Truthfully, I drink margs on the reg. Not just Cinco de Mayo or the weekend… pretty much whenever I’m in the mood for one so why not share one of my favorites with you today!
I bartended my way through college (and grad school), and while I’ve always been a margarita lover, in the last few years I have become particularly picky about how my margs are made. My pickiness began while I was bartending at a hotel in San Diego. This hotel was on the water and catered to high end family vacationers and important people on business trips. We made amazing margaritas, and well, they should have been for the price we were charging.
So what makes for an out of this world, knock you right off your feet, margarita? Two words – fresh juice! Put down the pre-made mixes and back away. They are full of a bunch of junk that you don’t need. There are really only three ingredients required, plus a little bit of elbow grease, and before you know it you’ll feel like you’re sitting under an umbrella on some white sandy beach.
Here’s where the hard part comes though, juicing all those limes. I don’t have a fancy juicer so I usually do this by hand. It’s a little tedious and depending on how many margaritas you are making, can be a lot of work, but 100% worth it! I’ve tried to do a couple short cuts (example: throwing the whole lime in the food processor or blender – please don’t do this) but nothing seems to work as well as just getting your hands in there and juicing the limes yourself. I should probably go out and buy a juicer, or at least get the attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, but that would make my life too easy, right?
Next, you need to make yourself some simple syrup. Again – please don’t go out and buy this! Simple syrup is just sugar and water. If you read the labels on the store bought stuff, sugar and water is not all that is in there. To make simple syrup, just take equal parts water and sugar, give it a really good stir, and put it in the microwave for a few minutes. Voila! Let that cool and you have yourself some homemade, no artificial anything added, simple syrup. You could also use agave syrup. Both are good, both offer a little bit difference in flavor, but essentially you just need a sweetener so you’re not just drinking lime tequila.
So we have our lime juice and we have our sweetener, now just grab your favorite bottle of tequila and get to shaking. Seriously – I like to make each margarita individual. Simply add your tequila, lime juice and simple syrup to a shaker filled with ice, and shake, shake, shake! For these margaritas I muddled in fresh mangos with the tequila. Perfect because mangos are in season and are super cheap at the store!
Rim your glass with salt, or not- no judgment (well kind of) and pour in your freshly shaken concoction. Trust me – it’s amazing and it will make your weekday’s worries melt right away.
- 4 ounces tequila
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice
- 2 ounce simple syrup (or agave syrup)
- ¼ cup fresh fruit, optional (I used mangos)
- salt, for rimming glasses (optional)
- Combined all ingredients (except the salt) in an shaker filled with ice. (If using fresh fruit, muddle the fruit in the tequila before adding the additional ingredients.)
- Shake ingredients vigorously for 45 seconds to a minute.
- Strain liquid into an ice-filled glass rimmed with salt.