I don't really care for the flavored mixes. I standardize on fresh lemon juice, lime juice, or combination, a splash of water, simple syrup (or sugar well stirred), pretty much any decent reposado tequila (not Jose Cuervo), and Hirams triple sec (the 60 proof version gives a little more kick), and a pinch of kosher salt in the drink instead of on the rim. It just has to be fresh juice for me, and no slushy ice. I got a $15 Braun juicer. I eyeball the measurements based on how much juice I get from the lemon or lemons - some of the Trader Joe's lemons are small. Finally, I used a Thermos/Nissin steel thermal cup at home. It stays nicely cold for a long time.
Tangerines, interesting. A complement to the triple sec. I was surprised to see a lot of variation in the proof of triple secs, and I assume the flavor varies a lot. I have also seen substituting Grand Marnier or Cointreau for triple sec, and of course some insist on expensive tequila like Patron.
At one time, I looked around for a local fresh juice bar or the like to get lemon/lime juice, but in my small quantities, it didn't pay. Easier to go to Costco or TJ's and squeeze your own, plus you get a peel for garnish. I've been getting TJ organic lemons after hearing how citrus is apparently sprayed with fungicides/insecticides.
I've tried using frozen lemonade, frozen bottled lemon juice, even Country Time powdered lemonade (what to use in an apocalypse?) and it's hardly drinkable. If you had to make dozens of slushy party drinks, I suppose I'd use Minute Maid frozen, diluted.
Yeah, you could use frozen juice for parties especially for frozen or blender margaritas but fresh squeezed is definitely better for on the rocks. I used to fresh squeeze pomegranate and that makes a very tasty drink. And I agree, patron or other premium brands( I like herradura) I save for sipping and use hornitos or other all agave tequilas for blending. Cheers!
This was a recent "All Natural" mix based upon recommendations from Louie and a little improvisation. Thanks Brother, Love you man!
4 oz Respodo Agave Tequila (What was in the bar)
2 oz Contreau (It's what was in the bar)
1 oz Organic Lime juice fresh squeezed (What was on the tree)
1 oz Organic Lemon juice fresh squeezed (What was on the tree)
Half an Organic Lime wedge (What was left from some squeezing)
Shaken in ice and poured over rocks. Not a sweet as the premix but quite earthy iand probably a lot healthier than the added sugar or syrup.
My typical result isn't quite so stiff, and I don't like to salt the rims (too much work and uneven salt ratio per sip). Mine end up more like this:
-juice of one big lemon, or 2 small ones, or 2 limes or some combo. Makes about 1/4-1/3 cup (2-3oz).
-about 2 oz. simple sugar syrup plus ice water, or ice water plus several teaspoons of sugar, to about 1/2 cup total including the juice.
-about 2 oz tequila
-about 1 oz triple sec
-small pinch of salt
I searched for the real-deal classic margarita recipe about 25 years ago, until I ran into a bar tender who knew his stuff and was willing to share. This is my drink, and I’ve not found anything better in all that time.
Combine in shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into (kosher) salt-rimmed glass. No ice in the glass as it dilutes the drink, or one small cube if you must.
These are tart. I had one girlfriend who couldn’t take the tartness and I had to make a sugar syrup for her, but then it’s no longer a classic margarita. A splash of OJ is a better way to smooth it out, but wasn’t enough for her.
I typically use Espolon for margaritas, but you can certainly upgrade if you think it’s worth it or have money to spend. I would never buy Patron or Cuervo as they’re both overpriced consumer brands that actually aren’t very good. Heradura is good and a widely available alternative.
My all-time favorite is El Tesoro, but it’s almost too good to mix and I save it for sipping. Upgrading to Grand Mariner or Contreau instead of triple sec is great for special occasions, but wasted if you don’t also use top shelf tequila. So I have my every day mix and my very special occasion mix, but the 1-2-3 formula never changes.
If you try to order one of these in a restaurant bar, good luck. They will either use a mix or Roses sweetened lime juice, and both are a waste of good tequila. Better to sip straight tequila or get a lime-mixto-slushy like the Mexican places make by the gallons.
If you ever can find or order a bottle of El Tesoro Blanco, don’t pass up the opportunity. You’ll never be satisfied with Patron or Cuervo again.
The best Margaritas I ever had were at Maria's New Mexican Kitchen, a restaurant in Santa Fe, NM. The recipe can be found with an online search. They are simple and easy: just silver tequila, triple sec, fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, a wedge of lemon or lime, and salt.
Any fresh citrus can make a margarita but traditional is lime only. The orange flavor comes from the triple sec. Lemon is for following shots of tequila you really don’t want a lot of, but to each his own. Cheers!