Cinco de Mayo is in just a few day’s time, so there’s no time like the present to hone your margarita-making skills. Whether you’re a classic margarita person (tequila, lime and Cointreau or Triple Sec), a Tommy’s margarita aficionado (agave, lime and tequila) or an unusual marg fan (key lime! mango! ginger!), we’ve got the margarita mix, recipe or glassware to float your boat.
The definition of a margarita is almost as loosely defined as its history. Three parties have laid claim to the beverage that defines warm-weather drinking. Is a rich Dallas socialite named Margarita to credit, or a Tijuana-area restaurant? Or did José Cuervo coin “margarita” in 1945? It’s up for grabs, but what we do know is that we love margaritas. To keep you inspired this faux-holiday, here are a few ways to sate your thirst.
There’s a reason a whole song celebrates lime and coconut together. They’re an absolute dream team. These coconut cream margs are one of the most popular drinks we’ve ever posted, and for good reason. Cream of coconut, lime juice, Cointreau and simple syrup are shaken with tequila until very cold. The result is a drink that refreshes no matter the weather outside.
Can you believe that this cocktail tastes even better than it looks? It’s true. We swiped the recipe from one of the geniuses at Bar Amá in Los Angeles. It’s a snap to make, too: Just combine tequila, grapefruit juice, chipotle chile powder, agave and Combier (Triple Sec’s chic sister) in a shaker. The result is a drink with that wholly quenching grapefruit juice effect, plus a very slight, slow-burn warmth thanks to the chipotle chile powder. We build whole parties around this drink. (Which reminds us: How’s your citrus press game?)
There are a lot of things for which to thank the cocktail revolution, but right up near the top of the list is the elimination of sweet-and-sour mix in a gun at the bar. Yikes. Fresh lime is nearly always welcome in a good margarita, whether as a lime wedge, wheel, zest or juice. This classic recipe employs the latter to beautiful effect.
Invite one friend over for watermelon margaritas. Observe: Four friends will show up. That’s the power of this variation on the drink. You could wait until August when the melons are huge, ubiquitous and bodacious at the farmer’s market. Or get one now. (Pre-chopped is a-OK.) Spin it in a blender; put the Beach Boys, reggae or tropicalia on the hi-fi. Turn up the heat in your apartment, because yes, National Margarita Day hits the holiday calendar during the odd month of February. Put on shades if you need to do so.
With a mix of pomegranate juice and agave syrup in addition to the traditional lime and tequila, this ruby-hued margarita is an autumnal interpretation of the classic drink. Garnish each glass with a sliver of dried lime (as here) or one of blood orange to accent the crimson complexion of this lovely cocktail.