Almost 20 years ago, my ayurvedic doctor said that if one is going to ingest alcohol, fine tequila and vodka were the best choices. (I had thought beer or wine for the lower alcohol, but she said it’s the sulfites in wine that are very unhealthy.) That’s the day I started trying good tequilas. Until then, like most Americans, Cuervo Gold was the only tequila I had ever had, but today, frankly, I pass on that brand.
The easy-to-find tequila brands that are my personal favorties are Tres Hermanos, Heradura, Cazadorez, and Centenario. Always choose reposado or añejo so to enjoy the nuances aging brings to tecquilas. Even silver tequilas are too medicinal tasting. Go for premium ingredients and sip, don’t chug!
There is nothing more delicious as the tartness of a real Margarita made from scratch with the finest, aged tequila plus a great liquor and fresh citrus juice.
In addition to foregoing the poor quality tequilas, I recommend never, ever using Margarita mix. All that high fructose corn syrup, synthetic yellow-green coloring and artificial flavors are as responsible for the morning after headache most people associate with Margariatas, as bad tequila is. I don’t even like bottled lime juice or those plastic limes that masquerade as real lime juice. What’s so hard about squeezing a real actual lime, anyway?
Buy most yellow tinged, softest fresh green limes you can find. To help release their juice, press on one firmly as you roll in between your hands or on a countertop. If it’s really unripe and hard, put it in the microwave for 5 seconds to soften it.
This is the classic, exalted to its greatest possible heights.
Tuxedo Margarita–the Premium Classic
1 1/2 oz anejo or reposado tequila
1 oz Grand Manier
1 oz lime juice
tad agave syrup to make it sweeter, if preferred
The best Margarita I ever had was at the One Aldrich Hotel in London. It’s easily recreated at home, if you prep a week ahead.
1 1/2 oz top shelf tequila reposado or añejo only
3/4 oz Chambord
2 oz fresh lime juice
Poke a pint of washed blackberries into the mouth of the tequila bottle and let them infuse for at least a week.
Use this flavored tequila and Chambord instead of the usual orange liquors. Shake vigorously and pour “straight up” into martini glass.
Garnish with a fresh blackberry and a slice of lime.
If that seems like too much work, here’s a good substitute for a Margarita:
3 oz fresh squeezed pin grapefruit juice
1 1/2 oz anejo or reposado tequla
pour over ice in a highball glass and stir
garnish with fresh lime wedge