One word:  Margaritas.  I love them.  You love them.  We all love them.  They are the epitome of Mexican mixology.  You can drink them on the rocks, frozen, straight, classic style, Italian style, kicked up a notch with various fruits, and many other ways.  They remind us of summer, chips and salsa, island life, and a guy named Jimmy…  What is not to love?

The margarita cocktail has a very mysterious past, but there are common threads that everyone agrees upon.  The cocktail consists of tequila, orange liqueur, and citrus.  It came to notoriety in various parts of Mexico during Prohibition when Americans wanting to have reprieve from the tyrannical 18th Amendment visited Mexico for vacation.  From there, the fabled tale of a delicious Mexican concoction made its way back to the states to be bastardized…I mean Americanized.  Now, it is being enjoyed by burnt out moms everywhere during Thirsty Thursday Happy Hour at your local hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint.

My question to you is:  why wait until your husband takes you out on a Thursday night (Fridays are too crowded) for your bi-annual date night to enjoy this divinely inspired libation?  You can easily make it at home with a few simple ingredients and a little know-how.

The first thing you need to do is buy bar equipment.  You do not have to go all out for this.  All you need is a jigger for measuring, a juicer for juicing, and a shaker for…shaking.  Here is a link to a nice bar set that is extremely affordable and I have used in the past.  Here is a link to a nice juicer that is also extremely affordable.

The next thing you need to do is buy your ingredients.  You will need a tequila (silver or gold is fine, although I prefer silver), an orange liqueur, lemons (preferably organic), limes (preferably organic), blue agave nector (preferably organic), and coarse kosher salt.  Since we are prefacing this recipe with affordable ingredients, my preferred affordable tequila and orange liqueur are Milagro Silver and Cointreau Orange Liqueur.  Milagro Silver is a very smooth, crisp tequila that can honestly be consumed straight.  It has a 4.5 out of 5 on Total Wine.

Cointreau Orange Liqueur has wonderful orange notes the same as Triple Sec without the harsh aftertaste of Triple Sec.  Consider this a much needed upgrade at an affordable price.  It has a 4.8 out of 5 on Total Wine.  Now, with the proper tools and ingredients, you are ready for your at-home margarita.

Classic Margarita  (Serves 1)

1.5 oz Silver Tequila
1.0 oz Orange Liqueur
0.5 oz Blue Agave Nectar
0.5 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime (about half a lime)
1.0 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon (about one whole lemon)

  1. Rim a 12 oz glass with a lime wedge, and then dip the rim in a dish of salt.
  2. Pour all measured ingredients into shaker.
  3. Fill shaker with ice.
  4. Put the lid on the shaker, and shake for 10-20 seconds or until shaken thoroughly.
  5. Strain the mixture into the salted glass, and fill with ice.
  6. Garnish with a wheel of lime for presentation.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is its simplicity and ability to be multiplied for larger serving sizes if you are having a get together.  You should only have to multiply the ingredients based on the amount of servings you need.  The only thing that I would caution is to taste it before serving because it may need a little extra blue agave nectar as you increase in servings.

There you have it!  Your first, at-home margarita.  Now, you can enjoy those beautiful sunsets outside as if you were on the island of your dreams.  Come back to Food for Thought from Knife to Fork for more wonderful mixology recipes as well as food recipes from my partner, Michael Coots. ¡Adiós Muchachos!