Recipe: Classic Margarita

The classic Margarita is a worldwide favourite.  It reminds many people of holidays, good nights out and wild parties.

I learned how to make this properly while advising a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology.  Now in Dublin, no one is bashful when it comes to making cocktails at 10.00 am.  It was all in the name of study.  By half ten the room was spinning and I still had to open up my bar.

You need the following: 

  • One large coupe glass or martini glass at a stretch
  • One blender or smoothie maker or a cocktail shaker  
  • 50 ml good quality Tequila
  • 25 ml Triple sec, such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier or similar.
  • One lemon and one lime
  • Still water or tap water.
  • 50 grams of sugar
  • Ice 

First of all, you need your sour mix.  You can make this from fresh, as you go, or if you are having a party, make it in bulk.  For one cocktail.

Take a microwave proof jug, that holds about a pint.  Fill half a  tea cup of water and pour into the jug. Heat for two minutes and then add the juice of a lemon and two tablespoons of sugar. Place in a fridge or freezer to cool.

While you are waiting, cut the lime in half.  Now cut a thin slice (or wheel, as we called it) off the lime.  Cut a slit halfway into it, so that it will clip to the side of the glass.  With the remaining piece, cut another slit and run it around the rim of the glass. 

Take a side plate and fill it with a fifty/fifty mix of salt and sugar.  Never use just salt, this is what always makes people sick, and gave tequila cocktails such a bad reputation, going back years.

Now, when your sour mix is cool add 60 ml to the cocktail shaker or blender.  Add 50 ml of Tequila and 25 ml of Triple Sec.  Add half a tea cup of ice.  Blend well or shake well and pour into the glass.  Add the lime slice to the side of the glass and serve.

Please enjoy more responsibly than I ever did.

Words & photos by chef Nick Gilmartin who can be contacted on @Nick1975 or find out more here.