Margaritas can make just about every event a fiesta. From that first rattle of ice in the cocktail shaker to preparing the perfect salt or tajin (a Mexican seasoning made of chile peppers, lime and salt) rim around your most festive margarita glasses, it’s a party.
For Cinco de Mayo — a yearly celebration commemorating Mexico’s victory over France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla — it can be fun to experiment with tequila’s favorite cocktail and give the classic margarita recipe a kick. Bartenders who know their way around Mexico’s classic beverage shared some inspired versions that will amp up any festivities. These easy-to-make concoctions are sure to become favorites.
Ruby red grapefruit juice makes the difference
There’s nothing like cutting into a chilled grapefruit at breakfast. So it’s no surprise the juicy citrus goes well in this margarita recipe from restaurant and lounge chain Ocean Prime.
For the tastiest results, juice your own fresh grapefruit and lime, says Andrea Cornwell, director of beverage for Ocean Prime and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants.
“It adds an additional layer to the cocktail, which is bright and mouth-watering,” she says. To serve it in something other than a standard margarita glass, she recommends pouring this version into an etched highball.
Be sure to use a jigger for your pours, she says. “Measure everything just like a food recipe.”
- 1.5 ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
- 1/2 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 3/4 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce lime juice
- 1/4 ounce agave nectar
- 1/4 ounce grenadine
- Add all ingredients in cocktail shaker.
- Add ice.
- Shake vigorously for five seconds.
- Strain and pour over fresh ice into glass prepared with a kosher salt rim.
- Garnish with three submerged lime wheels.
Get a kick when watermelon and jalapeño meet
Tequila infused with one of Mexico’s favorite chiles gives a boost to the sweet watermelon overtones of this cocktail from popular Mexican restaurant and tequila bar JoToro in Tampa, Florida.
To infuse the tequila with fresh peppers, just trim the top off two jalapeños and slice them into thin strips. Drop into a bottle of blanco tequila, close the cap, shake gently and let sit for 10 hours or overnight. Strain the peppers and seeds, and you’re ready to go.
For an authentic and eye-pleasing rim on your margarita glass, look for the Mexican spice called tajin (a mix of dried chile peppers, lime and sea salt) at a supermarket or Latin market.