It’s National Margarita Day!

One of my all-time favourite flavour combinations is tequila and lime. Shaken over ice, there’s nothing quite like a margarita to put a smile on your face. But if you’re on the fence or have been burned by a bad tequila experience, make peace with this wonderful cocktail on its special day.

Here are three of my favourite variations on the margarita.

Classic Margarita on the Rocks                                                                                                                         A classic that stands the test of time, simple and straight to the point with no subtext. You could blend everything together for a frozen margarita instead, but I find the slushy result dilutes the flavour – and tequila – way too quickly.

  • 2 oz reposado tequila
  • 1 oz cointreau
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 lime wedges
  • salt
  1. Pour a few tablespoons of fine salt into a shallow dish. Swipe the lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass, then press the moistened rim into the salt to cover liberally. Fill the glass with ice
  2. Combine tequila, Cointreau and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds – 1 minute then strain into the glass. Garnish with lime wedge

Frothy Margarita                                                                                                                                                 This is a slightly more elegant version of the traditional margarita. As the mixture settles, the egg white foam will slowly rise to the top of the glass giving this bevvy a smooth, velvety texture that pairs nicely with the sharp acidity of the lime juice.

  • 2 oz blanco tequila
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 fresh egg white (or 1 tbsp pasteurized egg whites)
  • ½ oz simple syrup*
  • lime wedge
  • salt
  • lime slice
  1. Pour a few tablespoons of fine salt into a shallow dish. Swipe the lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass, then press the moistened rim into the salt to cover liberally. Fill the glass with ice
  2. Combine the tequila, lime juice, egg white and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds – 1 minute, strain into the glass.
  3. Garnish with a slice of lime.

*Simple Syrup: to make a simple syrup, combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the sugar completely dissolves (about 5 minutes). Don’t overcook the syrup or it will start to caramelize and darken – the syrup should be clear and colourless. Let cool and store refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 1 month.


Rosemary Margarita                                                                                                                                         The herbal hint of rosemary plays well off the sharpness of the lime for an unexpected take on the classic margarita.

  • 2 oz blanco or reposado tequila
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • lime wedge
  • rosemary salt to rim glass*
  • ½ oz rosemary syrup**
  1. Pour a few tablespoons of rosemary salt into a shallow dish. Swipe the lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass, then press the moistened rim into the salt to cover liberally. Fill the glass with ice
  2. Combine tequila, lime juice and rosemary syrup in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds – 1 minute then strain into the glass
  3. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary

*Rosemary Salt: blitz 1/4 cup salt and 3 sprigs fresh rosemary in a food processor until the rosemary is finely ground into the salt. Store in an airtight container.

**Rosemary Syrup: to make the rosemary syrup, combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan with 4 – 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary. Simmer over medium heat until the sugar completely dissolves (about 5 minutes). Don’t overcook the syrup or it will start to caramelize and darken – the syrup should be clear and colourless. Let the rosemary steep in the syrup until cooled, then remove and store refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 1 month.

 

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