If you live in Mexico, sooner or later you are going to have to learn how to make a real Margarita. Forget Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix. All those Mexican restaurants manage to make Margaritas without it. Very seriously, it is not possible to make a great Margarita with Margarita mix. So put that mix away and follow the simple instructions. Our first experience with real Margaritas happened on a visit to Puerto Vallarta a number of years ago when we wound up in a little palapa restaurant on the beach in Mismaloya. We both had one of those very large goblets. We each had one and then we split another one. In the process my wife went into the kitchen area where they were making these things and got the recipe. They were killer, literally. As we were walking back to our hotel for dinner, my wife said to me, "Those things were hallucinogenic!". We don't remember much about the rest of the evening, it's all sort of a blur.
So, Margaritas are fairly simple to make. They only have four ingredients, six if you count ice and salt. The four are: Tequila, Controy, lime juice and simple sugar syrup.
Making the Simple Syrup. So the first step is to either buy or make the sugar syrup called Jarabe here in Mexico. I make it by the liter which will last for several weeks. The formula is simple (after all simple syrup should be simple, right?), two parts sugar to one part water. Take a pot, put in the water, I usually use a cup of water. Heat the water to boiling and add 2 cups sugar and stir and boil until all the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool before you use it. You only need to refrigerate it if it's going to be around for a while.
Mixing the Margarita. This is for a margarita on the rocks, for those other slushy things, you're on your own. I'm just going to give you proportions so that you can use the receipe to make one drink or a dozen. If I'm making one drink I use a shot glass, and if I'm making a few I'll use a measuring cup. Have a plate with coarse salt handy and a piece of sliced lime. Take a Margarita glass and wipe the rim with the sliced lime and dip the rim into the plate of salt to get a nice coating of salt on the rim. Fill the glass full with ice cubes. We use the small key limes here which are the most plentiful type of limes. They are also a little sweeter. If I'm making one drink I just use three key limes. But for more exacting requirements, that's 2/3 of your favorite measuring device, shot glass, cup, etc. of lime juice.
Tequila. Very important!!! Use only Tequila that says on the bottle: "100% agave". Your body will thank you and your head will thank you the next morning. If it doesn't say 100% agave, the Tequila is cut with grain alcohol, not very good for you and your tender little brain cells. Good Tequilas are Cazadores, Hornitos, Herradura Reposado (actually this Tequila should be sipped, it's really too good for Margaritas). Jose Cuervo Tradicional is also a good Tequila for Margaritas (not that Cuervo Gold stuff, that's for Gringoes). Don't waste your really expensive stuff on Margaritas, drink it straight!
Mixing Continued. Add the 2/3 measure of lime juice and one full measure of Tequila, 1/3 measure of sugar syrup, and 1/3 measure of Controy. Stir and serve. It'll knock your socks off. Controy note: We use Controy here because it is made here and reasonably priced. It may not be possible to find it in the US or Canada. You can use Triple Sec or Cointreau if you need to, but they are significantly more expensive and for my taste, they are a little strong and over power the drink, so use less if you use those. One last observation: Limes vary in sweetness/sourness, so don't be afraid to add more sugar syrup if the drink is too sour. The large limes sold in Norte America tend to be a little more sour. Salud!
If you try this recipe, bookmark the page and come back and let me know how it was. I'd love to get your feedback!