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Margarita - Blanco or Reposado

I wonder what you folks recommend for making a nice premium margarita at home - reposado or blanco.

Before you say just use a cheap mixto, I do want to use a 100% agave. I like to use fresh lime juice and premium orange liqueur, so I don't think I'll be wasting a good brand, the way I would if I were using Mr and Mrs T's Margarita mix.

Thanks everyone!

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  1. Blanco. The more complex the tequila gets, the less it pairs with the lime and orange. It's supposed to be a simple, bright cocktail. 100 percent agave is the only way to go, mixtos are for the people who use the mix. Reposados aren't too bad, just make sure you go with one on the lighter end of things. My standard tequila for a margarita is actually the Sauza Hornitos reposado, but I saw recently that they have a Hornitos blanco that I'm looking forward to trying out.

    1. I second the vote for a blanco. Tastes more like, well...tequila! The more the spirit is aged, the less its taste is an unmitigated representation of the agave fruit, and the more it takes on the flavor of wood. What you want (or at least what I want) in a margarita is that bright, fruity, green flavor.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mhoffman

        Third on the Blanco. And I don't think anyone here would ever, under any circumstances, recommend using a "cheap mixto," nor ever suggest using a mix like Mr and Mrs T's for that matter.

        My last margarita included Don Eduardo's blanco. I've heard the Hornitos blanco is good as well.

      2. It's a matter of preference, but I would agree that blanco is the best choice if you really want to taste tequila i.e. agave flavors.

        However, there are repos that are not heavily oaked that offer a more complex flavor that round out a cadillac marg.

        Over the weekend, I had margsd with Corzo reposado and Don Fulano reposado. The Corzo was killer; it still had that agave flavor and added a nice richness. The Fulano was a little too strong, but still very good and a nice change from the usual blanco-based margs I typically drink.

        1. What do you like about either one; reposado or blanco? Do you have a preference and why?

          Thanks

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chinon00

            For me, blanco is the cleanest expression of the agave plant i.e. the tequila is bottled immediately after distillation is rarely if ever aged in barrel so the flavors are purely derived from the agave. Of course, not all blancos taste the same, but in comparison to a reposado or anejo, they are stronger, more herbal and peppery.

            Reposados are aged (rested) in barrels for no more than a year and this imparts a mellowing effect to the tequila, a little sweetness and a slight color.

            Personally, I tend to use blancos in my margs simply because many repos have too much of the barrel taste and to me, it doesn't mesh well in a cocktail.

            For parties, my latest recipe uses a combination of tequilas; 1 part blanco and 1 part reposado (don alejo) and it makes a killer caddilac margarita.

          2. Alberta, can you post you mix recipe? I'm starting to fool around with different versions.

            11 Replies
            1. re: gardyloo

              The basic formula I use is the classic one: 1 1/2 ounces tequila, 1 ounce triple sec, 1/2 ounce lime juice. Shake everything well with ice, and serve either on the rocks or straight up. Frozen margaritas are an abomination.

              1. re: gardyloo

                Sure!
                I've spent a lot of time perfecting it. Here's what I do:
                In a big glass with no ice, pour 2 shots of tequila - So far I like Herradurra blanco best but Cazadores reposado is a close second
                Add 1/2 shot of orange liqueur - Patron citronges, Cointreau, etc. -- HOWEVER - if you're out of this, don't hesitate to exchange with 1/4 shot of orange juice. Works like a charm, and not mixing the tequila with another alcohol may make for a purer tequila taste and less hangover the next day (although this has not been scientifically tested).
                Now add the juice of 1/2 lime, putting a 1/4 or 1/8 slice into the drink as garnish (after squeezing it).
                Finally, add one to two shots of good limeade (like Newman's Own) into the glass. This gives it just a little sweetness -- nothing like those horrible mixes, but enough to make this drink taste better than possibly any other drink I've ever had. Adjust from one to two shots depending on your tolerance for sweetness.
                Finally, pour the whole thing over a glass full of ice - Highball works fine.
                You will NOT be disappointed!
                Enjoy and feel free to report back!!!

                1. re: AlbertaHound

                  Limeade!! Say it ain't so!!

                  To each his own; I prefer a squirt of simple syrup...

                  1. re: AlbertaHound

                    Could you specifically point out how using Herradurra blanco makes your drink taste different versus using Cazadores reposado? What is the difference in flavor profile?

                    Thanks!

                    1. re: Chinon00

                      Cazadores is probably the most affordable and good 100% agave tequila with wide distribution. It's reposado is good, a touch milder than many. I use it in ritas, with fresh lime and a splash of Grand Marnier. The hint of oaky and smoky will endure if you don't overload the sugared ingredient; the Herradura blanco will retain a bit of a classic agave bite.
                      Herradura reposado, (on my profile) is SOOO smooth I would never mix it with anything. Just a glass of sangrita, aparte.
                      To tease you, there are small batch Mezcals from Jalisco which are not exported that put everything on this post to shame.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        One of my friends owns a popular restaurant in L.A. and is related to the Sauzas.... they sent him back with small barrel of uncut Tequila (it tends to go from 100 to 130 proof).... this is stuff that that is aged mostly in Steel.... and just lightly finished off in White Oak.... but will not be released until there is a ready market for $200/bottle (not that there aren't already bottles at that price point... just that they are trying to continously create increasing upstream price poitns).... wow this stuff was great... I hope they release it uncut.

                      2. re: Chinon00

                        Cazadores is a lot more subtle, partly because it's a reposado. Blancos, and Herradura is a shining example of this, tend to be more assertive, since they're not aged the way reposados are. For a pure taste, like the feeling of spring water, you'll want a Cabo Wabo. For a more nuanced, but still smooth taste, more like the humidity of a tropical summer day, you'll like the Cazadores. For the full-tilt, pure, yet assertive, punchy 100% agave taste explosion, you'll want the Herradura. This is tequila at it's most basic and primordial. Herradura is closest among the three to being direct from the still, when you're closest to the magic of the agave plant.

                        I hope this answers your question, Chinon00. If so, you'll have to recommend a good cabernet franc from the Loire.

                        1. re: AlbertaHound

                          Thanks for the response. I'm assuming that these differences in tequila then break through even when used in your mix recipe.

                          Domaine Gasnier Chinon Les Graves

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            Thanks for the Chinon tip, Chinon. If you really want to taste the tequila, just make the two shots in the above recipe three shots. Will be a damn fine drink with any of the above brands. Probably a good idea to "try this at home" and not on the road.

                      3. re: AlbertaHound

                        ugh -- why would you add limeade? That isn't a margarita.

                        Stick with the simple recipe --

                        2 oz Tequila
                        1 oz Cointreau (don't use triple sec, its aweful)
                        3/4 fresh squeezed lime juice

                        Simple as that.

                        1. re: fafner

                          To each his own. I've experimented with pure lime juice, with Cointreau (which is what the original margaritas were made with), with Roses, and with simple syrup, and for my taste, just a hint of limeade makes it delectable -plus a 1/4 shot of orange juice. Try one shot of limeade and one shot of pure lime juice, and tell me it's not delicious...