Aah – I consider this to be the “Mama” of all cocktails. It was one of the first cocktails I ever had, made for me by my grandmother, Elise. It is still one of my favorites – although I don’t make it the way she did.

A Margarita contains tequila, an orange liqueur, and a sour citrus. The “secret” is in the exact ingredients and proportions, and there are many variations and opinions on this. Here are some Margarita pointers I feel strongly about:

  • Use only 100% agave tequila (otherwise it is not really tequila!)
  • Use a high-quality orange liqueur – NOT Triple Sec (which is way too cloying)
  • Use only fresh lime juice (do not use sweet and sour mixes – they are generally nasty)

I have a slightly unusual ingredient I like to use – simple syrup. Simple syrup gives it a better “mouth feel” – and a finish that is smoother, and less harsh.


1 oz tequila (I prefer blanco or silver)

1 oz fresh lime

½ oz Cointreau

½ oz simple syrup

Pour some salt on a small plate. Rub a lime around the edge of an “up” glass, and then roll in the salt to make a salt rim. (If you are serving to guests and you don’t know their salt preference, salt halfway around the rim.)

Shake the four ingredients well with ice, strain into the glass. Pick out two ice cubes from the shaker and add to the glass. Garnish with a lime slice.


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