Last night I went to a favorite Mexican restaurant for one of my favorite meals and decided on one of their classic top shelf margaritas to go with it. The margarita was a watered down, bitter disappointment. If it had tequila in it, it was a surprise to me. If it had the Cointreau in it, it was a surprise to me. Mostly it had watery ice inside and drippy green salt around the edges getting everywhere. This goes to show that just because a restaurant can make fabulous food, they cannot always make fabulous drinks. My conclusion was to go there to order the food and be sated, but the margaritas, not so much. Which is why I’m going to share what I think is a simple, yet fabulous margarita. This isn’t my recipe by the way, so I cannot take credit. It was shared with me by a friend, but the originator is unknown to me, so I cannot give credit either. For that I apologize.
Patron happens to be my favorite tequila for making margaritas. It is on the pricier side, but well worth the expense. Something distinctive about Patron is the bottle. Each bottle is handmade and individually numbered making it collectible. Patron is not for slamming back shots. It is for savoring. For a margarita I prefer to use Patron Reposado at 80 proof. It is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of six months and has a bit more flavor and spice to it than the Patron Silver. Patron is also 100% agave. That is extremely important to look for when searching for a premium tequila. Of course, you will have your tequila of preference when making a margarita, but always be sure it is 100% agave. Accept no substitutions.
The next important thing to look for that may be more difficult to find is agave nectar. Agave nectar is pressed from the heart of the agave plant. It is then reduced or heated to create a syrup. The agave nectar is thick such as honey only much sweeter. The advantage of using the agave for margaritas is it is of the same agave plant as the tequila so it marries to the tequila within the drink making for a well rounded drink. I have found this product locally at my Whole Foods retailer. If you don’t have one near you, try Google. There are many sites that carry it. Just make sure you purchase the light agave nectar instead of the darker agave nectar.
Fresh limes, ice and salt are all you need to complete the margarita. Sounds like we’re missing Gran Marnier or Cointreau doesn’t it? Not in this simple recipe.
Simply Perfect Margarita
2 oz Patron Reposado Tequila
1 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
½ oz Agave Nectar
Cut lime in half. Juice one half of lime into cocktail shaker. Cut other half into wedges. Slide a lime wedge around the outside rim of the margarita glass. Dip the glass rim into a saucer of margarita salt making sure the salt remains on the outside of the glass only. Set aside. Measure the Patron and agave nectar into the cocktail shaker with the lime juice. Shake to thoroughly combine ingredients. Place ice into salt rimmed margarita glass. Strain contents of shaker into margarita glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Enjoy!
For more information about Patron, have a look at their website at www.patronspirits.com