The secret to making good margaritas is to use fresh limes and good tequila. No ready-made mix can beat freshly-squeezed lime juice, so when you’re getting all your margarita ingredients, pick up a bag or two of fresh limes.
The Margarita is the most popular tequila-based drink, combining tequila, lime or lemon juice, and orange liqueur. Margaritas are most commonly served “on the rocks” in a salt-rimmed glass.
The orange liqueur is most commonly Triple Sec, but Cointreau, Curaçao liqueur (“Blue Margarita”) and Grand Marnier (“Cadillac Margarita”) are also used, the latter being the most preferable.
Many connoisseurs prefer margaritas made with only tequila, triple sec, and straight lime juice, but those are a little strong and tart for me. I like to add some good quality juice (like the ones below from Trader Joe’s) or “simple syrup” (sugar and water made into a syrup).
To make quick and easy work of squeezing the limes, use a handheld lemon or lime squeezer. You’ll be amazed how much juice comes out of each lime. My favorite lime squeezer is this stainless steel juice press from Norpro which is about $20 and has lasted for yeeeeears. I use it all the time. And lastly, don’t be cheap with the tequila. Good tequila makes a good margarita. Trader Joe’s has several good tequilas to choose from, and it will make all the difference in the outcome of your margarita. This margarita recipe is from our original bestselling cookbook, “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s“
- 2 oz (4 Tbsp) tequila (such as Tequila Reserva 1800 Reposado)
- 1?4 cup citrus-based juice like Organic Limeade or Mango Lemonade or even Pink Lemonade (all available at Trader Joe’s)
- 1?2 oz (1 Tbsp) Triple Sec
- 2 Tbsp lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
- Ice cubes or crushed ice
- Salt the rim if desired, by rubbing a cut lime on the rim and dipping the rim in a dish of coarse kosher/flaked salt. Depending on what kind of juice you’re using, you can also have a little fun and “salt” the rim with something like Turbinado (raw) sugar like in the photo above.
- Combine ingredients.
- Use a shaker or just stir together and serve on the rocks.
For a small pitcher:
- 1 cup juice (or 1 ½ cups if you don’t want it too strong)
- ¼ cup triple sec
- 1 cup tequila
- ½ cup lime juice (juice of 4 limes)
- 3 cups ice