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Thread: Margarita-ing

  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Margarita-ing

    Tonight I made 3 margaritas, drinking small amounts of each.

    Each was made with a half lime squeezed, about half-ounce triple sec, 2 ounces tequila. Well stirred, no ice. After tasting each, I added a dash of Grand Marnier to each, which was a slight improvement.

    The first used a blend of tequilas I made which incorporates a South African tequila-like drink. This did not work well, due I think to that South African drink which has a very earthy flavor I find hard to like.

    The second used only 4 Copas Blanco. This was better, but the big vegetal flavor of tequila rang through and I am not used to it (I almost never drink tequila).

    The third one used only Herradura Reposado. This I liked the best. The tequila flavor was evident but seemed more refined, tamed. There were no earthy green pepper notes or rather they were much more subtle than in the other versions. With the Grand Marnier (just a light dash) this was an excellent drink and I am finishing that one.

    Gary

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Margarita-ing

    Chuck and I have posted our fondness for Herradura Reposado before. It is good straight up and makes an excellent margarita with just a slight bit of wood making itself known. BTW, a Heradura Margarita on the rocks with salt is my mother's one and only cocktail when made right. I usually make mine with the juice of several limes and add a little bar syrup for sweetness and use Grand Marnier if I have it. Always salted for me. Over ice in a low ball glass.

    Randy

  3. #3
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    Re: Margarita-ing

    Okay, margaritas have been a long standing #1 drink in our house for many years. I set out about a year ago to develop the worlds best margarita. In the opinion of my wife and all of my friends I have achieved this status. The key is making your own margarita mix. I squeeze my own limes and make my own simple syrup. In my quest I have come to realize that there is nothing more important than the margarita mix since these flavors tend to overpower the tequila and orange liqueur. Knowing I would be squeezing tons of limes, I went out and bought a Breville citrus press and it works awesome. Here are the step by step directions:

    1) Buy a pack (or two) of Costco limes & squeeze 'em all
    2) Buy a large bag of C&H granulated sugar for making your own simple syrup
    - Mix 1 part water to 2 parts sugar
    - Bring to a boil stirring constantly
    - Let cool and refrigerate (lasts forever)
    3) Mix the straight lime juice with the simple syrup to adjust to your taste preference balancing the same amount of sweet with the same amount of sour.
    4) Add spring water (if you want) to lime/sugar mixture to dilute mix down to your personal preference
    5) Chill the completed margarita mix overnight
    6) To make the margarita, mix the following:
    - 4 parts margarita mix
    - 2 parts tequia (blanco, reposado or a combination)
    - 1 part (or less, like I prefer) orange liqueur. I prefer Patron Citron liqueur since it is not as overpowering as Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

    Note #1 - I have tried expensive tequilas and expensive orange liquers and the end result is not any better than picking up mid shelf mellow-tasting 100% agave blanco or reposado tequilas (JC Traditional, Herradura and my new favorite Los Fernandez - $12 per 750ml) along with mid shelf orange liquers (Patron Citron or really any good inexpensive triple sec).

    Note #2 - If you want to try something a little different, buy some agave syrup and use this in conjunction with your simple syrup to sweeten your freshly made margarita mix to your preference.

    Note #3 - If you want frozen margaritas all you need to do is pour your freshly made margarita mix in ice cube trays and let freeze overnight. Throw about 8-10 cubes in the blender with 2 ounces of tequila and 1 ounce orange liqueur. Blend and BOOM! Awesome frozen margaritas without any big ice chunks! A party favorite!

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Margarita-ing

    I have done the homemade sweet-and-sour mix and it's good. Only caveat is that it doesn't keep very long, maybe two weeks at the outside. I've tried a few of the store-bought S&S mixes and like Mr. and Mrs. T ("I pity the poor fool who doesn't use my Sweet and Sour mix.") the best. Notice I prefer S&S mix to so-called margarita mix, though I'm not really sure what the difference is.

    I think what I may do next time the spirit moves me is make some simple syrup and use it with limes squeezed for the drink, rather than combining the lime juice with the simple syrup. That, I suspect, will provide just the right freshness and sweetness.

    I find that the drink does need that extra sweetness, which is a variation of the traditional recipe. In other words, I'm thinking the ideal would be the traditional recipe, using fresh lime juice, with a little simple syrup.

    I have been happy with generic triple sec. As for tequila, I love Herradura Reposado, as Randy mentioned, but for margaritas and even some straight sipping I consider Sauza Hornitos, a 100% agave reposado, to be a good substitute at about half the price.

  5. #5
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    Re: Margarita-ing

    Hornito's makes a good margarita. It has a little more pepper than what I like but it is very good and reasonably priced. There are other 100% agave tequilas out there that I feel make better margaritas and are less expensive than Hornito's (ie. Los Fernandez). My freshly made margarita mix (aka sweet & sour mix - same thing just marketing) lasts about 1 week when refrigerated. However, frozen cubes last much longer. I usually only make the mix for parties the day before and it never lasts longer than the event I made it for.

    For a spur of the moment margarita I will hand squeeze limes and mix my simple syrup/agave nectar on the spot. I always have plenty of simple syrup/agave nectar in my refrigerator in case I am in the mood...

  6. #6
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    Re: Margarita-ing

    I suspect that this is like the "worlds best martini", in that everyone has their own strong opinions as to how it should be done. My recipe is similar to yours though, to my tastes, the perfect margarita needs no simple syrup, or any sugar for that matter. Fresh limes, good tequila and Cointreau or GM.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  7. #7
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    Re: Margarita-ing

    Technically Sweet & Sour is Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Simple Syrup. Margarita Mix is Usually just Lime Juice and Simple Syrup.
    Joe

  8. #8
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    Re: Margarita-ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Joeluka View Post
    Technically Sweet & Sour is Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Simple Syrup. Margarita Mix is Usually just Lime Juice and Simple Syrup.
    You are correct but when you break everything down the limes/lemons are the sour and the sugar is the sweet. So margarita mix is really a sweet & sour mix. BTW - I have made my margarita mix with both lemons and limes and it tastes good as well.

  9. #9
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    Re: Margarita-ing

    Interesting way of looking at lemon and limes. I will agree with the "citrus" is sour but I bartend and every shift I make both sweet and sour and Margarita mix. I make them the two different ways I just stated. I guess this is just what Jeff meant in his post. All that really matters is how YOU like it and how YOUR guests enjoy it.

    Sometimes I'll squeeze a orange or two into my version of the "Sweet and Sour".

    I would love to get together for some Margarita's one day anyway. If your on Long Island PM me and we'll get together.
    Joe

  10. #10
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    Re: Margarita-ing

    G'day Guys...been reading this thread and taking in all your tips, Cheers!

    I am going to be making myself some margaritas using the advice/tips given. I've never been one for cocktails but I 'have' to sample some Tequila for work and so I thought about making the margaritas...great tips, thanks!

    TK.(Troy)




 

 

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