Wet Bar Wednesday – Margarita

I intended to write today about the Rob Roy, convinced that I have already disclosed my basic margarita recipe in these hallowed pages long ago.  But low and behold, when I searched my archives, I found that this was not the case.  Not that I haven’t dwelt on variations of the margarita, like the raspberry lime margarita, or the prickly pear margarita.  But I seem to have neglected the basic format.  Mea culpa.

My basic recipe was culled from the Internet in the days before the World Wide Web and what most folks think of when they hear Internet.  It claimed to be Jimmy Buffet’s recipe for margaritas, which seemed like a good place to start.  But I continue to modify it over the years.  No less can be said for Jimmy, I suppose.

  • 1 part tequila
  • 1/2 part triple sec
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • Splash of Grand Marnier
  • Splash of blue curacao
  • Agave (or honey) to preferred sweetness
  • Salt

Since this is my signature drink, I’ll spend a bit more time in explanation.

Tequila I prefer anejo – the longest-aged type of tequila (although there are apparently now super-anejos available that are aged even longer).  The taste is much smoother and mellower than the basic silver or plata tequila.  If you prefer a bit of kick to your margarita, use either a plata or reposado (aged, but not as long as anejo).  Experiment with brands to find one you like.  Costco has a very respectable anejo that’s a great price and very good for margaritas.  More refined tequilas are available, but beware that some are not nearly as good as their price tag or bottle might suggest.  Last night we finished off a bottle of El Mayor anejo, which was quite good and reasonably priced.

Right now I have in my home bar (thanks to thoughtful friends & parishioners) the following tequilas:

  • Costco Reposado which works well in margaritas, batangas, or any other tequila cocktail
  • Costco Anejo – also good in mixed drinks but probably not quite good enough to sip neat (unmixed)
  • Patron Plata – I use a splash of this to add kick to my tequila drinks
  • Patron XO Cafe Dark Cocoa – delicious and strong blend of tequila & coffee liquor – I created this drink with it!
  • El Mayor Anejo – very nice tequila suitable for sipping neat or to make very smooth cocktails/margaritas

Triple sec  Currently I use Bol’s,   Use my rule of thumb – don’t buy the cheapest or the most expensive options.

Lime juice – I prefer to keep fresh limes on hand for this, but I also generally have a backup of reconstituted lime juice in the fridge.  A simple citrus press is sooooo handy for this.  My family gave me this one for my birthday recently, and it’s so simple and fantastic I’m not sure how I lived without it before.  I highly recommend it!  Fresh lime juice really makes for a better drink.

Many recipes will suggest Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice, and I used to use this as well.  However, once you get used to investing the time to use fresh lime juice and agave or honey, you’ll never go back to the artificial stuff.

Grand Marnier – This is an orange liquor.  It’s pricey, and I’ve long assumed that this is the best option.  You can also utilize the slightly cheaper Cointreau.  Frankly, if cost is a concern you can even just substitute triple sec.  If you’re dining out and enjoying a margarita with dinner, that small splash of Grand Marnier is going to cost you a few extra bucks.  It’s a good money-maker for the bar.

However I recently had a chance to taste an alternative to Grand Marnier, and it’s fantastic.  It’s called Solerno.  It’s made from blood oranges, and it has a far less syrupy taste than Grand Marnier.  As soon as I can find a liquor store that carries it I’m going to switch to this.

Blue curacao – This is a purely arbitrary ingredient. I use it strictly for the coloring it adds, so that my margaritas are blue or green, depending on how much I add.

Agave or Honey – A little of one of these is probably going to be needed, but how much depends on your particular taste.  The lime juice can be rather strong and sour so offset that with agave or honey.  Agave has gained a lot of attention in recent years, and is notable for not raising blood sugar levels the way regular sugar does.  However, it is still a fairly processed product.  If you’re trying to stay as natural as possible, go with honey instead.

Rim a margarita glass with lime juice and then dip in salt.  Mix the ingredients in a shaker with ice and then pour into the margarita glass and top with ice.  This is a strong drink – sip it slowly and don’t operate heavy machinery until you know it’s safe to.


2 Responses to “Wet Bar Wednesday – Margarita”

  1. Wet Bar Wednesday – Burnin’ Flava | Living Apologetics Says:

    […] bar with perhaps a half-dozen or so cocktail options.  Common ones were mojitos, caipirinhas, and margaritas.  Their recipes differ somewhat from mine but are essentially familiar.  Other options would […]

  2. Wet Bar Wednesday – Avocado Margarita | Living Apologetics Says:

    […] the margarita.  In the past couple of years I’ve posted three different margarita recipes (traditional, cactus, and raspberry).  I’ve experimented with probably half a dozen more recipes I […]

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