Friday, May 11, 2012

Mama's Favorite Margaritas

Happy Friday everyone. I'm heading into my busy weekend at work and won't have time to post, although I hope to work on my creative projects as much as I can. 

I also wanted to wish all the moms a happy Mother's Day on Sunday, and in honor of the moms,( because a margarita is the kind of thing I would like for Mother's Day) I'm posting my award winning Margarita Recipe.* This recipe is adapted from the recipe I used back when I tended bar at a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn, when my customers raved about my margarita. Anyway, enough bragging. I tend to get over excited where tequila, fresh fruit juice and orange liquer are involved.

Mama's Favorite Margarita

One part real, 100% agave tequila 
One part triple sec.
One part real, fresh squeezed lime juice.
Splash, to taste, orange juice.
Ice cubes
Garnish with lime wedge and a salt rim if desired.

This is the basic recipe and you can make it for one person or for a whole party, equal parts, it's that simple, but I have some hints and tips that will help you customize your own margarita recipe to impress your friends and influence people. Tequila is very influential.

 This is not a recipe for frozen margaritas, although you could probably stick it in a blender, I can't vouch for it's excellence as a frozen drink. It is designed to be served over ice, or shaken with ice and strained into a martini glass. Come to think of it, my mom has a recipe for frozen margarita which is very tasty, but shares little with my own recipe. I'll have to get it from her.

It is key to get real tequila. It doesn't have to be the fanciest tequila, because you are covering up much of the delicacy of the tequila with juice, just make sure it says 100% agave on the bottle. Cuervo gold is not 100% agave, although it is a ubiquitous tequila. One of my favorite tequilas for margaritas is Hornitos. 

As for triple sec, I actually prefer the cheaper triple sec to the more expensive Grand Marnier, because Grand Marnier has a funny taste that reminds me of baby aspirin. That's just personal taste, but don't assume that because something is more expensive it is best for a great margarita. I do however enjoy Cointreau in my margarita, which is a higher end triple sec. 

Fresh squeezed lime juice is the best for margaritas and really makes the difference. You can cheap out on the other ingredients, but if you don't use real juice, I won't drink it. In my opinion, sour mix should be nowhere near a margarita. You can get away with frozen or bottled juice, but fresh squeezed is best. Here's another tip about my lime juice. Sometimes I use a mix of limes and lemons for my juice. It might not be a traditional way to go, but it tastes good. 

I add a splash of orange juice to my margaritas to sweeten it up a bit. I do like my margaritas on the tart side, though. You could probably add any kind of sweet juice here, like peach nectar or pomegranate juice and it would make a flavored margarita. Or blood orange juice to give it a nice rosy color. 

To salt the rim, take a wedge of lime and run it around the rim of the glass, then dip it into a shallow dish of salt. I think it might be fun to mess around with some of those fancy gourmet salts. Pink salt would be so pretty. Oh! A memory just popped up. One of my fellow bartenders and I used to go out after work, and the bartender at THAT bar used to rim her margarita glasses with brown sugar. I would make the margarita a bit more tart if I were going to add brown sugar, but it really was delicious. A shout out to Magda and Heather for the memory. Kisses.

Here's another hint. Sometimes I mess with my proportions. Most often, I shrink the triple sec and add more tequila. That makes it stronger and less sweet. Which is sometimes what you want, isn't it.  You could add more juice and less tequila if you wanted it less powerful. It will still be delicious.

There are many different margarita recipes and people can get really passionate about their margaritas. I don't say that this is "The" margarita. I don't even say that this is "The Best" margarita. I just say that this is my favorite. I like it juicy and tart. I'd love to hear other people's favorite margarita recipes. I'm always up for adjustments. In fact, I rarely stick with a recipe the way it is written. I almost always add my own flavor to things, even if it's my own recipe.

One of my favorite things to do is to make a mason jar full of margaritas, without the ice, and then keep it in the refrigerator, and when I'm ready for a drink, I pour my margarita over ice and enjoy. That's actually what this picture is, my mason jar and glass of ice. It is kind of a pain to juice and mix for each drink, so making it ahead saves a lot of trouble and doubles my pleasure. 

Well, I'm heading out for a long day at work and probably won't get to enjoy a mason jar of margaritas today. But it's Friday, so have a drink for me. And for all you moms out there, make sure you do something that makes you happy this weekend, whether it's drinking margaritas or sleeping late or listening to music or whatever it is that seems like a celebration. Because it's your weekend, and you deserve to celebrate yourself and all that you do.

Happy Mother's Day.

*The award I am referring to is awarded to me by me. Because I make a damn fine margarita. ;)

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