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Margaritas

Everyone loves a great margarita and there are a lot of opinions on what makes a great margarita! With Cinco de Mayo coming soon I thought I would share some ideas and my favorite recipe for pre-mixing a big batch.

A classic margarita is typically made with: tequila, fresh lime, a touch of simple syrup or agave, and triple sec or orange liqueur.  But who wants to be doing all that individual drink measuring when you can just whip up a pre-batch in advance and then have it ready for whenever your ready to shake one up! Another plus when you pre-batch is that each margarita is consistent.

The recipe I am sharing with you is made with a little mezcal. I love that little smokiness that it adds to the drink, but if you’re not a mezcal fan then just substitute with more tequila.

The choice of tequila brand and style is up to you, whether you prefer a blanco or a reposado. Sometimes I mix 2 styles together for added layers of flavor.

Cointreau is my preference for an orange liqueur but you can also substitute a good quality triple sec as well.

But most important is that you use fresh squeezed lime juice, and be sure to bring your limes to room temp before squeezing. (Limes can be super expensive at the grocery store so I recommend going to a “Cash & Carry or Smart & Final” restaurant wholesaler and picking up a few bags of limes there). Speaking of squeezing, if you don’t have a hand squeezer then get one, they are inexpensive and totally worth it.

Next is the sweetener. I like to use a combination of house-made simple syrup and Monin Agave Nectar. But you can use all simple syrup, too.

And last but not least, let’s talk about salt rims, some people like them and some don’t.

I’m 50/50 and like a half rim of salt, my preference being kosher salt. One of my favorite rimmers is made with 1 part Fresh Origins Fine Hibiscus Crystals and 1 part Diamond Kosher Salt… tasty and pretty too!  Or you can just add a tiny sprinkle to the top of your drink.

So starting shaking and cheers to a great margarita! –Kathy

Smoky Margarita Pre-Batch
Makes about 25.5  oz – or 1 750 ml bottle, about 6 cocktails

8 oz (1 cup) Tequila
4 oz (1/2 cup) Mezcal
1 1/2 oz Cointreau
6 oz (3/4 cup) simple syrup (or use 1/2 cup simple syrup + 1/4 cup Monin Organic Agave Nectar)
6 oz (3/4  cup) fresh squeezed lime juice

To make the pre-batch: Combine all ingredients into a pitcher and stir. Funnel into a 750 ml glass bottle. Cap and store refrigerated until ready to use. Store refrigerated up to 10 days.

When ready to serve: Measure 4 ounces (1/2 cup) Smoky Margarita Mix into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice, cap and shake. Pour into a glass. Twist a fat orange peel over the top if desired and garnish with a lime wheel.

Recipe and Photo © Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen.

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