Tequila and Magaritas

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Alf 101
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Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Alf 101 »

This is a bit of an odd request, but as I developed a plan and am staying the course, my thoughts have turned toward summer entertaining.

After having recently moved, I am slowly rebuilding my liquor cabinet, mostly based on what's on sale in a given week or month. I am no heavy drinker, but do enjoy an occasional tipple, and like many here no doubt, like to grill and entertain.

This time of year I'm beginning to see tequila widely on sale. I never went through a stage where I drank much of this at all, so I asked my brother, who is both knowledgeable and opinionated on the subject of cocktails. He suggested I buy and drink a gallon of gasoline instead, as it would be cheaper and ultimately more enjoyable.

I thought, however, I might seek a more balanced range of opinions. A margarita is a fine summer drink, that guests, and I, would enjoy. That's the extent of what I know about tequila.

Here are my questions:

1. Tequila seems to come in clear and colored varieties, reflecting levels of aging. Which is best? Perhaps just as important, which is most versatile?

2. Can anyone recommend specific choices, with value in mind? I'm not looking for gut rot, but am not keen on a $50+ bottle for my purposes. I would be mixing this occasionally, not sipping every night as I watch the sun set.

3. A margarita also requires an orange liqueur. Here one can go expensive (e.g., Cointreau), or not. Let's say I like to entertain, and enjoy good things, and will be hosting polite company, but am not in the least status conscious. That said, I'll be drinking it too. I can afford going higher shelf, but have some skepticism whether something 2x the price makes a noticeable difference.

Perhaps someone could help by weighing in. Many thanks in advance...
invst65
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by invst65 »

Margaritas are a great drink and in no way does it compare to drinking gasoline (though admittedly I've never swallowed gasoline except for what comes from a few spits while trying to siphon through a hose).

My wife is a Filipina and margaritas are their favorite way of getting drunk and having fun. They've even been known to take straight shots of tequila in between while singing Karaoke.

As for requiring orange liqueur I don't know where you got that idea. I just buy a bottle of Jose Cuervo along with a bottle of mix and it's good to go. All the ladies tell me I make the very best margaritas.
Last edited by invst65 on Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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yukonjack
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by yukonjack »

If you are looking to make a garden variety marg and not to impress I wouldn’t go any higher than Jose Cuervo. And it’s quite cheap at places like Costco. Although personally I gave up margs when I discovered that drinking one margarita is approximately equivalent to eating one piece of pie. I believe that is directed at the restaurant/bar margs that often have a hefty dose of simple syrup.
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Svensk Anga
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Svensk Anga »

My take is that if you are drinking it straight up, you can tell the difference between top shelf and rot gut, but once you mix it in any complicated cocktail (something beyond scotch and soda), it takes a very dicerning palate to notice any difference. Accordingly, I buy cheap liquor save for the few things I drink straight. By the third or fourth margarita it certainly does not matter. :o

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Atilla
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Atilla »

I'm not a tequila expert but I do like my shaken margarita on the rocks with salt. Tequila is one place you don't want to go cheap.

Cheap rum or vodka - fine. But cheap tequila is just plain nasty in a bad way.

Go with a reposado - a good compromise between white and anejo.

I will not go cheaper than Sauza or Jose Cuervo - both are fine enough - my go-to is Sauza.

Cuervo Centennial is nice. Or check out Milagro - again decently priced and makes a mighty fine margarita. Cazadores for when you are tempted to swig it straight with a little lime and salt.

Margaritas are one of those drinks you can't count on getting a good one when you go out unless you know the place.

As far as buying an orange liqueur - I don't bother. I just get a decent tequila, a decent mix (Cuervo) and a couple lime wedges per drink. Use tequila from the freezer, pour all the fixins in a metal skaker (including lime wedges) with ice and shake like crazy. Pour on the rocks icy goodness into a frozen 16 oz heavy beer glass glass rimmed with salt. Instant hero of the party. :sharebeer
krannerd
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by krannerd »

I tend to go with more value priced ingredients (Cuervo/Sauza for Tequila and DeKuyper/Mr.Boston for Triple Sec) for Margaritas. I've experimented with the higher quality liquors and don't find that the drink tastes any better.

The quality of the mix is important and I serve a "lite" mix (Cuervo, I think) with a splash of Rose's sweet lime to up the lime flavor.

