National Margarita Day, No Pantalones

The worst thing that can happen is that you drink a bunch of tequila and forget what you put in the amazing cocktail you had the night before.

The best thing about margaritas is that you don’t need pants to drink them. I may enjoy patio drinking just as much as the next man, but there are some real perks to drinking at home. Namely, no pants. Let’s continue. While we have our whiskey and wine, I believe that there is no better drink to make at home than a margarita because you have a full pantry to mess with. It may be a little bit of work up front, but all you need are the essentials- and from that point, it’s a blank canvas. So, with it being National Margarita Day, I have here my take on constructing some fucked up margaritas that will have you drinking happily on the comfort of your couch, wearing only a poncho.

Let’s start with the standard mise en place (by the way, how do you say that in Mexican?). You will need tequila, salt, a quality orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Ma), 10 limes, 5 lemons, an oxford comma, and about 1/2 an hour. The comma is for a break after squeezing the juice out of the fruit; it always gets me a little winded. You will want to roll the fruit with the heel of your hand to release some of the sweet limey nectar before squeezing. Aim for a little over 2 cups after all is said and done, sans pulp, and store juice in a 750ml bottle in the fridge while you get a breather. This would also be great time to clean up the big fucking mess you just made.

Now, you can explore the inner depths of the fridge and pantry to make this drink worthy of shedding your pants. I wouldn’t say anything goes, but use your imagination. For instance, you will probably want to avoid the peanut butter and bonito flakes, but the produce drawer and your spice rack are fair game. What you are trying to achieve is a modifier that takes a normal margarita (with a heavy component of sour) to a slightly sweeter and more interesting place. It’s always good to have some simple syrup on hand just in case you can’t find anything especially sweet in a liquid form hanging around to introduce (also note that you’ll want to fortify that freshly squeezed juice to make it last longer in your fridge, so make a batch of simple syrup and add about a cup to your 750ml bottle after you’re done messing around). It really is that simple; play around, experiment. The worst thing that can happen is that you drink a bunch of tequila and forget what you put in the amazing cocktail you had the night before.

The Base (this will make a kick-ass marg on its own, just add a few bar spoons of agave nectar to sweeten):

  • 2 oz blanco tequila (I used Piedra Azul. Don’t use anything that is not 100% blue agave)
  • 3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime-lemon juice mixture
  • 1/2 oz orange liqueur

Here lie the recipes including the margarita modifiers. Once you get the base amounts in the mixer, you’ll be able to ballpark how much more stuff you can add. Just remember, a little is a lot.

Spicy Colorado Chokecherry Margarita

  • 2 oz blanco tequila
  • 3/4 oz lime-lemon juice mixture
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 oz Colorado chokecherry syrup
  • 2 slices cucumber
  • ‘smidgen’ of cayenne pepper

Just the right amount of fruit to not get lost in the sour of the citrus juice, and the cool cucumber tames the cayenne a bit while still bringing the heat. If you are uncomfortable drinking a pink margarita, this is not for you. Maybe a Bud Light with Pitbull is a better option.

Method: Throw the cucumber slices in a cocktail shaker with the syrup and muddle. Add remaining ingredients to shaker, introduce ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into ice-filled glass with a salted rim.

Aztec Coffee Margarita

  • 2oz blanco tequila (after rethinking this one, I’d go reposado next time)
  • 3/4 oz lime-lemon juice mixture
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 oz Richardo’s Decaf Coffee Liquor
  • 2 dashes Fee Brother’s Aztec Chocolate Bitters
  • ‘smidgen’ of cayenne pepper

I know what you’re thinking, “what the fuck is coffee doing in my margarita?” It sounds weird, and lime juice in theory doesn’t really belong near anything coffee-flavored. But somehow, it works quite well. Now I feel like painting my face, going to war and then building some pyramid structures.

Method: Add ingredients to shaker, introduce ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into ice-filled glass. I’d skip the salt on this one, but that’s just me.

There you have it. Now get creative and lose those pants. Here are some pictures if words aren’t your thing.

margarita-day

About Jim Halligan


Jim is a modern day conquistador. When not teaching his three parrots to speak Italian, he spends time poking flags in things and calling them his own.