice and add homemade sour mix and muddled beets.
At New York’s Stanton Social, bartenders have added spice by using jalapeño infused Milagro Reposado and blood orange puree.