Orange You Glad You Bought Liqueur
The easiest ingredient to overlook is the orange liqueur. Triple sec seems like a weird thing to buy for just one cocktail, right? Cant you just add a splash of orange juice or something?
Not if you want a well-balanced drink. Triple sec, a term used interchangeably with curaçao, is a type of orange liqueur that provides fruity flavors as well as sweet and bitter notes all of which are essential for a well-made Margarita. Popular labels include Cointreau, Combier, Pierre Ferrand Curaçao, and Grand Marnier.
Swanson likes to use Cointreau in her Margaritas because its made with bitter orange peels, so she finds it drier than many brands of triple sec, and considerably less sweet than brandy-based Grand Marnier, she says.
Kearns opts for Cointreau or Combier, the 1834 orange liqueur that purports to be the worlds first triple sec. David Mor, beverage manager at Cindys in Chicago, prefers Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao in his Margaritas.
The most important thing there is to avoid anything that is simply called Triple Sec, Kearns says. This was a marketing statement devised by Cointreau at one point in its long history, and knock-off brands latched onto it. Consider yourself warned.
Fresh Homemade Sour Mix
Having a good sour mix on hand is an easy way to make dozens of interesting cocktails, from amaretto sours to margaritas with little umbrellas.
This sour mix recipe is simple to make, keeps for several weeks, and is a fantastic foundation for margaritas, sours, daiquiris, and other cocktails that use fresh citrus juice and sugar. Its also infinitely customizable to your tastes and the drinks being served.
Making a great homemade sour mix is simple all you need is a few lemons, some sugar, a little water, and the ability to stir.
How Do You Serve A Margarita
I prefer my margarita served classic style, with a salt rim and on the rocks. For the salt rim, you can always run a lime around the rim and then dip in coarse salt. However, a trick Ive been doing lately is to create a rim with agave nectar dipped in coarse salt. It adds another layer of sweet and salty!
If youre looking for inspiration for hosting a margarita making party, I wrote all about it for this post over on my lifestyle blog. Its a quick, simple, and fun way to share this delicious cocktail with friends!
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How To Make A Margarita :
Detailed instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a brief overview of how to make a single-serving homemade margarita:
Dont Salt The Entire Rim
Like your Margaritas with salt? Season away, but take care when rimming the glass. Excess flakes will inevitably fall into your cocktail, throwing off its flavors and balance.
Cocktailers like industry legend Dale DeGroff advise salting a segment of the glass rim instead of its entirety. It prevents your drink from ever getting too saline, and gives you the option of taking a sip with or without a mouthful of salt.
Generally speaking, if we do a rim we do half a rim, Don Lee, partner, Existing Conditions in NYC, says. That way everyone has the option. Make sure you are only salting the outside of the rim of the glass, too, Lee says.
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How To Make The Best Sangria Margarita With Fresh Sour Mix
Using a cocktail shaker, add one half to one cup of ice. Next, pour in two ounces of tequila, two ounces of fresh sour mix, two ounces of orange juice and shake vigorously.
Then, be sure to pour the margarita mix into a glass but leaving about one to two inches of space to pour the red wine.
At this instant, use a small spoon to lay over the glass of prepared margarita. Now, slowly and carefully pour the red wine on top of the margarita mix until the glass is full.
This step takes a bit of practice, but I am certain you will achieve it on the first or second attempt! Top sangria margarita with sliced oranges, lemons or limes and serve immediately!
A Better Sour Mix For Better Cocktails
Traditionally sour mix is a variation on simple syrup made with freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices.
Making sour mix at home is a simple way to improve the look and flavor of cocktails. Mixing up a batch takes around 10 minutes and is worth it with the fresh citrus creating refreshing cocktails with subtle flavors.
Unfortunately, sour mix, or as it is often referred to, sweet and sour mix, has gotten a bad reputation from the ridiculously sweet, neon green, radioactive commercial mixes served at bars and sold in liquor stores. Mixes laden with artificial flavors, corn syrup, and food coloring.
Most of these mixes are so cloyingly sweet that they overpower the alcohol theyre being mixed with and create drinks that are only good for nights you dont want to remember.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Sour Mixes
What is sour mix made of?
