Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are

How to Make the Perfect Margarita

However you decide to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, you should definitely consider a Margarita. You can take the agave spirit-based cocktail to the next level with a healthy dose of citrus and a bit of sweetener, along with perhaps a touch of salt.

Before the recent rise in cocktail culture, mangled margaritas were the norm. The most popular tequila-based drink in the U.S., this is a mixed drink that even the cheesiest, low-quality bars proffer. Some cheap tequila, no-name orange liqueur. ice and “sour mix,” swirled in a plastic cup is one of the most common offerings at all-inclusive resorts or other non-caring bar venues.

But the margarita has a richer history (though no one is exactly sure of its origin story), and deserves better than that. In search of the perfect version, we chatted with tequila aficionado Brian Sirhal, a longtime beverage director and manager of several Mexican restaurants in and around Philadelphia, each with more than 50 different tequilas in stock.

“There are two really important factors in a great margarita,” Sirhal says. “Quality liquor, and fresh fruit juice. Do not, under any circumstances, use a pre-made, artificially flavored sour mix.” The two spirits in question are tequila (of course) and an orange liqueur, which is most commonly Triple Sec but could instead be something of higher quality, such as Cointreau, or even Grand Marnier. What about a salted rim? “That’s simply a matter of personal taste,” he adds, noting that in his restaurants he uses simple kosher salt.

Sirhal also turns away from the conventional blanco (un-aged) tequila, suggesting instead the more flavorful reposado, which has been barrel-aged between two months and a year. The recipe for one of his favorite versions, dubbed “La Bestia,” is below.

La Bestia Margarita

1½ oz. El Tesoro Reposado
½ oz. Patron Citronge
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
¼ oz. fresh lime juice
Simple syrup to taste

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with large cubes of ice and shake. If desired rim a glass with salt – either a coupe or a high ball. If serving “up,” strain into coupe glass. If serving on the rocks, pour into high ball. Take a sip, sit back, and enjoy the tropical harmony of flavors.

Photos by Danya Henninger


Tags: Cocktails, Spirits, Tequila
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Drinks Decoded: Piña Colada

Drinks Decoded: Piña Colada

This week’s Drinks Decoded takes on the Piña Colada....read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Aug 23, 2016
Green Flash Brewing Releases Treasure Chest 2016 to Fight Breast Cancer

Green Flash Brewing Releases Treasure Chest 2016 to Fight Breast Cancer

Once again this program will feature the annual release of Treasure Chest beer packaged in 22 oz. bottles acro...read more ›

by Carrie Dow Aug 22, 2016
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Dogs Now Have Their Own Non-Alcoholic Wine

Dogs Now Have Their Own Non-Alcoholic Wine

Now, dog lovers can share in the joy of drinking with their pet, as Apollo Peak has finally released dog wine....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Aug 16, 2016
Dogfish Head's Newest Beer Is Nautically Inspired

Dogfish Head's Newest Beer Is Nautically Inspired

What could say 'summer in Charm City' more than a partnership between a beach-based brewing company from neighboring Delaware and Baltimore's notable ...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Aug 16, 2016
D.C.'s Best Speakeasy Bars

D.C.'s Best Speakeasy Bars

Whether you're looking for a great date spot or a quiet place to grab a fancy drink with a few friends, speakeasy-style bars are a great option...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Aug 16, 2016
Where to Drink With Your Dog in D.C.

Where to Drink With Your Dog in D.C.

Summer weather means patio weather and only one thing can make drinking outside better - drinking outside with your pup....read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Aug 9, 2016
Matthew McConaughey's Newest Role Is With Wild Turkey

Matthew McConaughey's Newest Role Is With Wild Turkey

Matthew McConaughey is a lot of things: an actor, a musician, and now, the creative director for Wild Turkey Bourbon....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Aug 3, 2016
Things No One Asked For: A Plastic Bat That Doubles as a Beer Bong

Things No One Asked For: A Plastic Bat That Doubles as a Beer Bong

The Thirstbat, a product you definitely never asked for, is finally here....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Aug 3, 2016
Best Washington, D.C. Brunch Drink Specials

Best Washington, D.C. Brunch Drink Specials

Whether you're trying to get the best of a hangover or simply celebrating the weekend with a bout of day drinking, these bars with breakfast sipping s...read more ›

by Drink DC Feb 10, 2014
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close