May 3, 2012

Muy Sabrosas Margaritas

My Uncle David makes the best margaritas.  I always loved visiting his farm in Tennessee, where he and my aunt had cocktail hour at 6:00 every evening.  At least once during our visits, David would make a pitcher of his infamous margaritas.

His recipe is like a family heirloom.  Once at a wedding shower for one of my friends, the guests were asked to bring their favorite recipe written on a recipe card for the bride-to-be. My mom, who was not known to be a great cook, brought the margarita recipe.  No one was surprised.

When I asked Uncle David for the recipe a couple years ago, this is what he sent:
Start with a larger container than you think you'll need.
Add 1 unit of good tequila.
Add 1/2 unit of triple sec.
Whatever amount you then have, add half that amount of orange juice.
Whatever amount you then have, add an equal amount of good margarita mix (Cuervo, for example; the cheap shit is a sugary mess).
Add one small bottle club soda.
Adjust strength by adding more than 1 unit of tequila; above is the minimum tequila for more sedate gatherings.
Rub rims with lemon, lime, or orange wedges.
Salt rims.  (People who request "no salt" for health reasons should be asked to leave.)
Fill glass as full as possible with ice.
Squeeze in three lemon, lime, or orange wedges over the ice, leaving one of those squoozed wedges in the glass.
Shake the margaritas until you get foam.
Pour over the ice.
The most difficult part of following David’s recipe is the mathematics involved in figuring out units and half units. Here are the actual measurements I used for a pitcherful:
3 cups good tequila (reduce to 2 cups for a sedate gathering)
1 cup of triple sec
1 ½ cups orange juice (freshly squeeze is preferable)
4 ½ cups margarita mix * (see recipe below)
1 cup club soda
* The key to a really good margarita is homemade sweet & sour mix.  The margarita mixes you can buy are made with high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavorings, and preservative chemicals.  It’s easy--and tastier--to make your own.

To make enough margarita mix for one pitcher, you’ll need 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lime juice. Make a simple syrup by heating the sugar and water together in a saucepan over medium heat just until the sugar melts.  Turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature.  Then add the lemon & lime juices.


Anonymous said...


This might be my favorite post thus far of your blog-areer. Thanks!

John B.

Kelly @ Barbaric Gulp! said...

Thanks, John! :-)