Hope this helps.
johan851
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by johan851 »

I employ tequila for the purpose you've described, and I've been very happy with the Kirkland brand reposado tequila at Costco.
denovo
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by denovo »

I am not a snob, but I think the Costco Margaritas are all right.
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Kenkat
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Kenkat »

Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver is my go to reasonably priced tequila.
DesertDiva
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by DesertDiva »

I always use Cointreau as my triple sec, out of habit, and because I like to sip it straight on occasion.

I don't like mixes (corn syrup); instead I squeeze a combination of grapefruit, oranges and limes and add some tonic water to taste.

Here's what I remember :mrgreen: from the tequila tasting tour I took in Mexico last year:
  • Anejo is aged - best for sipping - and too expensive (not worth) putting into a mixed drink
  • Reposado is "rested" (I call it middle-aged) - also good for sipping - or if you don't mind spending more on a mixer
  • Silver isn't aged as long as the two options above - perfectly acceptable (and best value) for mixed drinks such as margaritas
  • Blanco is barely aged, maybe not at all - the harshest of the list
Costco sells a reasonably priced silver-level tequila, which you might want to check out. :moneybag Of course, that means buying a Costco-sized bottle... but hey, it's 5 o'clock somewhere :D
OpattyD
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by OpattyD »

A close friend of mine has worked in the bar industry most of his life. He has a lot of knowledge on cocktails, beer, wine and cuisine. He offered to make margaritas for my bachelor party and they were fantastic. He gave me the recipe and I have made them several times for guests:

Get a tall pitcher
Container of frozen limeade and dump it into the pitcher
Fill container twice with water and dump into pitcher
Fill container once with your preferred tequila (I usually go with jose cuervo gold) and dump it into the pitcher
Fill container halfway with grand marnier and dump it in
Mix well
Serve over ice with a splash of fresh OJ

Seriously, phenomenal margarita that isn't too acidic like most premade mixes. :sharebeer
Random Poster
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Random Poster »

denovo wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:30 pm I am not a snob, but I think the Costco Margaritas are all right.
Costco use to--and may still--sell a margarita wine. It tasted better than most restaurant margaritas and was a very good value.
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F150HD
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by F150HD »

Alf 101 wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:53 pm A margarita is a fine summer drink, that guests, and I, would enjoy. That's the extent of what I know about tequila.
These rock. Just add tequila. Any brand or price point.

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Last edited by F150HD on Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mrsbetsy
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by mrsbetsy »

I love tequila! One of my favorite memories was a 3 hour Jose Cuervo tequila tasting in Cozumel.

I think the silver label is the best value. I prefer juicing several limes and making some simple syrup (water and sugar). Just keep the simple sugar in a mason jar in the fridge.

Ice, tequila, lime juice -- then add enough simple syrup to tone down the sour, but not enough to make it too sweet. It's so refreshing. You can add a little sparkling water to it and it will make it even more refreshing.

I hate mixes or any kind of orange in mine. But that is certainly a personal preference.

Cheers!


.
DesertDiva
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by DesertDiva »

OpattyD wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:55 pm A close friend of mine has worked in the bar industry most of his life. He has a lot of knowledge on cocktails, beer, wine and cuisine. He offered to make margaritas for my bachelor party and they were fantastic. He gave me the recipe and I have made them several times for guests:

Get a tall pitcher
Container of frozen limeade and dump it into the pitcher
Fill container twice with water and dump into pitcher
Fill container once with your preferred tequila (I usually go with jose cuervo gold) and dump it into the pitcher
Fill container halfway with grand marnier and dump it in
Mix well
Serve over ice with a splash of fresh OJ

Seriously, phenomenal margarita that isn't too acidic like most premade mixes. :sharebeer
Grand Marnier has cognac in it, so it isn't a pure triple sec, but also makes a great drink!
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pezblanco
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by pezblanco »

Lots of clueless comments so far in this thread. :D
As an inhabitant of a part of the country where margaritas are a way of life ....

Recipe for an high quality margarita:

1) slice a lime in half
2) wet rim of glass with lime and touch to the sal gorda (rock salt) (half rim ... full rim whatever you want)
3) squeeze all of the lime into the glass
4) put one shot of orange liqueur (I use cointreau ... triple sec is low end but fine) in the glass
5) put one shot of a good 100% agave reposado tequila in the glass (Hornitos is fine ... there are lots of good choices ... 100% agave is important)
6) put a couple of ice cubes in the glass
7) drink

NO to
1) mixes (is the above that hard to do? really?)
2) syrups (do you also want to put an umbrella in the finished product?)
3) sugar (the orange liqueur is more than sweet enough .. just man/woman up)
4) any other fruit other than a lime (you're not making a fruit daquiri for god's sake) ... using a lemon instead of a lime is a capital offense
5) fake lime juice or anything from a plastic squeeze bottle
6) limeade ... what????
TallBoy29er
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by TallBoy29er »

Kenkat wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:41 pm Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver is my go to reasonably priced tequila.
This is what i use as well. Margaritas are an awesome summer drink.
Afty
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Afty »

I'm a margarita guy. I make mine with 2 parts 100% agave tequila, 1 part fresh lime juice, 1 part orange liqueur, and a splash of agave syrup for sweetness.

