So you’ve followed our suggestions, but now you’re looking to take it to the next level, eh?
That’s where the finer tequilas come into play. Some will have you believe that it’s a waste to use fine tequilas in a margarita. But, while I’ll agree that it’s wonderful to sip a well-aged añejo, it’s most definitely not a waste to prepare a margarita with great ingredients. You will be able to tell the difference, and you’ll probably feel the difference in the morning, too.
There are dozens of brands and types of tequila from the clear silver varieties to the reposados to the añejos. For special occasions I enjoy the richness of the añejos, especially Tres Generaciones Añejo and El Tesoro de Don Felipe Añejo.
Try some of the finer tequilas to see what you enjoy (and don’t forget to sip them as well as mix them).
I normally prefer Cointreau in my margaritas, but every once in awhile it’s nice to change it up with the excellent, but slightly sweeter, less salty (to my taste) Grand Marnier. You should try either of these, and skip the Triple Sec.
Sweet and Sour
There are those “afficionados” out there who will turn up their noses at using Sweet and Sour Mix, as it’s called (or just Sour Mix – same thing). Don’t believe them. I have painstakingly squeezed dozens of lemons and limes and combined them with simple syrup to make fresh sour mix. And you know what? It wasn’t worth the effort. Not by a long shot. Make sure that the sour mix you buy hasn’t been sitting on the shelf for years, and you’ll be fine. If it’s more brown than yellow, and has a ton of sediment on the bottom, that would be your clue that it’s not so fresh (a little settling is OK). Look for an expiration date, too.
I know that fresh squeezed limes sound like they would be better tasting, and I get the whole fresh ingredients thing. This is a case where it doesn’t apply, trust me. Rose’s lime juice is usually widely available, but I have found other versions such as Daily’s sweetened lime juice that tastes pretty much the same. Again, make sure it hasn’t been sitting on the shelf for years. With lime juice you can pretty much tell by looking at it. This stuff starts taking on a goldish hue when it’s long in the tooth, and it turns downright brown when it’s really old. The fresh stuff should be a nice bright translucent green.,