Whether it’s served on the rocks or frozen, all margaritas start with a few basic components. If you don’t keep your bar cart stocked, you might have to go to the liquor store for some of these ingredients. The rest you’ll hopefully have in your kitchen already. Here are the building blocks for making everyone’s favorite cocktail, the margarita:
The brand, type and price of the tequila you use will impact how the drink tastes. Bottom-shelf or cheaper liquors will taste less smooth than their more expensive counterparts. Silver tequila, also known as white tequila, is bottled right after it’s produced, which gives it a sharper taste than gold tequila, which ages before it is bottled.
Triple sec, also known as Cointreau or curacao, is a sweet liqueur made from bitter orange peels. The addition of triple sec is what makes a drink a margarita, and not just a lime-flavored shot of tequila.
The best margaritas are made with fresh lime juice, never bottled. That being said, having a margarita is better than not, so if bottled is all you have, go for it.
The tartness of lime and triple sec need a touch of sweetness to balance out. That sweetness can come from superfine sugar, simple syrup or agave syrup.
Lastly, a good margarita needs some good coarse salt to go with it. Be sure to rim your glasses with lime juice and sea salt.