Sour mix is traditionally made with freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices and is mixed in a 3:1 ratio of water and juice to sugar.
How long does the homemade sour mix last?
Sour mix made at home stored in a well-sealed container should have a shelf life of 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge. A sign that it has turned is when it gets cloudy or starts to have bits and pieces of mold floating around.
What can you substitute for sour mix?
Substitutes include store-bought mixes, with a preference for one with easily understandable labels and that isnt overly sweet. You can also use lemon-lime soda or some of the powdered mixes available at liquor stores.
Does sour mix have alcohol in it?
The mix by itself does not have alcohol in it. It is, however, designed to be mixed with alcohol to make cocktails. It can also be used with sparkling water to make lemon-lime soda or as the basis for Homemade Lemonade.
Best Red Wines For Sangria
Here are the best types of red wines that will work for sangria. These are ultimately what has worked best for cocktails seen on this blog.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
In this recipe, I used what I had on hand which was a red wine blend from Trader Joes that paired perfectly to make the sangria margarita.
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What To Make With Sour Mix
The beauty of sour mix is you can use it to make so many great cocktails!
- Add a splash of sour mix to a vodka soda or a gin and tonic for a little extra sweetness.
- Try it in sour cocktails, such as a tequila sour, whiskey sour, an amaretto sour or a midori sour. Sour drinks are a class of classic cocktails and they are always a hit.
- Replace the syrup and citrus juice of any cocktail with a single shot of sour mix, like the classic margarita, a Tom Collins or a mojito.
Sour mix can be used in alcohol-free drinks as well. You can also simply add it to an ice-filled glass and top it with club soda for an easy mocktail or use an all-lemon version as a base for homemade lemonade. Simply add 2 parts water to 1 part sour mix.
Diy Sour Mix On The Fly
Theres another option if you dont want to cook but also dont want you use store bought sour mix. You can get the taste of fresh sour mix with the following substitution.
Just add roughly equal parts of simple syrup to some fresh lemon juice. Measure out the amount of sour mix the recipe called for, and put the same amount of this in its place.
This will work with any classic cocktails that call for you to use sour mix.
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Use The Best Tequila You Can Afford
You might have a cheap bottle of tequila lying around, or see one on triple-markdown at your local package store. Its tempting to throw that into a cocktail and hope that the other ingredients will hide its flaws.
Resist this urge. Because there are so few components in a Margarita, each one matters. If you use low-quality tequila with off flavors or a boozy aftertaste, your cocktail will have those exact same flaws.
Only 100 percent Weber blue agave tequila should be used, ever, for anything, Kearns says. His favorite tequilas for making Margaritas include Siete Leguas, Siembra Azul, Cabeza, and Pueblo Viejo Blanco. We also like Casa Noble Crystal and these six others.
How To Make A Margarita
Start this recipe the day before you want to serve it by making the homemade sweet and sour mix. You will want to give it time to cool before making the margaritas. At the very least, give yourself four hours lead time.
Then you just need to combine:
- 2 parts tequila
- 2 parts sweet and sour mix
- 1 part cointreau
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Simple Variations For A Multitude Of Cocktails
This one simple mix can form the basis for hundreds of cocktail recipes.
This simple recipe for sour mix serves as the basis for endless variations on sours, margaritas, daiquiris, and collins.
Making this mix at home lets, you use natural ingredients and play with the proportions to match your preferences, and adjust the mix to fit with whatever youre making with it.
Some easy variations are to add more or less sugar based on your preferences or to try different sweeteners, such as agave syrup, raw sugar, or Demerara sugar.
The variations are almost endless when it comes to the types and ratios of citrus being used, which can include lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges, to name a few. If youre feeling adventurous, try mixing in some blood oranges, key limes, or tangerines.
To highlight the flavor of the fruit, use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of zest that can be added to the mix. Just make sure to strain them out before mixing any cocktails.
A good rule of thumb is to use a 3:1 ratio of water and juice to sugar when starting to experiment.
If you want something closer to commercial mixes, add a 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice to the base recipe, which will sweeten the mix without adding extra sugar.
Sour Mix: What’s On The Shelf
There are dozens of commercial sour mix available at grocery and liquor stores, sometimes called sweet and sour, margarita, Collins mix, or lemon-lime mix. Sometimes it comes in a big plastic jug, small artisan-looking bottle, or bag of powder, but however it comes, store-bought sour mix compromises on flavor and freshness.
