With National Margarita Day (22nd February 2021) right around the corner, there is no better time to brush up on your mixology skills. In fact, the popularity of margaritas and other classic cocktails has led to an increase in tequila interest around the world by 28 per cent, according to a report by Bacardi Limited.
Tart, tangy and sweet, the margarita is one of the world’s most beloved cocktails, so it’s not a surprise that there’s an entire day devoted to the delightfully drinkable libation.
Chances are, you’ll be throwing back a glass or two when the clock strikes 5pm. So, we’ve asked the drink experts at The Bottle Club to reveal their hidden secrets to the perfect margarita, the best tequila to use and how you can upgrade the classic cocktail.
Here are five tips to level up your margarita mixology skills
1. Shaken not stirred
Whether your drink should be shaken or stirred, all depends on the ingredients used within your cocktail recipe. Margaritas contain citrus juice, which means these cocktails should be shaken to ensure the ingredients are properly blended together.
Shaking with ice gives your margarita a distinct cloudy and frothy appearance, and ensures that your cocktail isn’t going to be flat and limp.
2. Avoid concentrated and cheap tequila
Since the margarita’s principal flavour is tequila, it’s crucial to make sure you’ve got the best stuff you can get your hands on. Find a tequila bottle labelled 100% agave, anything less and you’ll find that it’s mostly sugar.
Patron Silver Tequila has delicious flavours including fruit, citrus and light pepper, and is our recommendation for the ultimate margarita. The mellow counterparts within the spirit tend to taste better inside margarita as opposed to a darker tequila.
But for a slightly more affordable alternative try Cazcabel Tequila Blanco, with an earthy tone and a fresh, citrus edge. The subtle flavouring within the spirit doesn’t overwhelm the other components within the margarita when many different tequilas do.
3. Fresh ingredients will elevate your cocktail
Using fresh ingredients for your margarita will take it up a notch. Instead of using pre-bottled lime juice, opt for freshly squeezed. Lime juice is easy to prepare with a citrus juicer, making it easy if you are making a larger pitcher of margaritas.
If you’re creating a flavoured margarita, all fruit within the cocktail should be freshly squeezed and blended. This is the secret to creating a cleaner tasting and more refreshing cocktail.
4. Level up your salted rim
It isn’t just salt that can go around your margarita glass rim. Sure salt is the staple classic for rimming the cocktail glass, but why not be more creative?
For the adventurous kind, crushed candy is a great way to add some fun to your cocktail glass. You can use any type of sweets you have to hand. Simply crush them in a bowl and coat your glass rim in a sticky liquid such as syrup, honey or melted chocolate and dunk into the sweets.
Spices are another way to elevate any margarita. You can use chilli powder, ginger salt and cayenne pepper to upgrade the rim of your cocktail glass.
When creating a flavoured rim around your glass, be extra cautious as excess flavouring can fall into your cocktail, throwing off its flavours and balance.
5. Take things up a notch with your flavouring
Margaritas are good any way you shake them, but this day is an excellent excuse to experiment with all kinds of flavour combinations. Whether you’re craving something sweet or spicy, there is a wide array of ingredients that go hand in hand with the classic margarita.
If you’re feeling adventurous, turn up the heat by adding chopped jalapenos into your mixture. Topped off with lime, this is both sweet and savoury and is super refreshing over ice.
Adding the jalapeno juice straight from the jar is what really gives the cocktail life, just add one tablespoon. But be careful not to overpower the batch with too much spice, as you will lose the margarita’s key flavouring.
For those with a sweet tooth, when it comes to flavour and fun new twists that will keep you sipping your way into summer, we recommend starting with fresh fruit as it’s the most natural sweetener and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Give your cocktail a tropical twist by adding pineapple or mango juice – or if you prefer a blended margarita, use frozen fruit instead, and blend until liquid consistency. If you fancy a more seasonal flavouring, why not try blood orange, apple or even ginger?