A Simple (and Perfect) Margarita Recipe for Men

I know what you’re thinking: Margaritas are girl’s drinks. And you are right, for the most part. What passes for a margarita in most bars is neon-green, over salted, heartburn-inducing garbage. But a margarita, when done right, can be not only a delicious, but classy (and even manly) drink.

With Cinco De Mayo just around the corner and Summer teasing it’s warm weather, you might be looking to show off your new knowledge of the finer side of tequila with a friendly tequila-themed get-together. No “Cinco De Drinko” party is complete without the salty-sweet summer spirit: The Margarita.

I know what you’re thinking: Margaritas are girl’s drinks. And you are right, for the most part. What passes for a margarita in most bars is neon-green, over salted, heartburn-inducing garbage. But a margarita, when done right, can be not only a delicious, but classy (and even manly) drink.

Before we get into the ingredients and preparation of a perfect margarita, let’s get a few ground rules down.

  • There is no such thing as a good pre-packaged mix (this one may be a good rule for everything else in your life, too). No good margarita was ever colored neon-green.
  • Triple Sec is optional (and overrated) when preparing a margarita.
  • Drink it on the rocks. Always.
  • Low-Ball and even Old Fashioned glasses are perfectly acceptable if you don’t enjoy drinking from margarita glasses.
  • Lemon is not an option. A margarita is always made with lime, and if you have the choice, always opt for key limes.
  • Don’t skimp on tequila. Even when it’s used as a mixer, good tequila is always called for.
  • Sea salt is always preferable to table salt.
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE (another good rule for everything else in your life).

Now that we’ve established some ground rules, let’s get into what goes into a perfect margarita.

You’ll need

  • 2-3oz. tequila of Choice (Silver or Reposado works best)
  • 3 key limes (or 1 regular lime)
  • Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice (optional)
  • Sea Salt
  • A few ice cubes

In a medium-sized shaker combine tequila, ice cubes, juice from 2-3 whole key-limes, a splash of fresh-squeezed orange juice and use agave nectar to sweeten to taste (try to limit it to 3 tbsp). Shake until ice is mostly dissolved. Glaze half of your cocktail glass’s rim with agave nectar and salt it lightly with sea salt. Serve on the rocks.

That’s it: Simple, clean, delicious, perfect. You’ll find that this drink won’t be as overly tart as most bar-quality margaritas, and the agave nectar really brings out the flavors and nuances of the tequila you choose. If the completed drink is a little too strong for your tastes, a little water is acceptable to break the intensity a bit. This drink will impress your friends, please the ladies and, best of all, taste great. Salud.

Ricardo E. Presas is a public speaking coach and educator who, when not workin' hard for The Man, is busy running his own freelance film and video production company in Texas. You can keep up with his most recent projects and ramblings by following him on twitter.com/ricardopresas.

  • John

    I’ll try this recipe, but I prefer a mote classic recipe. 3 parts tequila, 2 parts Contreau or Grand Mariner, and 1 part fresh lime juice. I’m hesitant to use honey like sweeteners like agave nectar and optional OJ. That might taste good, but it’s not a margarita.

  • ricardo

    John,

    I think you should definitely give the agave nectar a try. It’s very popular in maragaritas among even old fashioned mexicans like my family. I think you’ll find it’s very not-honey-like in the way it mixes and how light it tastes in the drink. Thanks for the comment :)

  • John

    Cool. Will do, especially on a hot summer day.

  • http://abetterhuman.blogspot.com Steven

    When juicing key limes, use a garlic press. It will provide more juice with less effort.

  • http://www.primermagazine.com Andrew

    Steven, That’s a great tip, thank you!

  • Joey

    That recipe sounds way too sweet. Margaritas are supposed to be tart. Key limes, agave nectar, orange juice? Where’s the sour element? That’s like a glass of sugar.

    I’d say always opt for standard limes, they’re easier to find and more sour.

  • John

    OK, the recipe with the agave nectar is great, but agave nectar can sometimes be hard to find, so here is my recipe.

    By volume:

    3 parts 100% blue agave tequila (blanco or reposado, nothing too expensive, Cazadores or El Jimador works great)

    2 parts Triple Sec

    1 part lime juice

    The juice of 1/8th to 1/4th of an orange

    Mix these ingredients in a shaker or other container (with ice if desired)

    Salt the rim of a Margarita glass and fill with ice cubes

    Pour the mixture above into the Margarita glass until it is almost full to the rim (you may have a little left over to top off later).

    Enjoy!!!