The Perfect Margarita

Margaritas are very simple drinks. And there is nothing difficult about making them. What is difficult is finding a good one in a bar. The problem? Most bartenders are too lazy to squeeze fresh limes; they would rather open a bottle of ersatz lime juice. Or the bar owner doesn’t want to spend a few extra dollars on top quality ingredients. Either way, you get a lousy Margarita. I am not going to debate the merits of the many excellent tequilas that are available. I use Hornitos in my Margaritas, but I am sure that there is someone out there who is aghast at my poor choice. I don’t care. My Margaritas are really good, so if you don’t like my choice of tequila; don’t drink it. Don’t worry, I’ll find someone who will be glad to drink the extra.

2 parts good quality tequila
1 part Triple Sec                                  (Cointreau is best)

1 part fresh squeezed lime juice.          This is not debatable. Either use fresh squeezed or don’t bother making the drink.

Simple syrup* to taste
Thinly sliced lime as garnish 

Toss everything into a shaker with a lot of ice. Shake for several seconds until it becomes frothy, then pour into a chilled martini glass. Taste, then correct the sweetness with the simple syrup. You will find that this recipe makes a tart Margarita, so don’t worry if you use a bit of the syrup. I vacillate wildly between no syrup and about ½ teaspoon per drink.

If you want salt, wet the rim of the glass with lime juice
and rotate it in a plate of kosher salt.

*Simple Syrup is equal parts granulated sugar and water.
Just use hot water and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Refrigerate before use.

4 Replies to “The Perfect Margarita”

  1. i admire your love of real, actual, tasty, margaritas. but i have to jump in on the triple sec vs. anything else comment, as there are vast differences that really come out in the final product, to my mind at least.triple sec (generic stuff) is about 23 percent alcohol. cointreau is 40 percent.generic triple sec is no doubt made from high fructose corn syrup. while i don’t know the ingredients in cointreau, i’m guessing not so much.triple sec is not all that good. do a taste test btwn a standard triple sec and cointreau and you’ll no doubt taste a smell a world of difference. since you’re like me, and you’re a minimalist as far as margaritas go, this really makes a difference. just say no to triple sec!! along with Rose’s and anything that comes out of a gun.now i’m thirsty and want to pucker.cheers.

  2. The gauntlet has been thrown down!While I agree that a side by side tasting of triple sec and Cointreau will reveal a significant difference, I am unsure that it will translate into a better margarita. But I will know by the end of the weekend. I will test triple sec against Cointreau in otherwise identical margaritas. One issue may be that the additional alcohol in the Cointreau will change the taste, perhaps as much as the difference in quality. But Tommy’s point will still stand, because the purpose is to make a better drink, not to level the playing (or drinking) field.

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