Cheap sour mixes are made from artificial lemon and lime flavoring along with corn syrup, coloring, preservatives, and stabilizers. Higher-end mixes are made with juice from concentrate, citric acid, and sugar. Despite its appearance, commercial sour mix is not made with radioactive citrus and will not give you super powers.
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How To Make Fresh Sour Mix
The key ingredient in this recipe besides purchasing good- quality tequila is specifically making fresh sour mix. While this task can seem daunting, it is truly easy to prepare and will require ten to fifteen extra minutes.
It is worth the time this will take the drink to a next level and also is a wow factor for your guests.
All in all, this step is certainly optional but absolutely recommended.
Video Result For Margarita With Sour Mix Recipe
Sour Apple Margarita Recipe
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How To Make Homemade Sweet And Sour Mix
- Start with a cup of granulated sugar.
- Add water and simmer over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Next, add half a cup each of fresh lemon and lime juice. Youll need about seven plump lemons and limes. Helpful tip alert! Microwave your fruit for about ten seconds and then roll on the counter with your hand to get those juices flowing.
- Your Sweet and Sour Mix is now ready! You can store it in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week, or even longer in the freezer.
This recipe makes enough for about 2 pitchers of margaritas, using 1 1/4 cup for each pitcher.
Why I Love Sangria Margaritas
- Red Wine as needed
- 2Orange Slicesfor garnish
- 2Lemon Slicesfor garnish
- 2Lime Slicesfor garnish
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How To Make A Salt Or Sugar Rim
I don’t care for salt rims, so I usually rim our glasses with sugar. This step is totally optional, but cute.
Take your glass and either a lime wedge, or the still damp rind from your squeezed lime. Rub it along the edge of the glass.
Sprinkle some sugar into a small plate. Rotate the wet rim of the glass in the sugar. And, you’re done!
Best Tequila For Margaritas
A silver or white tequila works best for this cocktail. With that said, it is best to use good-quality tequila. You can find the exact tequila used in this recipe here.
In the event that you are looking for more options, with this in mind, any mid-level silver or white tequila will work best. Here are a few additional options.
All in all, you will not go wrong with any of these tequilas. Splurging a little will ultimately help with the crispness and flavor of the drink. Results will certainly vary otherwise.
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Tips On How To Make Margarita
As I mentioned above, the best ingredients make the best margaritas. Try to get the best tequila and orange liqueur and make your own margarita mix. You can always make the ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.
When making margaritas, there is an extra step you can take to make sure you have the best tasting margaritas. When I was bartering we, always took an extra step of mixing the ingredients with the milkshake blender. NOT blending them with ice, but just blending liquid ingredients together to thoroughly mix them.
At home, I pop the liquid ingredients together in a blender and pulse a few times to blend . If you dont have a blender or just do not feel like taking that extra step, then just combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker vigorously shake for 15-20 seconds.
Pour well blended margarita over ice or straight up and dont forget the salted rim!
IS MARGARITA GLUTEN FREE?
Yes, margarita is typically a gluten free cocktail. Tequila is made out of agave and therefore, is a gluten free alcohol. Luckily, Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, and Cointreau are gluten free liqueurs so they are also safe to be added to your margarita.
What Liquors Go Into Margarita
There are a few things that can affect the taste of a margarita, like ingredients you use and method of preparation. Much like with everything you make, ingredients are very important. So if you opt for a lower grade of tequila and orange liqueur, it will taste accordingly. Try to get top shelf tequila and orange liqueur for the best tasting cocktail.
I prefer to use silver tequila in a margarita because it is mixed with several other ingredients. Gold tequila is typically better for straight taking shots because of the smooth taste. But if you like the taste of gold tequila, feel free to use it instead.
When it comes to orange liqueur, I prefer to use Grand Marnier. There are three most known orange liqueurs Triple Sec, Cointreau, and Grand Marnier. Personally, I prefer to use Grand Marnier because it has the strongest, full bodied orange flavor. Out of hundreds of margaritas Ive made at the bar, majority of my guests preferred margaritas made with Grand Marnier.
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