Friday, May 4, 2018

The Perfect Margarita, According to Me

Mastering the Margarita requires a certain amount of practice, which is the good news and the bad news, but once you dial-in your perfect ratio, it’s a really easy cocktail to replicate. The classic recipe is three parts tequila, two parts triple sec, and one part freshly squeezed lime juice, and you should probably start off pretty close to that, but my personal favorite proportions are 4-3-2, as you’ll see listed below.

For the best results, be sure to use fresh ice, and of course fresh limes, as well as a nice bottle of triple sec, like Cointreau. That’s my favorite, but if you browse other recipes, you’ll see there are many fine choices. You’ll also want to use a decent white tequila, like the Don Abraham's Single Estate Blanco Tequila I enjoyed, but having said that, feel free to use one with a shorter name.

The other big tips here are shake your cocktail mixer until frost forms on the outside, and then strain it over fresh ice. The ice we use to make the drink will melt too fast in the glass, and so a large, still frozen cube is the way to go. By the way, Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow, so check those ice cube trays before bed.

So whether you’re going to make these for the 5th of May, or another time this summer when you feel like sipping on one of the most refreshing, and delicious adult beverages ever invented, I really do hope you give this Margarita a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 1 Perfect Margarita:
2 ounces white tequila
1.5 ounces triple sec
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1 thin slice of lime
- Some like to add a dash agave nectar for a little extra sweetness, but I do not.

22 comments:

Bill said...

I start with the citrus juice -- measure that, and scale the bottled ingredients in proportion.

I also zest the citrus, and infuse the zest in the juice for a few hours before making the drink.

Frank said...

I promise to keep practicing until It's perfect.

ecacoast said...

Thank you Bartender John, always enjoy a simple Margarita on the rocks! Too many frozen 'cocktails' filled with sugar out there nowadays.

mike gunn said...

"For the best results, be sure to use fresh ice"


?????

Jim Phillips said...

This is the perfect Margarita recipe. Simple three ingredient cocktail. Hugo's in Houston uses this same recipe. Most establishments use some version of a bottled pre-made lime mixture which is just awful.

Alex Weber said...

Yum! Thanks, Chef John

σπάνια Μέλισσα said...

-60 ml Tequila
-15 ml Quantro
-20 ml Lime juice
-20 ml Lemonade
try it...

rotunder said...

@Mike Gunn - He mentions in the video that you should use ice made recently, as opposed to some ice that has been in the freezer for the past 6 months.

Jay M. said...

Perfect. Great flavor, light and refreshing. Main problem was they were so good I had too many! Riding the struggle bus all day today!

Daniel L said...

Chef John,
Could you post a collard greens recipe? That’s my food wish!

Robert Etheredge said...

I like squeezing the lime juice several hours before making the drinks. Maybe even 10 hours or so. I think letting the juice sit removes some astringency and sharpness and the drinks taste smoother. I have no idea why. Maybe it's like letting red wine breath or something or maybe it's all in my head. What do you think Chef?

Ken Mott said...

@mike gunn, yes, fresh ice, as in recently frozen. As John stated in the video if you use ice that has been in the freezer for months your Perfect Margarita will have a distinct freezer-burn after taste.

Lindsay Hout said...

Chef John,

Really enjoyed this recipe. We are used to using margarita mix, but I have never really found the perfect recipe. We first tried your recipe, exactly as you showed. It was delicious. It was definitely a very pure tasting margarita. However, we did want a little more sweetness, so we ended up adding a little margarita mix. Our final recipe was 2 oz each of tequila, triple sec and margarita mix plus 1 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice.

While we did end up changing the recipe, we never would have found our perfect ratio without watching your video. Thank you so much for your passion. We have watched you for years, and have in turn enjoyed many fine dishes and beverages because of your work.

Thank you.

Eugene Cacciatore said...

I Drank 4 of these between making tacos through dinner. I was on my ass by the time it came to cleaning dishes. The wife kicked me out here

of the kitchen after I started singing mexican song ai yai yai yai

Michael Williams, D.O. said...

Not bad for a cali

CaseyRocky said...

Bill, i zest too because i like the color and a whiff of lime scent just before the liquor hits my lips, but what does infusing do? I zest lime on blueberry smoothies for the same reason. If there were a way to use the peels and pith for something I’d use that too. I always use lava salt because the black is cool.

Gregory Soave said...

Miker, I think he means don't use Ice that has been sitting in your freezer because it picks up flavors from the freezer after a while.

philogaia said...

I've made fresh lime three ingredient margaritas for years. Your ratio is different than mine. I have more lime juice but I'm convinced it is really difficult to make a bad margarita when you stick with the basics. I did find when I was in Mexico that first of all no bartender there has ever heard of margarita mix. There is a huge bowl of Mexican (aka Key) limes on every bar and every bartender wields a mean lime press. Also some of them use some orange juice which I just loved. Oranges in the states taste like cardboard but using tangerines or mandarins gets you close. I will sometimes put those in mine. I'm glad to see the gospel of the proper margarita spread further.

Edward said...

I've started making margaritas with 5 parts of Tequila, 3 parts of fresh lime juice and 2 parts of organic agave syrup with a generous teaspoon of blood orange puree. I also use a shaker.

Marijane said...

I go to an authentic Mexican restaurant that makes really good margaritas. For the citrus part they use a mix of orange and lime juice (ratio: two limes juiced for every 1 orange). Use only about 2 oz. in each drink. I think they use simple syrup for sweetness and skip the triplesec. I’ve made the Chef John’s recipe many times and I love it too! The tequila, triplesec lime juice ratio is perfect for my husband and I.

Jonathan said...

Started making these a few weeks ago as a special treat for my lady and now she has the whole family drinking them on the regular. My Dad, a former bartender, loves them and my non drinking mother REQUESTS THEM. Thinking of adding a touch of orange or mandarin sometime in the near future, if for no other reason than to reduce my trips to the store for fresh limes.

Unknown said...

Perfect recipe the only change I did was to use tanjin seasoning instead of salt around the glass its awesome