If you’ve ever looked at the margarita list at a chain Mexican restaurant, you know there are endless variations on this classic drink. And as far as I’m concerned, they’re all pretty darn good! The classic margarita recipe is incredibly simple, and it tastes wonderful. You can’t go wrong with it. But you can also tweak the recipe until you come up with your own personal signature margarita! Try different fruit juices and different liqueurs to find what you’re looking for.
The Margarita has kept its popularity for so long because the recipe has been perfected over the years. With good quality tequila and fresh squeezed lime juice, it’s always wonderful. It’s the perfect accompaniment for a meal of Mexican food.
If you’re intimidated by the thought of rimming a glass with salt, fear not. This beautiful Salt Rimmer Dish will make it easier, and look great on top of your bar. And I have a whole tutorial on how to rim glasses.
What makes the Margarita so refreshing is the combination of orange and lime with that little bit of salt. The salt makes the fruit flavors pop by contrast. It enhances both sweet and sour flavors, and suppresses any bitterness from the tequila.
The very best way to improve it is by just using better quality ingredients. “Cadillac” margarita recipes use top-shelf spirits, so the orange liqueur will be Grand Marnier or Gran Gala. You can try using Patron for the tequila, or even Altos, which is very affordable but very delicious. I like Patron Citronge in place of Triple Sec, but Cointreau, curacao and Grand Marnier are also great choices.
Fresh squeezed lime juice is ideal, and I like to use a little more than the recipe calls for because I love lime juice. But you may find you like lemon juice better, or a mix of the two. If you can’t get limes, then bottled lime juice at stores can taste almost as good.
You can technically leave off the salt. Some bartenders believe it was introduced to the cocktail to disguise the bad taste of cheap tequilas. As long as the tequila you’re using is of good quality, you shouldn’t feel the need for salt – just add it if you like the flavor. For me, personally, it’s not a margarita without salt.
It’s a good idea to serve with a straw so people can taste the drink without the salt. And if you’re worried about the effects of salt on your health, you can stop now. It turns out salt isn’t bad for you, and you actually need a certain amount of it each day.
If you don’t want salt, you should still consider adding a small pinch of it to your shaker. It will enhance the other flavors without adding a noticeable salty flavor.