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How to Prepare the Perfect Margarita Cocktail: 7 Essential Tips

Perfect Margarita Cocktail

How to Prepare the Perfect Margarita Cocktail: 7 Essential Tips

Published: 09/10/2011 By Mixologist Patricia Richards

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Mixologist Patricia RichardsPatricia 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:

  1. Check for spirits reviews on brands if you aren’t sure which one to purchase, such as

  2. Now decide between a blanco tequila-also called silver or plata- reposado or anejo tequila.

  3.  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.

  4. 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.

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, 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

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