The Cocktail Diaries: Margaritas

JASON CLARK
Last updated 10:39 11/01/2013
Jason Clark
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ

IN THE MIX: Jason Clark working his magic.

Margarita cocktail
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
MEXICO'S FINEST: The classic margarita and JC's ultimate margarita.

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NEED TO KNOW

Main ingredient Tequila
Type of dish Cocktails
Course Drinks
Cooking time <30 min
Serves/makes 1
Special options None

One of the top three most popular cocktails on the planet, the classic Margarita has a history as hazy as your head the morning after a few too many.

Margarita means 'daisy' in Spanish and while many a bartender, socialite and even a showgirl have claimed to have invented it, the drink's origins remain somewhat of a mystery.

Unfortunately the Margarita's reputation has been battered by the use of inferior and artificial ingredients, the development of premixes and even the trigger-happy blender bartenders of the 1980s. However, a quality classic Margarita can still proudly stand tall.

Hailing from the sours category of cocktails, its formula can be used as a base for hundreds of alternatives.  To make a fruity version, simply switch Cointreau for another fruit liqueur and add 20ml of pureed fruit, such as strawberries.

THE CLASSIC MARGARITA

40ml Premium reposado Tequila

20ml Cointreau

30ml Freshly squeezed lime juice

Sugar syrup to taste - no more than 15ml

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake hard and double strain into a martini cocktail glass with a salt-crusted rim.

Garnish with a wedge of lime on the side - this can be used to adjust the sourness or to wipe away salt.

TOP TIP: When salting the rim, be sure to wipe away any salt from the inside rim of the glass so as not to turn your cocktail into an over-salted broth.

JC'S ULTIMATE MARGARITA

45ml Arette Anejo Tequila

7.5ml Cointreau

7.5ml Grand Marnier

15ml Blue Agave Nectar (A honey-like syrup from the plant tequila is made from)

30ml Freshly squeezed lime juice

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake hard and fine strain into a rocks glass over a large lump of ice with a chilli salt rim.

Jason Clark is the bartender at Hummingbird Eatery and Bar.

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