It’s fiesta time! Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and with it comes the celebration of all things Mexican. It’s a perfect kick off to the grilling season and a way to welcome in sunnier, warmer days and longer nights. Fire up the grill and stir up a pitcher of these perfect margaritas – they’re so good you’ll never go back to those frozen things again and they’re as easy as three-two-one! Choose locally produced, organic ingredients for the greenest drink possible.
Best Ever Margaritas
- 3 parts tequila (choose blanco or silver)
- 2 parts fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 part simple syrup
- Splash fresh squeezed orange juice
- Lime sugar-salt for glasses
- Lime wedges
If you want to fill one of our pitchers with the Best Ever Margarita, that would be:
- 3 cups tequila
- 2 cups fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 cup simple syrup
- 1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
Pour tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and orange juice into a pitcher and stir well. Fill the remainder with ice and stir until well chilled.
Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of a margarita glass and press the rim into the lime sugar-salt. Strain the margarita into glasses and serve.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
Stir together in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.
- Zest of two limes
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar
Use a small blender or food chopper to combine until the lime zest is well incorporated into the sugar and salt. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.
A few explanations
- Why is this margarita so good? The simple syrup and orange juice replace orange liqueur for a fresher flavor, giving the drink the familiar citrus zing without relying on cloyingly sweet liqueurs. The result is a more refreshing drink. If you simply must, go ahead and replace the simple syrup with a good quality orange liqueur (not Grand Marnier, the orange-infused brandy is too heavy for a margarita) and reduce the simple syrup by 1/3.
- Why use blanco or silver tequila? Simply put, these unaged tequilas have a bright, crisp, peppery flavor that will stand up to the mixing. Choose a good-quality blanco and save your more expensive reposados and anejos for sipping.
- Could you do this with agave nectar in place of the simple syrup? Sure. Just remember it’s about 1 1/2 times sweeter than simple syrup, so adjust accordingly.
- What’s the deal with the lime sugar-salt? Salt is a key ingredient in any margarita, these drinks are all about balance – acidic, sweet, tart, smooth, biting. The salt brings out the flavors of both the lime and the tequila, the two stars of the drink. Mixing it with sugar and a little lime zest gives more flavor, without messing with the balance. And besides, it looks cool.
- Why on the rocks, not blended? As cool as a margarita slushy sounds, when things are blended with that much ice, they’re so cold you lose the true flavors of tequila and lime. It’s all about balance, and a frozen margarita just can’t achieve that same balance of flavors.
Are there variations?
Well of course! You can replace the OJ with just about any fruit juice for surprising flavor impact, or you can puree fruit like berries, melon, peaches or mango and add them to the pitcher before pouring in the liquids. Just remember balance, if you’re adding a sweet fruit, you’ll want to reduce the amount of simple syrup you add and eliminate the orange juice. And you don’t need a lot, about 2 ounces of fruit puree will flavor an entire pitcher. If you want a stronger fruit flavor, well, that’s another recipe!