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The Ultimate Tips For Making Margaritas

After enduring a freezing February under lockdown, many of us could do with a stiff drink. That’s why here at Erudus we’re following our friends across the Atlantic and celebrating National Margarita Day! Basically a summer party in a glass, it’s the perfect cocktail for looking forward to happier times to come. So grab a glass and read on for our top tips to making the perfect margarita. Salud!

What is a margarita?

A margarita is a tequila-based cocktail associated with Mexican cuisine. There are many theories about its origin, but a famous story involves an adaptation of the ‘Daisy’ cocktail. During prohibition many Americans ventured over the border to Mexico for their alcohol supply, and so the brandy in the Daisy was frequently substituted with tequila. Margarita, of course, is the Spanish word for daisy.

What is in a margarita?

The ingredients in a margarita are

  • Tequila
  • Triple Sec (more traditionally Cointreau)
  • Lime juice
  • Salt
  • Ice (cubed, for shaking)

Are there any allergens in a margarita?

There are not usually any of the 14 major food allergens in a margarita. Tequila is a pure, distilled liquor that generally contains no Cereals containing Gluten and little Sulphur Dioxide. However, margaritas contain large amounts of citrus, and citrus fruit is an allergen on the rise so those with a citrus allergy or intolerance should avoid the cocktail.

Tequila is made from the blue agave plant

Are margaritas vegan?

Yes, margaritas are vegan because none of the ingredients involve animal products. Tequila is made from the piña (heart) of the blue agave, which is a succulent plant native to Mexico. Good quality tequila does not include any other ingredients, though some brands prefer to certify themselves vegan so that those on a plant-based diet can be assured.

Cointreau is also vegan, and the company has publicly declared it does not include any animal-derived ingredients either.

Lime, salt and ice contain no animal products whatsoever.

Tips for the perfect margarita

  • Never use a cheap tequila if you can help it. Good quality tequila makes all the difference to the taste of your cocktail. Tequila should be made using 100% agave - most brands are more than happy to indicate this on their packaging, and if they don’t it’s likely they also contain artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners.
  • When selecting limes, look out for skin that’s soft and shiny. Their juice makes for the best margaritas.
  • Lime juice is naturally acidic, but if you want to make the flavour less harsh simply ensure your limes are squeezed out at least 4 hours before use.
  • Give your lime a good roll before juicing. It’ll loosen it up.
  • Be strict with your ingredient ratios - your mixture should include twice as much tequila as lime juice, and half that again of triple sec.
  • When measuring ingredients for your margarita use a jigger (measuring device) so that your ratios are correct and flavours perfectly balanced.
  • Never use crushed ice to shake your margarita - it will dilute and weaken your drink. You want to use as large ice cubes as possible.
  • Make your own ice rocks by freezing water in a plastic bag and then chipping off chunks. This should give you larger ice crystals than you’ll get from a tray, and reduce the risk of weak margarita.
  • It’s very important to shake the mixture thoroughly with ice. Not only is this especially necessary with acidic juices such as lime, but the process creates the tiny air bubbles that give margaritas their distinctive frothy texture.
  • To make it easier to salt your glass rim, chill the glass prior to use. It makes the drink even colder (and therefore nicer) too.
  • To salt the rim of a margarita glass, rub a lime wedge along the glass edge and then dab carefully in salt.
  • It’s definitely worth splashing out on coarse sea salt - not only does it look better than table salt, it tastes better with the drink too.
  • Try rimming only half the glass with salt to avoid the salt overpowering the drink’s flavours. It’s also worth bearing in mind that not everyone likes salt with their drink.
  • Ignore any advice to garnish your margarita with a lime wedge - it’ll add more lime juice to the drink and throw off the careful ingredient ratio.
  • If you don’t have a margarita glass, use a champagne coupe - they have a similar shape and it’s thought the margarita glass is derived from the champagne coupe.

Now get squeezing those limes... happy drinking!

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