Saturday Is National Margarita Day! Celebrate With Two Nontraditional Versions
I'm what some might call a margarita snob. I think the best margarita is generally as simple as possible: Good tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and some sort of orange liqueur.
Gather these excellent ingredients.
Starting with that as my base, I've developed what I think is a wonderful margarita recipe. I've tweaked it just a little, but the basic ingredients remain the same. And it's very easy to make.
You will need:
- Tequila (I'm drinking George Clooney's Casamigos, not because it's George Clooney's, but because it's damn good)
- Agave nectar
- Grand Marnier
- Almond extract
Start by juicing limes until you have one ounce of lime juice. That's usually about three large limes. Pour lime juice and 1.5 ounces of tequila into a cocktail shaker. Add a teaspoon of agave nectar, a generous half-ounce of Grand Marnier and a splash of almond extract to the shaker. Fill with ice and shake until blended and chilled--I usually do it for about 30 seconds. Strain into a glass. Garnish with a lime wedge, and, should you choose, a salted rim (but do that before you pour in the liquid, obviously). Enjoy.
Note: I sometimes top it off with a little grapefruit soda. Is is still a margarita? Debatable. But it's delicious.
I choose to substitute Grand Marnier for triple sec or Cointreau because it's stronger (40 percent ABV) and because, to me, it has a spicier flavor. The almond extract actually cuts the tartness of the lime a little without adding any extra sweetness. And I always swear by fresh, fresh, fresh lime juice and agave nectar above all else.
You can actually make a great margarita with just tequila, fresh lime juice and agave nectar. I've had so many margs in my life that I tend to prefer a little creativity without going into the territory of syrupy, frozen slushies.
So if you're into it, by all means, check out some of the great specials going on around town in honor of this wonderful holiday. But if you're not, go to an Asian restaurant or do it yourself. As long as there's tequila involved, you can't go wrong.