There are as many stories about the origin of the Margarita cocktail as there are variations on the drink itself. While the famed Hussong’s bar in Ensenada, B.C.N., Mexico has perhaps the strongest claim to actually creating the drink, the Margarita really caught on after World War II in Southern California, and then its fame spread nationwide.
Simply tequila, triple sec, and lime juice at its most basic, all manner of fruits and liqueurs can be added to the base recipe for interesting variations. To make great Margaritas however, one needs to start with a good base recipe.
Choosing the right tequila can make all the difference in the taste of the Margarita. While tequilas come in a variety of styles, avoid mixto tequilas (oftentimes the cheapest tequilas you may find), and opt instead for tequilas made with 100% blue agave. Anejo tequilas are aged tequilas that can be wonderful for sipping but are too heavy to mix into a good Margarita. Reposado tequilas can be used, but for best results, look to silver or blanco tequilas. These unaged tequilas often display citrus and herbal notes that complement the lime juice in a Margarita.
As for lime juice, use fresh-squeezed. Packaged lime juice and commercial Margarita mixers are not recommended and do not produce enticing cocktails. Strain the juice for a more eye pleasing presentation, or leave the pulp in for a more rustic-style cocktail.
Triple sec, an orange flavored liqueur, is an important part of the construction of a good Margarita. Use Cointreau, the original triple sec and still the best on the market, for exceptional results.
With this recipe, you’ll be able to make great Margaritas at home and also have a base for whatever variations you might care to try. Add a bar spoon of orange marmalade or grapefruit preserves for an interesting twist on this classic cocktail. The variations can be endless and have fun experimenting.
The Best Margarita Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail
- 2 oz good quality silver tequila (try Herradura Silver)
- 1 ½ oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ oz Cointreau
- Rim a double rocks glass with fleur de sel salt, fill with ice and set aside.
- In a mixing tin, add all ingredients and ice.
- Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
- Strain over ice into the double rocks glass.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.