This blog is titled Of Margs and Men for three reasons: Tani is a huge book nerd (it's a pun off Of Mice and Men,) we are men who like men, and I like to drink margaritas.
My sister and I are the only members of my family that enjoy alcohol, so it's been a point of contention amongst my parents. I'm not shy about it; I have no problem telling them that I got drunk the night before with friends. Because drinking is a something I love doing in social situations: with friends, Tani, or random people I just met. I like to have a good time, and I don't see a problem with it as long as I'm safe, responsible, and the hangovers don't start lasting two days. And you shouldn't either.
As always, the key is moderation. Contrary to what my parents believe, I rarely go out to get wasted; I would rather enjoy savor a well-made cocktail, preferably made by me. My friends and I have worked in the restaurant industry in Boston and New York City for years, so we know a thing or two about making cocktails.
One of my best friends in New York hosts an amazingly informative, funny cocktail show: Strug-Free Cocktails, that will teach you how to make anything from a Martini to a Cucumber-Gimlet!
Elise told me the key to an amazing margarita is: you have to shake it. Apparently, if your cocktail has citrus in it, you want to shake to release the flavors, or bruise the alcohol, or something...I don't know, I wasn't paying attention because it sounds a little witchy to me. But she was right! My margaritas went from meh to best-sellers instantly.
Yours can too! Here's what equipment you'll need to make Nick's Perfect Margarita on the rocks:
-A measuring device (shot glass, or jigger)
-one small plate
-a shaker (I love using mason jars)
-a rocks glass
-lemon/lime squeezer (or fork)
The two ingredients that will make your margaritas restaurant quality are: tequila and triple sec. You don't want to use well tequila, nor do you want it to be a fancy reposado or anejo; aim for a mid-range blanco tequila, since all you want is that tequila flavor. The second important ingredient is triple sec. My recipe calls for Cointreau, a popular orange-flavored version of triple sec, but it's a little pricey ($40). However it's a good investment in your bar: it lasts me a good three-four months, and I make a lot of these over the summer!
Here are the ingredients you'll need:
-Kosher Salt (NOT Iodized)
1. Start by prepping:
- cut a lime in half and cut a little crescent out of one and put it aside.
- take the crescent and rim the edge of your glass with it
- take the salt, pour it on the plate.
- invert the glass onto the plate to salt the rim to taste.
2. Create the drink
- in your shaker, combine 1.5oz of tequila (one shot glass or the large side of the jigger,) 1oz of Cointreau, juice from the prepped lime, and a tablespoon of honey.
- Pro-tip: if you don't have a lemon/lime squeezer, take a fork and fold the lime over the prongs. This produces significantly more juice than squeezing it with your hands.
- Stir the contents until the honey dissolves.
- Add 3-4 ice cubes into the shaker
- Also add 3-4 to your glass while you have it out.
- Close the shaker and shake vigorously for 6-8 seconds. Do not over shake.
- Over-shaking will produce a watery margarita
3. Assemble the drink
- Strain the drink into your salted and iced glass
- Garnish with the lime wedge.
This is my favorite margarita recipe because the flavors are all balanced: you'll get the bite of the salt, the introduction to the tequila, which is extinguished by the sweetness of the orange and honey, and the left with the lingering citrus. It shouldn't be too boozy, citrusy, or sweet but a symphony of them all.
I'm also a fan of batching and blending this recipe if I'm entertaining; using a 1.5/1/1 formula for tequila, cointreau and lime. That looks something like this:
-1.5 cups of tequila
-1 cup of Cointreau
-1 cup of lime juice
-honey (5 tablespoons per cup of tequila)
The best margaritas are always fresh; you can taste if it's been sitting. Only shake, blend, or agitate the alcohol right before serving, otherwise they won't reach their fullest potential!
If you're blending, add ice until you achieve your desired texture.