<May 2007>
A Cocktail A Day Cocktails!
May 28, 2007 - Margarita
margarita.jpg Margarita
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz orange liqueur
  • juice of 1 lime, or of half a lemon and half a lime

If you want a cheaper one, use blended tequila and generic triple-sec. If you want a fancier one, use 100% agave tequila (plata/silver is better, in my opinion; reposado will work too though be somewhat wasteful, but save the añejo for sippin') and Cointreau or Grand Marnier -- Cointreau is drier, Grand Marnier is sweeter. In all cases, though, don't cheap out on the citrus, because that's the thing that makes or breaks a Margarita. As in all things foodie and drinkie, let your own tastebuds guide you, but my advice is:if you use Cointreau, use the half-lemon-half-lime version; if you use generic Triple Sec or Grand Marnier, all lime works better.

If you use sweet-and-sour mix, be ashamed.

Far from being the alcoholic slushie that most people are familiar with from excursions to places that still serve platos combinados with red-tinted rice and frijoles refritos (made with actual LARD), the original Margarita, invented in the '30s, was a perfect example of a classic cocktail. According to Harrington,

Two parts strong, one part sweet, and one part sour. These are the golden proportions of the classic cocktail, the Pythagorean formula of bibulous bliss.

If you make the strong part tequila, the sweet part any orange-flavored liqueur, and the sour part fresh-squeezed citrus juice, you have the ur-Margarita.

Back when I was working at a large database company, in their tech writing department, our branch of the department had a holiday party, and I shook up a bunch of Margaritas for everybody. My manager's highly-memorable comment was, "This isn't a serving of fruit, this is a serving of grain!" Well, of succulent, actually, but you get the idea.

(I'll put up some more history here when I'm at home with my books, but I really wanted to get cracking on the article, so expect to see it emended soonly.)