Photo by Zach DeSartby Bon Appétit
Cocktail geeks may swoon at the first sip of an expertly calibrated Manhattan or go on and on about the balance of a proper Martini, but we're ready to bestow a little love on one of the best libations north or south of the border: the Margarita. It's time you learned how to make one the right way. Margaritas concocted with store-bought sweet-and-sour mix (or, worse, a popular diet brand) arrive DOA: a sad glass of sugary water. When made with fresh lime juice, however, the Margarita is a revelation. We're serious about ridding the world of bad Margaritas, so here is our definitive recipe and everything else you need to know to master this summer's go-to cocktail.
The Recipe: The Perfect Agave Margarita
- Kosher salt
- 2 lime slices or wedges
- 1/4 cup tequila blanco
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup (nectar)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Pour some kosher salt into a small dish. Rub 1 lime slice over half the rim of an Old Fashioned glass (if you prefer your Margarita on the rocks) or a coupe glass (if you prefer it up). Dip rim of glass into salt.
- Combine tequila, agave syrup, and juice in a cocktail shaker; fill with ice and shake well. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with second lime slice.
See More: 30 Refreshing Summer Drink Ideas
How to Mix the Ultimate Margarita
1. Squeeze it
The single most important ingredient is fresh lime juice. Use any gadget you like--just please don't twist open a screw cap. For parties, juice the limes ahead and fill a squeeze bottle to keep at the ready.
2. Sweeten up
Notice there's no triple sec in our recipe? That's not a typo--and no, you won't miss it. We prefer light agave syrup for its complementary flavors (and shared origin) with tequila.
3. Go for silver
Always drink tequila made from 100 percent blue agave. It just tastes better. In Margaritas, use only blanco (a.k.a. silver or white) tequilas, which have a peppery, vegetal kick that won't get buried when mixed. Save your aged reposados for sipping.
4. Take it with a grain of...
Salt brings out the flavor in everything, but too much can be overwhelming. So we only salt halfway around the rim and are careful not to get any in the drink.
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