A huge part of the reason it’s so popular isn’t just down to its refreshing taste though - it’s because it’s dead simple to make. 2 parts tequila, 1 of tipple sec, 1 of lime juice in a shaker. Salt rims and garnish are ideal but optional – it’s a process that takes less than 2 minutes and a result that’ll have you daydreaming of your next holiday!
We’ve put together a little bit of advice here on what to look for in the core ingredients, so that if you are shopping with the intent to make a Margarita, we can help with some insight!
What do i need to make a Margarita?
Let’s tackle the million-pound question then… Which tequila is best for a Margarita? As a quick loose rule, Blancos will give your Margarita more of a true agave flavour while picking a Reposado tends to work better for those who want a smooth, rounder finish.
We’d recommend starting with a good Tequila Blanco as it’s tequila in its purest, clearest form and we feel it shines brightest in the drink.
Blancos as a style are the freshly distilled spirit without any time spent in oak (no aging). These tequilas show you the true expertise of the distiller and the clearest taste of the agaves being used, because there are no flavours being imparted by anything other than the plant and how it’s been processed.
Try Ocho Tequila Blanco, which has cooked agave, honey sweetness, white pepper, crisp minerality, and lively citrus notes - a favourite of tequila aficionados and bartenders across the world for a reason!
Alternatively, try Codigo Blanco which has roasted, almost earthy agave flavours with a mineral-like vegetal character that begins the journey. Citrusy sweetness follows beautifully and it finishes with a peppery touch - a combo that works well in a Margarita.
Lastly, another of our favourite Tequila's for a Margarita is Fortaleza Blanco Tequila, a hugely admired 100% Agave expression with notes of citrus, cooked agave and buttery vanilla.
The second ingredient in a Margarita is Triple sec. While we tend to lean more towards the more classic 2 parts tequila and 1 of triple sec, many go 2 to 1.5 but which ever your preferred recipe and no matter how you serve it - it’s clear that it is not just an accompanying flavour, it’s a central component to the overall flavour profile.
The cornerstone of the triple sec category (essentially orange flavoured liqueurs) is Cointreau, who add bitter peels, dried sweet peels and less sugar (thus the sec – French for dry). It’s our go to for Margaritas. It works, it is great value and lets the tequila shine through. Their blood orange variant is also an interesting liqueur to use for those seeking a slight twist.
If you feel like branching out and want something rich, complex and comes residual sweetness from its brandy base, look no further than Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao. Made through three separate distillations of spices and bitter peels of Curacao oranges blended with brandy and Ferrand Cognac. It brings a unique character to a Margarita and more complex elements to the finish (especially if you use a Reposado).
Usually we profile all the components to a cocktail, but we’re never going to advocate for lime juice made from concentrate! Instead, let us introduce you to a twist that we think deserves far more time in the limelight (see what we did there!? Clever Kiosk…).
There are hundreds of twists on the Margarita but one continuously ranks above the rest; The Toreador. Technically it’s not a twist, it is a precursor to the Margarita, as it was first created and published in the 1930’s and years before the Margarita was being served anywhere in the world. Here, 2 parts Mezcal, 1 Apricot Brandy and 1 lime juice are combined with ice, shaken and strained into a glass. It’s delicious and the smoky nature of Mescal is supported by the sweet stone fruit creating a complex concoction.
Using agaves that are 100% Espadín and grown for 8-9 years in Oaxaca, try Casamigos Mezcal in this drink. Its fragrant herbal notes backed by smoke and black pepper leading to long silky finish are supported particularly well by the apricot in this cocktail. One to savour!