The Secret to the Perfect Margarita

Start your summer off right

One of the grossest abominations of the bartenders’ art is the 16 ounce margarita. All over town, bars hoping to draw young customers barely old enough to get a legal drink offer gloppy, overly sweetened sugar bombs with barely a hint of true tequila, let alone triple sec or fresh lime juice.

But to enjoy one of the greatest drinks ever invented, let me encourage you to try a real margarita. Since only a few places in town make them, we’re going to show you to make them at home. Don’t worry, it is very simple.

The margarita is basically a variation on a sour, as in whiskey sour, gin sour, etc. The traditional recipe requires ¾ ounce each of a sweetener such as simple syrup and a fresh-squeezed citrus juice, normally either lime or lemon, along with 2 ounces of a liquor. Substitute agave syrup for the simple syrup and you have a nice tequila sour.

The margarita substitutes triple sec for simple syrup, adding a bit more since it is less sweet. The lime juice offers balance to the margarita’s sweetness, but it is not intended to be the primary flavor. Below is the ideal recipe for the most delicious margarita you will ever try. Word of warning: anyone with a recipe they think is better will have to prove it.

The Perfect Margarita
1.5 oz. silver tequila, preferably 100% blue agave
1 oz. triple sec (the Mexican liqueur called Controy is ideal)
.5 oz. fresh lime juice
Salt (for balance, so don’t automatically say “no salt”)

Put all ingredients except salt in a shaker and shake vigorously. Rub lime around the rim of a martini glass and dip in salt, then pour margarita in and enjoy. I am a huge fan of tequila, so I make mine with 2 oz. of the liquor. Beware, this perfect margarita is devilishly strong and goes down very easily. Overserving is always a danger.

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