Viva Mexico! In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, it's time to bring out the sombreros and serve your tacos with muy caliente sauce — just make sure to have some ice-cold alcoholic beverages ready to cool things back down.
And what better cocktail to serve on this festive day than the classic margarita?
Although many of us know it as a day to take shots of tequila while hosting an annual Mexican-themed party, Cinco de Mayo actually has a history that is filled with patriotism. The day does not celebrate Mexican independence, but rather is a day to commemorate winning the Battle of Puebla that took place on May 5, 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War.
Whether we have Mexican heritage or are Mexican for the day, no Cinco de Mayo party is complete without pitchers of margaritas. And how can we resist a fiesta dedicated to drinking?
Whether you like them frozen, on the rocks, with some flavor, or salt or sugar rim, there are dozens of ways you can make a margarita. But how do you make the perfect one? We went on a quest to find how to make the perfect margarita just in time to serve them at your Cinco de Mayo bash.
What Is It?
A margarita is a tequila-based cocktail that includes a fruit-flavored cordial like triple sec, as well as lime and salt. Bartenders rub a slice of lemon around a margarita glass and rim it with salt. Flavored margaritas like mango or strawberry generally are served with a sugar rim. Margaritas can either be served on the rocks or frozen.
What's In It?
To make a margarita, you will need:
• Triple sec (Cointreau is recommended)
What Makes It Perfect?
Have you ever ordered a margarita only to find it tastes like lemonade from a box you were served as a kid? Or maybe you woke up the next morning with a pounding headache that can only be blamed on the lousy, bottom-shelf bottle.
To make a perfect margarita, you need the perfect tequila. Your tequila should be distilled from 100 percent agave, which will be indicated on the bottle's label. Always use blanco (clear) tequila since it is un-aged or aged only for a short period of time.
Limes are just as important as the tequila. Make sure you use real lime juice instead of the liquid that comes from those plastic lime containers or from other sour mixes.
How To Make It
Now that you know what ingredients go into making your margarita perfect, it's time to learn how to actually make the cocktail. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Prepare your glass with a salt rim and squeeze limes for fresh lime juice and wedges to use as a garnish.
Fill the cocktail shaker with 1-1/2 oz. of blanco, 100 percent agave tequila, followed by 1/2 ounce of triple sec, and 1 oz. of fresh lime juice. The recommended orange-flavored liqueur, Cointreau, is basically a top-shelf triple sec that is 80 proof instead of 30 proof.
Shake the cocktail shaker and strain the chilled mixture into a glass with ice with a lime wedge to create a margarita on the rocks.
If you or your guests prefer your margarita frozen, follow the same instructions, only pour the mixture into a blender and then fill your glasses after the icy slush is mixed. However, drinking them frozen makes it harder to actually taste the deliciousness, so try to serve them over ice instead to appreciate the fine flavors — and your efforts.
If you don't trust your bartending skills and tend to over- or under-pour, you can always check out the Perfect Drink scale and accompanying app that instructs you how to precisely make drinks. If you have a heavy pouring hand, the app will readjust the recipe so you create the best-tasting drink each time. The Perfect Drink retails at $49.99, and the app's latest update comes with a Cinco de Mayo pack.
We tested the Perfect Drink to make our perfect margaritas. See how they are made below.
Photo: Prayitno | Flickr