by Ernie Martin

Unlike my piņa colada recipe, which was the result of years of experimentation, my margarita recipes have far less history. Among all of my "chick drinks" (you do know that that's all I drink, right, no scotch or bourbon for me) margaritas are a favorite.

My original recipe* no longer works because one of the ingredients changed, so here's my current recipe, as good as the best you get in a bar and much simpler. I strongly recommend that you start with tequila that's been in the freezer and mix that's been in the refrigerator. You will also need the coarse salt used in margaritas (and you may wish to rim the glasses as indicated later before preparing the mix).

  • Nine ounces of any name-brand tequila (I buy Sauza gold for the price).
  • Three ounces of any brand triple-sec.
  • Twenty-seven ounces of Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix; do not buy any other brand.
  • Two or three ounces of freshly-squeezed lime juice (limes are the green ones; lime juice from a bottle can be substituted, but it won't be as good).
After the glasses are rimmed with salt as indicated in the next paragraph, pour these ingredients into a container at least a half-gallon in size, cap the container and shake vigorously. Put several ice cubes into the glasses you previously rimmed with salt and pour the well-shaken mix over the ice cubes. Put the container with left-over mix in the freezer or refrigerator for the next refill, but again shake vigorously before pouring.

I like to have the glasses rimmed with salt before I start mixing the ingredients, so I'm ready to pour as soon as I've shaken the mixture. The salt rimming is best done by taking one of the cut lime pieces you squeezed into the mix and running it around the outside of the glass rim (the juice and especially the lime oil of the rind will adhere the salt; if you use lime juice from a bottle, put 2 or 3 drops of the juice on a plate and then, holding each glass sideways, rotate the outside of the rim against the drops). The idea is to get only the outside of the rim wet. Then you dip the rim of the glass into the shallow container of margarita salt.

This recipe will make 6 to 8 drinks. If you make a larger batch, make sure to use an even bigger container for the shaking, perhaps a one-gallon size. It's important, when shaking the mix, that the container be not more than two-thirds full and that you shake vigorously.


* Eight ounces of any name-brand tequila, three ounces of any brand triple-sec, sixteen ounces of Sweet and Sour Mix by Mr. & Mrs. T (do not buy their margarita mix, get the Sweet and Sour Mix one because in my opinion it's better), two or three ounces of freshly-squeezed lime juice (limes are the green ones; lime juice from a bottle can be substituted, but it won't be as good). I abandoned this recipe because the Mr. & Mrs. T Sweet and Sour Mix changed and now leaves a chemical after-taste.