Fresh Home-Made Margaritas
Big BEACHDAY/BBQ/CLAMBAKE this WEEKEND at CHEZ CRISPY and I NEED A REALLY GOOD MARGARITA RECIPE, CHOWHOUND-APPROVED. THE REAL DEAL NOT FROZEN SLURPEES. I LIKE REAL LIME JUICE and I KNOW I NEED TRIPLE-SEC. HELP ME OUT THANKS!!!!!!!!
Tequila (Sauza Commemorativo, Cuervo 1800, Herradura)--1 and 1/2 ounces
Triple Sec or Cointreau--1/2 oz.
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
juice the rim of the glass
dip in salt
put ice in the glass
shake the juice and liquor and strain into the salted glass of ice
Great margaritas are so easy, and one of the finest things on this planet.
2 parts good tequila
1 part Cointreau, NOT Triple Sec
1 part freshly squeezed lime juice.
Throw some ice in a shaker cup, add ingredients, fit with a shaker glass, shake, and pour into glasses with pre-salted rims (run a bit of lime around the outside of the rim and upend into a saucer of kosher salt)
A note about tequila: for God's sake use a good one, none of this Cuervo Gold make-believe stuff.
If you're on a budget, if you have to mix margs for lots of guests, or if those guests might not fully appreciate quality, Sauza Hornitos does just fine. If you want to go deluxe, get a nice silver El Tesoro de Don Felipe, Don Julio, Chinaco, or Herradura.
Put some Flaco Jimenez or Manu Chao on the stereo and have fun.
With all due respect to the other posters, I find that margaritas made with fresh lime juice and appropriate ratios of tequila and cointreau/triple sec are usually too tart. I make some simple syrup (two parts sugar to one of water, heated until the sugar melts), which I keep in the fridge. After I make my lime j, tequila, and orange liquer mix, I pour a slug of simple syrup into the pitcher and keep tasting/adding until it's just right. If the mixture is dependent just on the orange liquer for sweetness, the blend can get overbalanced in the orange direction to get it sweet enough, especially if the limes are real tart.
A couple tequilas for maragaritas that I like are:
Herradura silver - for a very smooth margarita
Patron silver - for a smokier flavor
I prefer mine without any simple syrup.
Down here on the border, I'm spoiled, but I'll give you a basic recipe with ingredient preferences.
First, I squeeze the limes (1-2 at least per person).
I then measure the lime juice.
I then add an equal amount of Mexican cointreau. If you can't get to Mexico to buy this, use real cointreau because triple sec is a nasty industrial product.
Then I add as much tequila as I have lime juice and cointreau. If anything, add slightly more tequila than other ingredients combined--never less. The best tequilas for Margaritas are ones called "Reposado"--they are white or slightly golden and they are aged. Do not use Gold or basic white tequilas. Reposados are 100% agave. Other tequilas can be up to 50% grain neutral spirits--nasty industrial hangover makers. Hornitos is a good, widely available Reposado, but in Mexico, there are a wide range of brands and many are less than $10 a liter and still very good for Margaritas.
If the liquor mixture is a little tart, add a touch of cointreau. Too sweet, add lime.
I prefer my Margaritas on the rocks without salt, but as long as you use good ingredients, frozen margaritas with salt are great too.
Warning: these margaritas are potent and very drinkable. Be sure your guests have designated drivers because these could make them tanglefooted very easily.
re: Greg Spence
Never tried it with key limes. Maybe next time I will. I've just never seen them on the other side of the border here. And you are right about the spelling of Controy. I was just too lazy this morning to get up and go look at the label. As for Hornitos, it is good, but Jimador and Cazador are also good and sometimes available in the US. And I think Ollitos is even better. A friend of mine swears that Hornitos was a lot cheaper before it was featured in an
American movie, and that it is the movie that made it so popular. I don't know about that, but in Margaritas, I can't taste the difference between Hornitos and the $8 a liter reposados. In Mexico, they also have reposados that are priced at two or three times Hornitos, but I have never tried them.