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in the kitchen: isaac makes margaritas

May 6, 2012

We had margarita nails, and now it’s time for the actual margaritas! I asked Isaac, Cinco de Mayo host and culinary extraordinaire (best known for his swoonworthy Pie Tuesday contributions to our old office), to share his margarita-making technique. Take it away, Isaac!

Cinco de Mayo is not complete without a margarita, but all too often the mixes you get at the stores or the drinks you get at restaurants don’t cut it.  They’re usually way too sweet for my taste and have an acidic burn that builds over a couple drinks.

A homemade margarita lets you dial back on the sugar and boost the flavor. I made a mix out of fresh-squeezed lemons and limes and soaked the juice with grated zest from the fruits’ skin.  You want about a 1-1-1 ratio of citrus juice-tequila-triple sec. Don’t spend too much money on the tequila, the flavor is mostly coming from the lemons and limes.

The mix of lemon and lime juice and zest after soaking in my refrigerator for a few hours along with the  three tablespoons of sugar per cup of citrus juice (I tripled the below recipe…and it was a fun night!)

Squeeze enough lemons and limes to get a cup or so of juice, then zest half the fruit using a grater/zester.  Add three or so tablespoons of sugar to the juice, and add the zest to the juice as well and soak the mix for a few hours in the refrigerator.  The zest releases its aromatic compounds to give the drink a ton of flavor as well as mellow out the acidity that I mentioned earlier.

Don’t crush your ice like this.


Strain the juice, add the tequila and triple sec in a pitcher, and pour the mix into glasses with crushed ice or ice cubes and enjoy!

1 cup of citrus juice (juice of approx 6 limes and 4 lemons)
Zest from half of those fruits (3 limes and 2 lemons)
3 T of sugar (or more to taste)
1 cup of tequila
1 cup of triple sec
Salt for the glasses if you want
Serves 4 (be careful – these are deceptively strong)
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2012 8:52 AM

    Mmm, yummy!

  2. budziak permalink
    May 7, 2012 1:33 PM

    Sounds like a world away from the prepackaged stuff. I’m going to try these someday, thanks for your recipe!

  3. May 24, 2012 10:54 PM

    Oooh – you used the Cooks Illustrated recipe, didn’t you? BEST margaritas ever!

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