The Perfect Margarita
For all purposes, Margarita can be called a cocktail version of a Tequila shot. The ingredients are the same – tequila, lime and salt. There is also the addition of triple sec which adds the necessary sweetness and balances the perceived harshness of the tequila.
As for the true beginning of the cocktail, there are 2 tales that the Smithsonian Institute lists. One tale is based in Mexico where a bar owner named Carlos Herrera concocted the drink at his bar in Tijuana, for loyal patron and aspiring actress Marjorie King. The second story is of a socialite in Dallas, Margarita Sames, who served the drink to her guests at Acapulco. One of the illustrious guests was Tommy Hilton who later added the cocktail at his hotel bars.
The Right Ingredients
The base of this cocktail is the tequila. Now it is an imperative to invest in a good quality tequila. Not that you need to buy the most exotic ones but a regular middle shelf tequila won’t do either. 100% agave quality tequila will ensure the drink has flavor and smoothness, also a lack of hangover the next day.
Many specialists recommend Reposado tequila which is aged for a minimum of 2 months in oak barrel. In Indian context, it might be an expensive proposition. We would suggest sticking to Blanco or gold, but ensure they are quality products.
Similarly, triple sec is better replaced by Cointreau. Triple sec has a tendency of making the cocktail too sweet. Cointreau has the perfect balance of citrus orange notes and sweetness. If you want to add depth of flavor to the Margarita, you can add Grand Marnier, which is a cognac based orange liqueur. This version is known as Cadillac Margarita.
It goes without saying that fresh lime juice is the only way to go for a great Margarita!
60 ml Tequila
30 ml Triple Sec
30 ml Lime Juice
30 ml Triple Sec
30 ml Lime Juice
Ideal proportion includes 2:1:1 measure of Tequila, Triple Sec and lime juice. Ideally, Triple Sec should be more than enough to add sweetness to the drink, but if it’s not upto your palate, you can add 10-15 ml of simple syrup. In a cocktail shaker, pour in all the ingredients with ice and shake till properly chilled.
Serve It Right
A Margarita is never complete without salt rimmed glass. Rimming a glass with salt is no rocket science. All you need is a plate of evenly spread salt, a lime wedge and the glass. Rub the wedge across the lips of the glass. Now dip the lemon rimmed glass into the plate of salt. There you go, you have a salt rimmed glass. Now to make sure the rim is even all across, wipe the excess of with a tissue paper.
A stemmed glassware is always preferred for a Margarita, it allows the drink to stay chilled for a longer time. Ideally, a special glass devised only for cocktail is used. It is an extension of a Champagne coupe with a dent midway the bowl.
It isn’t an imperative to use the Margarita glass, you can easily use a coupe or a regular cocktail stemware. Many use low ball glasses and tumblers as well.
On Rocks or Frozen
Dallas-based restaurateur Mariano Martinez, invented world’s first frozen margarita machine in 1971
There is a lot debate as to whether which is a better way to serve a classic Margarita. Traditionalists will always say on the rocks because the flavors of the cocktail are more discernible. A frozen Margarita will quite literally numb all the flavors, but surely an exception can be made for hot, muggy summer’s day, like we have in Mumbai? There is nothing more refreshing than a frozen Margarita.
Ice, cubes or crushed, form a very important part of the cocktail. It helps with steady dilution of the drink which is made with little over 60 ml of spirit and not hit you in one go.