Perfect Margarita Cocktail
How to Prepare the Perfect Margarita Cocktail: 7 Essential Tips
Published: 09/10/2011 By
Mixologist Patricia Richards
»» Drinks & Cocktails
Patricia Richards Profile
Constructing the perfect margarita cocktail requires technique, knowledge and a little finesse. The following 7 essential tips will help you become the envy of your friends, colleagues and clients, whether mixing margaritas poolside at your party, or professionally bartending.
Choice of glassware, freshness and quality of ingredients, balance of flavors and ice are all essential components. Think of building the perfect margarita cocktail, like making the perfect pizza. In order to make the perfect pizza, it’s imperative to start with quality dough, delicious sauce, and then build the pizza with your favorite toppings, of the finest quality. Think of tequila as the dough of your pizza, because there is no pizza without the dough, just like there is no margarita cocktail without the tequila; it’s as simple as that.
Now think of a modifier spirit as the sauce on your pizza and use only quality modifiers as you would quality pizza sauce. If you want to use sweet & sour in your margarita, along with freshly squeezed lime juice, simply stir equal parts simple syrup with freshly squeezed & strained lemon juice. Simple syrup is so aptly named, for its simplicity; combine equal parts granulated sugar with boiling water, stir to dissolve and allow cooling.
The Perfect Margarita Cocktail-7 Essential Tips:
- Essential Tip #1: Select Appropriate Glassware. The glassware you choose should suit the theme of your event, your budget, and be washable and durable; whether you choose a classic stemmed margarita glass, a simple tumbler glass or tall highball glass. If it’s an outdoor pool party, perhaps the wisest way to go is with non-breakable plastic, acrylic or polycarbonate, keeping your guests’ bare feet, safe.
- Essential Tip #2: Select Quality Tequila. 100% de Agave Tequila-also known as 100% Puro de Agave Tequila, is distilled from 100% Blue Agave. This tequila is preferable over Mixto Tequila, which is made with up to 49% caramelized-sugars. Now, it’s time for you to decide which 100% de Agave Tequila to choose from.
- Check for spirits reviews on brands if you aren’t sure which one to purchase, such as www.tequila.net.
- Now decide between a blanco tequila-also called silver or plata- reposado or anejo tequila.
- Remember, that blanco tequilas will largely be unaged, so these will cost less as well. The longer a spirit ages in the barrel, generally the more expensive it becomes. Personally, I would choose either blanco or reposado tequila for my margarita cocktail. I actually prefer reposado, which imparts additional subtle richness, depth and complexity into a margarita, since reposado means the tequila has been “rested” in used oak barrels, for less than a year.
- By law, there are 5 designated states of tequila production in Mexico: Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas, with each region and distillery producing tequila with subtle and not-so-subtle differences. Taste and decide if you prefer the elegance, sweetness and minerality of a highland-style tequila or the herbaceous, robustness of a lowland-style tequila.
- Essential Tip #3: Choose Quality Modifiers. A modifier is often a sweet liqueur, which complements the tequila in your margarita cocktail, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau, versus the less expensive, artificially-flavored, triple sec.
- Essential Tip #4: Use the Freshest Ingredients. Personally, I don’t buy into products and mixers with preservatives, additives, artificial coloring and flavoring. Cut a fresh lime in half and fresh squeeze the juice, a la minute, in a lime press-it’s as simple as that! The fresh citrus will brighten your margarita cocktail and leave you and your guests, wanting more, with no artificial aftertaste!
- Essential Tip #5: Balanced Flavors. Things to look for…Does the tequila shine through beautifully when you drink it? Is there a nice firm acidity, but it’s not too tart? Is the margarita too sweet and needs more acid? Does the cocktail make you want to drink more of it? Balancing flavors in a margarita cocktail is like having the perfect amount of toppings on your pizza. When prepared correctly, the experience is harmonious and delicious!
- Essential Tip #6: To Salt or Not to Salt. This is the question. Personally, I don’t care for salt in my margarita, so don’t assume everyone does, if you do. If you must, kosher salt the outside rim of only half the glass. This will add a nice visual element, while giving you and your guests, the option to partake.
- Essential Tip #7: Quality ice. Shake your margarita cocktail with fresh ice for 10-15 seconds, and strain it over fresh ice for serving. Choose solid ice cubes that are larger, and avoid hollow cubes and chips of ice, as these will melt quickly. A certain amount of dilution is desirable to harmonize flavors, but too much dilution is reproachable, creating a watered-down version of Margarita, herself.
With a drive for learning and experimenting with flavors, Patricia has received several accolades in the mixology world to include a silver medal in the 2006 Bacardi Martini Grand Prix in Torino, Italy, 2008 nomination by Beverage Analyst Magazine, as one of the top ten, trend-setting mixologists in the country, first place winner of the 2009, Sante Iron Bar Chef competition, first place winner of the 2010, National Milagro Margarita and National Finlandia Vodka Competitions and 2011, first place nod by Ask Men.com, as the Top Female Bartender in the country! When not working, Patricia enjoys hiking, nature, food, wine, travel, adventure, beauty and love. For more cocktail tips and recipes, visit Patricia at www.patriciarichards.biz