Merry companionship is practically guaranteed at the legendary Hussong's bar in Ensenada, especially after a couple of these tart (and very potent) margaritas. Made with fresh citrus juices and good blanco tequila, it’s a simple, classic recipe that will knock you on your can if you aren’t careful. While salting the margarita rim has become commonplace, heavy salt will actually detract from the drink; try a tiny dash of salt on the ice cubes or in the bottom of the glass. I love the subtle trick of salting only the inside of the rim, so your lips never touch salt. Sour mix is a bar staple, but most commercial bar stock is terrible stuff, full of flavorings and preservatives that shouldn’t cross your lips, much less sully a good drink. This homemade mix is well-balanced between tart and sweet, but leaning toward the tart, a logical counterpoint to tequila’s herbal kick. Fresh-squeezed juices are absolutely essential to the mix—don’t cut corners. (Remember, el flojo trabaja doble—the lazy person works twice as hard.) The work of juicing is a small price to pay for the most delicious drinks ever!
NotesMexican bartenders make their margaritas with a distinctively flavored orange liqueur called Controy, which is unfortunately not available in this country.
Room-temperature fruit yields more juice.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, game day
Taste and Texturefruity, sweet, tangy, tart
Type of Dishalcoholic beverage, beverage, cocktails
- Lime wedge
- Kosher salt
- 1 1?2 ounces 100 percent agave blanco tequila
- 3 ounces fresh sweet and sour mix (recipe follows)
- 3?4 ounce orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Citronage
- 3?4 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
- Ice cubes
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 2 cups filtered water
For the Fresh Sweet and Sour Mix:
Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate. Depending on the sweetness of the fruit, you may want to add a little more sugar or water, but keep a nice tart edge. Use within 24 hours.
For the Margarita Sol:
Carefully run the wedge of lime around the inside rim of a 12-ounce tumbler (for rocks) or a 10-ounce martini glass, then dunk the glass onto a saucer of kosher salt to create a thin line of salt around the inside rim only. Shake off excess.
Combine the tequila, sour mix, liqueur, and orange juice in a glass shaker filled with ice. Cap tightly, shake vigorously for 15 seconds, and strain over fresh ice cubes into the rocks glass, or straight up into the martini glass.
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