So, what’s wrong with this picture? Looks like a yummy Margarita on the rocks with salt, right? Well, this is not a Margarita that I would ever entertain paying good money for. It looks like little more than pond water in a glass.
What am I talking about? This is supposed to be a standard Margarita but someone has taken the extreme lazy way out and made it with some liquor store, supermarket or worst, liquor distributor bought pre-mix. Furthermore, the proportions are way off, there is no frothing agent and it’s not shaken. Now being a purist and an OCD Margarita snob, this drink at left strikes me as undrinkable.
After cheerfully greeting your patron, if Mr./Mrs. customer orders a Margarita from you, your next questions should be: (1) Would you like that on the rocks or straight up? (2) salt or no salt? (3) what kind of tequila would you like [as you rattle off or try to upsell them on finer-than-well stock]? I often go further and ask them if they’d like it (a) frozen or regular and (b) any particular flavor? Customers often don’t know what they want and/or they’d like to be sold. They also frequently want something specific but do not order properly (e.g., they’d like a frozen Margarita but simply assume you should know this). Asking will potentially save you time, embarrassment, lost liquor and subsequently, income.
Take a look at the Herradura Margarita on the right or the up version bellow. Better, aye? Yes indeed. All Margaritas (non-frozen) must be shaken – not rolled, not stirred but shaken unless your customer desires otherwise. Keep in mind that much like good eats, a good drink’s tastes consists of (1) taste (2) temperature and (3) texture [what many Margarita mixologists neglect].
Here’s the basic recipe:
- 1.5 – 2.0 oz tequila
- .5oz Triple Sec (or sub Orange Curacao or Cointreau)
- .5oz fresh lime juice (and/or Roses Lime Juice if you’re lazy, cheap, or spiteful)
- .5 – 1oz sour mix (equal parts lemon juice and simple syrup)
- 1 tsp. egg white (frothing agent). If you’re cheap, lazy, terrified of eggs or all three, you can cheap-out and just use commercial LemonX by the gallon in place of sour, simple and frothing agent.
- Glass: Highball, Martini or Sombrero
Additives: Contrary to rampant abusive Margarita butchery, they are not supposed to include O.J. or anything else than what I describe above. That does not mean that bars can’t invent their own drinks and have special variations/flavors – I don’t mean that at all. The issue I have is that many bartenders have been passed down bad habits, never learned the old school drink, and are trying to pass off their tricked out version of a Margarita as a basic one – no good when that’s not what I ordered or am expecting for my money. Furthermore, there is no Grand Marinier in a traditional Margarita. If you’ve asked for a “Cadillac” or “Golden Margarita,” then sure.
Cadillac Margarita - Add .5oz of Grand Marinier to your concoction before shaking.
Golden Margarita - Add .5oz of Grand Marinier as well but also use a “golden” tequila not white. Typically, you’ll want to use an Añejo or Reposado variety tequila as a base.