The classic margarita.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me in real life that the very first post I share for a cocktail is the classic margarita. And the only reason I am sharing it is because I have been on a mission to recreate the margarita’s I love at places like Mejico restaurant at Miranda, and I think I have finally cracked it.

I was aiming for a true, classic margarita based on three ingredients: tequila, Cointreau {never triple sec}, and fresh lime juice {I tried swapping for lemons, not bad but not as good}. I have tried different brands of tequila as well as blanco {clear, colourless, milder} and anejo {amber coloured, a bit stronger}. When it came to the citrus flavoured mixer I tried triple sec but found it just didn’t work, giving a far too harsh astringent taste, so Cointreau it is.

I find that a blanco tequila works better than the aged varieties, but stick to 100% agave and it will be fine. Mezcal is a step beyond tequila and also works really well. Skip the cheap and nasty kinds of tequila.

As for the sugar syrup I really really didn’t want to add it, and tried every configuration of tequila’s, mixers, lemons, and limes as well as different amounts of everything, but no matter how close I got flavour wise it was always just far too knock-you-over strong. As in, one drink would have me well past tipsy. The sugar syrup also turned out to be that elusive, missing X factor that I had been tasting in the margarita’s I bought everywhere I went, and was lacking in my own concoctions.

And even though lemons are pictured above, limes make a huge difference and taste much better. But with the price of limes sometimes astronomical, in Sydney at least, fresh lemon juice is fine as an alternative. Just make sure it’s freshly squeezed and not the bottled kind.

To make the sugar syrup:

put one cup of caster {fine} sugar and one cup of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for two minutes or until the sugar has all dissolved. Move from the heat and cool before using. The syrup will keep in the fridge for up to five days.

Ingredients for one margarita:

sea salt flakes

40 ml tequila {100% agave, buy the best quality you can afford}

20 ml Cointreau

20 ml sugar syrup

20 ml fresh lime juice

  • Sprinkle the sea salt flakes on a plate. Take a cocktail or margarita glass, and rub a cut lime all around the edge, then roll or dip the edge of the glass in the salt so that you have a salt rim all the way around.
  • Place all the ingredients in a shaker or mixer, add some ice cubes, and shake well.
  • Strain into the glass, and enjoy!

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