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Nov 17, 2012 10:27 PM

A different Margarita mix

So I've been looking for a good margarita mix and noticed that its all basically lime juice mixed with simple syrup aka a sweet and sour mix. That's all fine and dandy but I want to mix it up. The problem with a lot of the pre-made store mixtures and even some restaurant mixes is that its either too limey, not limey enough, has no flavor and so on.

So what I'm trying to do is get away from all that. I was thinking of a good mixture between lemon, lime and orange juice. Its simple, it can be made fresh and it doesn't take that long to make. Also I was thinking of using agave nectar instead of simple syrup for the sweet part of the sweet and sour.

I've found some recipes that use herbs and spices in the simple syrup and mix it with lime juice. I thought was interesting so I wanted to see what everyone could think up in here.

Also I was wondering if anyone has tried Agavero Tequila Liqueur. I'm assuming its fairly new but that doesn't mean people haven't snatched any up yet.

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  1. "I was thinking of a good mixture between lemon, lime and orange juice. Its simple, it can be made fresh and it doesn't take that long to make."

    All worthy things to try but if you're going to go to the trouble to make the mix fresh (which you should!) I'd suggest you try it with regular old limes (or key limes if you can get 'em) first. Having experimented with approximately a billion margarita recipes over the past couple of years I can tell you that the difference between a great margarita and a not-great margarita is primarily fresh lime juice. The lime juice doesn't even have to be "I just squeezed them" fresh, it can be up to 12 hours old or so. After that the limes oxidize or something and just don't taste the same. You can use a medium-quality tequila (in fact, it's a mistake to overinvest in an expensive respado or aƱejo), you can use low-end triple sec, but as long as that lime juice is fresh your margarita will be great. Everything after that is up to your personal taste.

    Agave nectar is a lot of fun and adds a little bit of richness and depth to the finished margarita. I prefer mine with simple sugar but tastes vary and you should definitely try some agave. If you don't like it I'm sure you can find other uses that justify having the stuff in your pantry. :) I'd also suggest having at least one batch with no added sugar at all. For that one you'll want a higher-quality triple-sec or some fresh OJ to get some sugar in that way.

    1. Lime juice goes bad in a few hours. I squeeze fresh for each drink, and use equal parts of agave nectar.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jaykayen

        It's generally good for an 8 hour shift and perhaps decent for the 12 hours stated. One tasting experiment showed that it actually was best at 4 hours:

        1. re: yarm

          Interesting! I agree that you don't need to squeeze for each drink. If my party starts at 5, around 4:30 or so I squeeze the lime juice and put it in a squirt bottle with a cap (like the ones used to paint sauce onto plates). That way I can shake it before each use. Then I pop the little cap off and measure the juice for each drink or pair of drinks I'm making. Any extra I keep tightly covered in the fridge and add to my squirt bottle as it gets low.

          1. re: yarm

            Yes, I've been to several seminars where they tasted everyone on fresh lime juice, 4 hour old, and clarified lime juice and just about everyone picked the four hour one. That was with Dave Arnold and Co., right?

            1. re: yarm

              I think a batched cocktail goes off sooner than pure juice.

          2. Don't buy a mix please, it is affront to proper cocktail culture. Try to search for the Alton Brown Margarita recipe for an authentic taste, and not just a sidecar with Mexican ingredients. This version has blanco Tequila, fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice, agave necter and some muddling involved.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DrinkinLife

              Alton's might be good, but I'm not sure how it could be authentic with fresh orange juice and no orange liqueur. I would say that an authentic Margarita is exactly a Sidecar with Mexican ingredients ;) Authentic doesn't mean best (to your tastes).

              OP: Agavero has a strong tequila nose, is quite sweet, with a very slight bitter aftertaste, and is flavored with Damiana. It makes a nice Margarita variation.

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            2. Ok authentic to central American ingredients may have been a better statement and oxacan sidecar a better name for the "original" creation when the bartender ran out of Cognac and had no lemons, so used limes instead. I would recommend saving the brandy based orange liqours for other base spirits and try the Brown version if you like the orange flavor or skip the orange and just go with the lime component, kinda like Tommy's Margarita for the PDT cocktail book. Maybe just name it La Nueva Margarita.

              1. I'll preface this by saying, I am not a bartender, nor have I studied how long lime juice is good once it's been squeezed. I'm just a pretty decent home cocktail specialist who happens to spend a lot of time in Mexico and make a pretty decent Maggie.

                * I agree 100% with everyone up-thread who said if you're going to bother to squeeze fresh juice, go with lime. Over the years I've played with combos of fresh lime, orange and lemon with varying degrees of success, but always seems to return to fresh lime. I can get key limes where I live pretty easily, but persian limes work fine. If my limes are especially acidic, I may add a little OJ to take the edges off a bit.

                * I happen to like Citronge by Patron for the orange component better than cointreau, which I used for years. I think it closer to Mexican controy and makes a less sweet drink than cointreau. Your mileage may vary, and there will be people that disagree. It works perfectly in the Margarita cocktail I make.

                * I like simple syrup too, but agave nectar works just fine. I always have it on hand, I don't always have simple syrup on hand.

                * I have a bottle of Agavero on hand. It is very sweet, I would not add it to a Margarita. I would, however, sip it if I was looking for something to satisfy a sweet tooth after dinner.

                Do not over think this drink. It is not a slurpee, nor is it made in Mexico with sweet & sour or other Margarita mix. It's a simple blend of tequila, lime juice, controy and a bit of sweetener.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DiningDiva

                  I agree. I use agave nectar on the rim to hold the salt, and it provides an initial salty-sweetness immediately followed by the limey tequila flavors. Yum. No mix allowed in casa Veggo.