How to Make a Margarita
For a slighter sweeter version, add agave syrup before shaking. And of course, if you prefer them frozen (though that's not the traditional way to make a margarita), simply add the ingredients to a blender and then blend until smooth.
It's Margarita season. Drinks menus everywhere are bombarded with two-for-one Marg deals, Marg pitcher deals, and just plain dirt-cheap Marg deals. It wouldn't be summer without them. But the first Margarita of the season is a treat built on tradition, and tradition calls for simplicity: good tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and salt for good measure. We don't need our Marg to be blended into a slushie, or doused in mango-pomegranate-spicy-hibiscus-strawberry syrup. At least, not until we're three deep.
The Margarita is perhaps the most easy-drinking, enjoyable cocktail ever invented. The key to a great one is using good, 100 percent agave tequila (blanco is most common, but añejo can add a dash of smokier flavor). Anything less and you'll have a subpar cocktail that will give way to a world-class hangover. You can also add agave syrup for a sweeter Margarita with less pucker. Just don't use triple sec as your orange liqueur, as it tastes like artificial sweetener.
A Little Background
Many years ago, the United States made it illegal to drink alcohol within its borders, and so thirsty Americans went elsewhere for their cocktails—mainly, south of the border into Mexico. (The irony is not lost on us.) The Margarita was invented in Mexico, possibly at the Kentucky Club in Juarez, where they called it the Daisy; margarita means "daisy" in Spanish. Prohibition tourists fell in love with it and brought it back to the U.S. after the alcohol ban had lifted.
It's hardly lost its popularity since, with Esquire in part to thank. In 1953, this magazine named the Margarita the Drink of the Month, calling it "exciting and provocative." Back then, our recipe called for triple sec, but we've since changed our ways. And it seems like the Margarita will never fade from cocktail culture—at least not until every living being who's ever hummed the tune to "Margaritaville" has passed to the next life.
If You Like This, Try These
There are enough variations on the Margarita to last a lifetime. Any involving jalapeño or habanero spice are the best. Try rimming the glass with chili mix. For a slightly sweeter version with agave syrup, check out the Kentucky Club Margarita. Hell, make one with beer. La Paloma is another classic tequila cocktail with few ingredients, as is the Tequila Sunrise.
What You Need
Here’s what you need to do a Margarita justice, beyond what you might be able to dig out of the fridge or cupboard.
- Tequila Blanco
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.