My #1 Favorite Cocktail of All Time (So Far)

Margarita

Limepocalypse or no, I insist on enjoying a few of these around Cinco de Mayo, or whenever the mood strikes.

I’ve come a long way from those days when my wife and I were dating and she would order Margaritas at Casa Gallardo or one of the other many Mexican restaurants we would frequent in the St Louis area. The best I could manage at the time (being quite the drinking novice) was a frozen strawberry Margarita. The fruit and slushy ice both toned down the tequila, making it more suited to my palate at the time. Some years later, living in Florida, there was a place in Melbourne just across the causeway from the barrier island that made a proper potent Margarita on the rocks sans bottled mixer; alas, I was still not up to the challenge. (Ah, if I could only go back now and have a few…)

Somewhere along the line, though, I found a taste for a good, from-scratch made Margarita with the right ratio of spirit, liqueur, and fruit juice. Not to mention a passion for good tequila. In keeping with my basic cocktail making guidelines, I insist on using a decent 100% agave tequila, fresh lime juice, and solid triple sec. This is my latest tweak of my basic recipe. Although a little fanatic about using fresh lime juice, I have found  that it can vary quite a bit in character from perfectly balanced and sublime to decidedly too sour, requiring a little adjustment with some sweetener. Until recently, I would use a little caster sugar to balance the drink. As you’ll see in a moment, I’ve found what I think is the perfect sweetener to adjust the balance of the drink.

As to the so-called “limepocalypse”, an unfortunate confluence of factors has recently driven lime prices to ludicrous levels. Not so long ago, I could count on finding limes 3 or 4 for a dollar; now I’ve seen them for as much as $1.25 a piece. Yikes! So, one must seek out the best price one can find (50 cents a piece today at a discount grocery; I can deal with that.) And if you do find limes for a reasonable price, you can always buy a lot, juice them, and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. When solidified, remove them from the trays and pack them in a freezer bag for future use. Voila!

Margarita Recipe – Makes 1 cocktail

3 oz Espolón blanco tequila

1 1/2 oz DeKuyper triple sec

Juice of 1 lime (approx. 1 1/2 oz)

1/2 oz Monin Agave Nectar organic simple syrup (or to taste)

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with about 1 cup of ice and shake vigorously. Taste and add more agave nectar if needed to balance the tartness to your liking and shake to mix. Serve in a salted rim glass. And remember the Mexican toast: Salud, amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo (Health, love, and the time to enjoy them).

Margarita pre-constructed

 It should go without saying, but feel free to use your own favorite brands. But keep it quality, and keep it fresh!

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