Do you go through cocktail phases? For a while, I was really obsessed with any cocktails made with sparkling wine—like this white sangria. Then it was my orange whiskey sour. And now, well, it’s margaritas baby. I can’t stop making them. Like, I have to really force myself to only mixing up this margarita recipe on the weekend.
Every time I make one I slurp it down so fast—which is saying a lot from someone who doesn’t usually drink cocktails. When I’m at home I like to pour myself some wine, or a simple glass of bourbon. I’m not one to mix a drink at home, and I rarely order cocktails at the bar. Yet while I’ve been in quarantine, something in my heart shifted. I find myself scouring my cookbooks and other sources for great cocktail recipes. And this one, well, I just had to share it.
This cocktail recipe is a result of the online class I taught on Instagram with a good friend of mine, Taylor Arnold. Taylor is a bartender in New York City, and to be quite honest, if he’s behind the bar I happily step out of my comfort zone and let him make me any cocktail he wants. He’s incredibly talented, and thanks to quarantine, he is now sharing some of his mixology secrets over on Instagram.
Any who, Taylor joined me on one of my live online classes and taught me how to make this margarita. After mixing our drinks we hung out for a few minutes on Instagram live catching up, and when we got off about 10 minutes later, I realized my drink was already gone. It’s that good.
Things to note about this margarita recipe:
Now, this margarita recipe is slightly different from what Taylor mixed on Instagram because I only had certain ingredients on hand. So I figured it was mentioning a few things before you start mixing up a drink of your own.
Use 100% blue agave tequila. This is a recommendation from Taylor in terms of the quality of your drink. Make sure to look out for this specific description on the tequila label for the best tasting margarita.
If you have Cointreau, use that instead. It’s the liquor that’s really best for a margarita, so definitely choose this over triple sec. However, if you’re like me and find yourself with a bottle of triple sec in your at-home bar, that will work perfectly fine! I mean it obviously still tastes good, given that I’m slurping down margaritas in less than 10 minutes.
Agave syrup is best, but simple syrup works. Taylor uses 1 oz. of agave syrup in his margarita recipe to sweeten it, but again, I didn’t have it. However, I’m not the biggest fan of super sweet cocktails, so I used 1/4 oz. of simple syrup instead. I’m a huge fan of Swoon, a natural sweetener made of monk fruit that actually doesn’t have any sugar in it! I use it in all of my cocktails, and since it has such a sweet taste, I don’t have to use a ton of it. Which means it will last me a while!
Treat yourself to some bartending toys
I mean, if you’re mixing cocktails at home, you might as well get yourself some gear!
- A jigger is great for measuring out ounces for your drinks. You could use tablespoons if you want (1 tablespoon is 1/2 an ounce), but trust me, having the jigger really makes a difference. This is the one we use, which I love because it has measurements on it.
- A cocktail shaker is helpful when you have drinks you want to strain. While you can easily mix it up with a large mason jar, having a cocktail shaker will honestly make straining your drinks a lot easier. Here’s the mason jar cocktail shaker I have, which I absolutely love.
- I can easily make ice for my cocktails using this silicone ice mold. For margaritas, I use the regular size ice mold, but for other cocktail drinks, we have these fancy large ice molds as well.
- Regular drinking glasses aren’t as fun for cocktails, right? I don’t have specific margarita glasses, but I love to pour my cocktails into tumblers, which I found at a thrift store. While I can’t find these exact ones online, I did find this great set of four tumblers on Amazon that are versatile for all kinds of mixed drinks.
Alright, here’s the margarita recipe! And if you’re in the mood for a frozen margarita instead, here’s my recipe for fresh frozen strawberry margaritas.
Also, make sure to go follow Taylor at @dontforgetthegarnish on Instagram for my cocktail inspiration. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
- 2 oz. tequila 100% blue agave
- 3/4 oz. triple sec or cointreau
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup
- 2 limes
- Cut a 1/4 wedge out of one of the limes. Run the lime along the rim of your glass.
- Lay down some salt on a flat surface, then press the juiced rim of the glass into the salt until coated all the way around.
- In a cocktail shaker (or a large mason jar) add the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and simple syrup. Plop in a few ice cubes.
- Seal and shake the cocktail in a circular motion (think bartender-style) for about 15 seconds.
- Add fresh ice into your margarita glass.
- Strain the margaritas into the glass. Do not add the shaken ice in it, use new fresh ice in the glass! This helps the margarita stay cold, and the ice won't melt quickly.
- Cut a lime circle out of the other lime, then make a small sliver in the circle. Add the lime garnish to the rim of your glass. Sip and enjoy!
Photos edited with Cocktail Hour in the Bright Brunch Lightroom Presets.