How to Make a Margarita

When it comes to drinking Tequila, there are two kinds of people: those who like to sip it straight, and those who love to mix. For the mixers, there is always the competition to come up with the best cocktails for your special occasions. There is nothing more special than marking a hot summer day with a good margarita. There is something about these frozen drinks that have always been a crowd pleaser. Here are a few tips on how to make a margarita that will be sure to please them all.

Where to begin:

A good margarita begins with a good tequila. While there are countless brands and styles of tequila to choose from, choose carefully.  No matter how good your mix is, if your Tequila is sub-par, your margarita will follow suit.  A good tequila does not need to be an expensive one.  A good tequila is nearly or completely free of preservatives, is distilled correctly ( RocknRollTequila.com/How-to-make-a-Margarita ), and is made from a company that does not cut corners.  A good tequila will have a smooth flavor without a sharp bite. If you want to learn how to make a margarita great, then you need the flavor to blend into your Margarita, not overpower it.

Aside from possible additional flavoring, your tequila should have very few ingredients in it.  Tequila is made from Agave nectar, Blue Agave if it is directly from the Jalisco region of Mexico. The flavor comes from its distilling process, not from added ingredients. Choose a tequila that is processed with the original distilling process when you are learning how to make a margarita. Flavored tequilas should still be made from the same process; the flavoring is added for a unique taste, not to mask a poor distilling process.

But remember:

Silver or white tequila is not aged. It is distilled and then sold. It's a stronger-tasting tequila, and it is also the most popular choice of tequila for cocktails. Reposado and Anjeo tequila get their color from their aging process. The longer the aging, the darker the tequila and the smoother taste. Reposado is a smoother drink, used for mixing or sipping.  Anjeo, having been distilled the longest, is very smooth and is generally reserved as a sipping beverage. These are important distinctions to note when you are learning how to make a margarita the right way because the differences can have a big impact on the taste combinations you choose.

Once you have your tequila, there are some unique recipes that will help you learn how to make a margarita.

Prickly Pear Margaritas

Recipe courtesy of Tiffani Thiessen

Ingredients

•  Coarse pink salt, for rimming glasses

•  1 lime wedge

•  3 cups freshly squeezed lime juice

•  3 cups silver tequila

•  2 cups prickly pear syrup

•  1 cup orange liqueur, such as triple sec

Directions

How to make the margarita: in a small, shallow plate, add the pink salt. Rub the rims of 10 margarita glasses with the lime wedge and then dip the rims into the salt. Fill a pitcher with ice, then add the lime juice, tequila, prickly pear syrup and orange liqueur. Stir, then strain into the prepared glasses.

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita

Recipe courtesy of Michael Symon

Ingredients

•  1/2 cup fresh lime juice

•  1/2 cup white tequila

•  1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

•  1/4 cup simple syrup, or more as needed

•  4 thin slices cucumber

•  1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise

•  Ice, for serving

•  Salt for glass rims, optional

Directions

How to make the margarita: mix together the lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup, cucumber, and jalapenos in a large pitcher. Chill for at least 1 hour (the longer the margarita sits, the more the cucumber and jalapeno flavors infuse into the drink). Serve over ice in salt-rimmed glasses, if desired.

Whether you are sipping or mixing, tequila is a great beverage when you know how to make a margarita using the proper ingredients.  Next time you are considering cocktails for your summer party ( RocknRollTequila.com/our-brand ), or even just for a summer drink on a hot day, choose your tequila wisely and see how creative you can be with a great summer drink.

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