History Of The Classic Margarita
While we cannot be certain of the cocktail’s beginnings, most sources bring the origin of the name “margarita” back to the 1940’s out of Baja California. Some believe it was invented by a man and others believe it was a woman, but we aren’t terribly concerned with this bit of history. We are just glad we have it now in 2021. And we were very glad to have it last year for those extra hard days during lockdown. Amen? Amen.
The Cocktail’s Evolution
There is little doubt that a classic margarita includes tequila, a sweetener, lime juice and a salted rim glass. Variations throughout history have used multiple orange liqueurs (cointreau, triple sec, etc.) or orange juice. Some use simple syrup and some use agave syrup. People often have a strict preference on salt or no salt and Tajin is often used in place of traditional salt (this is never a bad idea). The next most commonly debated preference is blended or on the rocks. Again, we will take either, as long as the ratio of ingredients is right!
How We Like It
While there are dozens of ways to make a great classic margarita, I am going to explain why I make it how I do. I don’t use orange juice (too sweet) and often I don’t use orange liqueur (it’s not something we all have lying around and often the worthwhile ones are pretty pricey). I don’t like a blended margarita because it melts before you’re done drinking it, and the crushed ice dilutes the great flavor. I use agave syrup because it mixes well with tequila, being that they come from the same plant. Anyway! You’re welcome to find 100+ other recipes easily online, but give this one a try before you do that. Chances are you’ll be back.
*Tip: Agave syrup can come in pure agave form or already mixed with water. If you buy pure agave, a mix of 50/50 agave syrup to water will make a liquid that’s interchangeable with simple syrup. This is a hot tip for all of your cocktail making endeavors if you’d rather agave than sugar.
- 1 Cocktail shaker
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Cocktail Strainer
- 1 Glass w/ salted rim
- 2 oz. silver tequila *whichever you prefer
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
- .75 oz. agave mix or simple syrup *agave mix is agave/water as discussed above
- 1 tbsp coarse salt or tajin
- Mix tequila, lime juice, and agave (or simple syrup) in shaker.2 oz. silver tequila, 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice, .75 oz. agave mix or simple syrup
- Shake vigorously with ice for 10 seconds
- Strain over fresh ice in salt-rimmed glass1 tbsp coarse salt or tajin
- Garnish with lime
A Few Tips For Variety
The above recipe is a standalone classic. It’s delicious and goes down much quicker than it should! Trust me. But if you’re looking to mix things up a bit, there are always fresh ingredients you can toss into the shaker. When you strain, these mix-ins won’t be visible in the drink but you will most certainly taste them! Below are a few fun combinations!
Cucumber, Jalapeño, mint, cilantro, pineapple chunks, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, arugula, basil.
The list really is endless. Most of these can be added and just shaken with the ice and other ingredients and the flavor will infuse into the cocktail. Some do better with a little muddling (mostly the berries). If you don’t own a muddler, use the back of a wooden kitchen spoon! We aim to keep this low cost and for everyone to be able to tackle!
Feel free to mix up the ingredients you add! Cucumber and jalapeño together is my personal favorite.