Cocktails – when done right there’s nothing better. Meeting friends? Yep. Birthday party? Oh yes. Entertaining friends? It’s a must. It’s pivotal that you know what you’re doing, however, otherwise you’re going to end up making something that tastes like vinegar and vodka, and nobody wants that. We’re going to take a look at the history of the Margarita cocktail, perfect Margarita ingredients and a perfect Margarita recipe.
Of course if you want to cheat then there’s always the pre-mixed cocktails available at the supermarket but where’s the fun in that? By the time your evening is over you want to be able to sling something delicious together like Tom Cruise in cocktail, and we can help.
First things first then, let’s not run before we can walk and let’s talk about the perfect cocktail for any occasion –the famous Margarita. Do this right and you’ll be the most popular friend in your group because firstly, it’s difficult to mess it up and secondly, it’s one of the most recognisable and tasty around.
The first print reference to the Margarita was in a 1953 edition of Esquire, reading ‘She’s from Mexico, Señores, and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative’. That’s quite an intro right? Hard to argue, too. Nobody knows who really invented the cocktail but according to the ever-reliable internet it’s assumed that it was invented by Carlos “Danny” Herrera at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria for Ziegfield dancer Marjorie King. Legend tells us that she was allergic to most spirits and so Herrera blended tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice in the now distinctive Margarita glass with salt around the edge. Thus, the Margarita cocktail was born.
There have been some variations over the years and there are many who believe the Margarita was actually an evolution of a drink called a Picador, which lists as its ingredients tequila, Cointreau and lime juice.
A Racy Rita, allegedly named after a performer at the legendary Agua Caliente race track in the 1940’s, was one such variation which was a base spirit mixed with citrus and curaçao.
One of the most famous Margarita restaurants in the world, Tommy’s in San Francisco, were the first to swap out the normal orange liqueur for agave nectar, and offer variations using Partida Agave syrup, Cointreau and agave sec. As you’d imagine, these aren’t ingredients you’re likely to find down at your local Aldi, so in our recipe we’ll make sure we make it simple with Margarita ingredients that you can actually find.
You’re going to need some basics first. You’ll need friends, first and foremost, as this is a cocktail recipe that’s designed to be shared around, if you have no friends then this doesn’t discount you completely, we’d just advise you to make some first or, alternatively, scale it down to suit your needs.
Secondly, get yourself either a big jug or a big pitcher. Margarita glasses are expensive, get yourself down to Home Bargains or somewhere similar and in the party supplies section you’ll often find plastic Margarita glasses, stock up.
You’ll now need a bottle of Tequila, our tip is to look for either silver, white or Blanco Tequila, the difference being that this spirit hasn’t been aged whereas gold Tequila has. And it makes a difference to a crisper tasting cocktail.
You’ll now need to get some lime juice. Whether you decide to squeeze the juice yourself, or buy a batch of squeezed lime juice is up to you, but the fresher the juice the better the cocktail. You’ll also need a bottle of triple sec, which is orange liqueur.
Finally get a bag of ice, don’t open it, lay it on the side and smash it to bits. What you use is up to you, but something like a rolling pin is optimal. One thing to keep in mind, and we can’t stress this enough people, is be careful and do not smash your own hand to bits.
Now you’re ready to mix. Fill your jug with roughly 30-50% crushed ice depending on taste, and then your margarita mix should be two parts tequila, one part lime juice and one part triple sec. Give it a proper good mix and put some muscle into it, ideally a jug or pitcher with a lid on it of course.
Now you’ll want to cut a fresh lime in half, using the lime pieces to rub around the edges of the glasses, and now you’ll want to set out a pile of salt and turn the glass upside down and dip the rim into the pile of salt so that there’s a light coating, and viola! You’ve successfully made yourself a life affirming Margarita cocktail.