A few weeks ago I did a cocktail making class at Sydney’s Eau De Vie and rediscovered the simple brilliance of the Margarita. I can’t say I’d sampled one since travelling in Mexico 6 years ago, and as I had some tequila rattling around on my spirits shelf and a fridge well-stocked with limes, it seemed like a good time to take this classic for another spin.
A standard Margarita recipe calls for triple sec, but as I find it masks the delicious tartness of the lime juice (and who needs that when limes are $2 a pop?), I prefer mine with the 3-2-1 ratio of tequila (go Añejo or go home), lime juice, and simple syrup. The latter I make by zesting a lime and adding it to equal parts sugar and water, simmering until the sugar dissolves, and refrigerating until chilled – it provides a sweet balance to the aggressiveness of the tequila and the sourness of the lime juice, with an extra kick of citrus that more makes up for the lack of triple sec.
Shaking everything over ice and pouring into a chilled stemless wine glass takes me right back to warm evenings in Mexico, and in particular, to the small town of Santiago de Tequila. It’s off the beaten path but well-worth a visit for the brightly-coloured buildings, lovely old church, stunning surrounding countryside dotted with agave plants, and of course, the tequila distilleries.