For the tequila, note that the base level branded stuff like Jose Cuervo and Sauza is only 50% agave. You're better off buying even a store brand as long as it's 100% agave. I use the Trader Joe's Zapopan brand. The Kirkland brand tequila is really good, maybe too good to use for a mixed drink.

I use Patron Citronge for the orange liqueur. I also like to muddle some fresh jalapenos to give the drink some heat.

Definitely no mixes.
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WiscoTrout
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by WiscoTrout »

pezblanco wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:19 pm Lots of clueless comments so far in this thread. :D
As an inhabitant of a part of the country where margaritas are a way of life ....

Recipe for an high quality margarita:

1) slice a lime in half
2) wet rim of glass with lime and touch to the sal gorda (rock salt) (half rim ... full rim whatever you want)
3) squeeze all of the lime into the glass
4) put one shot of orange liqueur (I use cointreau ... triple sec is low end but fine) in the glass
5) put one shot of a good 100% agave reposado tequila in the glass (Hornitos is fine ... there are lots of good choices ... 100% agave is important)
6) put a couple of ice cubes in the glass
7) drink

NO to
1) mixes (is the above that hard to do? really?)
2) syrups (do you also want to put an umbrella in the finished product?)
3) sugar (the orange liqueur is more than sweet enough .. just man/woman up)
4) any other fruit other than a lime (you're not making a fruit daquiri for god's sake) ... using a lemon instead of a lime is a capital offense
5) fake lime juice or anything from a plastic squeeze bottle
6) limeade ... what????
best advice so far. My only add is our cocktail shaker mixture for two, which is similar: the juice of one lime, two shots of cointreau, and three shots of 100% agave tequila added to a shaker of ice. We tend to enjoy a slight tequila tilt to our margaritas (to use Boglehead terminology) :wink: .
TylerS7
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by TylerS7 »

I always keep my bar stocked with a bottle of Espolon Reposado tequila. Good tequila at a good price. I think the margarita recipes posted have been excellent and I will be taking note of those.

Not that you asked but I also keep my bar stocked with a bottle of Tito’s vodka and buffalo trace bourbon (or Bulleit is good too). Those also fall into category of great quality for a reasonable price. Maybe since you’re hosting summer parties get a nice dark rum like El Dorado 8 year.
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bottlecap
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by bottlecap »

Honestly, for margaritas, Sauza, Margaritaville, or Cuervo will do.

If you want to drink it neat like whiskey, then you have to higher end. Much higher end.

Have a great summer!

JT
NOLA
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by NOLA »

I highly recommend serving a tequila that's 100% agave. Jose Cuervo reminds me of TAAKA vodka. Sure it's alcohol, but there are a lot of options that are a lot better. I find Espolon to be way better, and it's about the same price as Cuervo.

Try sipping on a good bottle of Clase Azul and one finally realizes what tequila is all about.
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Sandi_k
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Sandi_k »

I prefer a much tarter margarita than Cuervo or Gran Marnier will allow.

Some tequilas are quite sweet - my favorite used to be Sauza Tequila - Hornitos Reposado. Then Costco stopped carrying it, so I moved on to BevMo - where I discovered 1800 Silver Tequila. It is much less sweet - and I find that it, with UNsweetened lime juice and a little simple syrup makes for a great margarita. I tried Sauza again recently, and the sweeter tequila was noticeable, and no longer to my taste.

Anyone who tells you to use Cuervo and Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice doesn't appreciate a top shelf margarita...
chrisdds98
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by chrisdds98 »

I make a simple margarita. don julio blanco or reposado (3 parts), fresh lime juice (1 part) and if I'm in the mood a splash of OJ (never noticed a big difference in taste between this and using contreau or grand marnier). shaken and I drink straight up.

Don Julio blanco is about $35 so a bit more then cuervo but I think the taste is much better. IF I use cheaper tequila I end up needing to add more mix to hide the taste.
MJS
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by MJS »

Generally, I recommend that people setting up their home bar first add the ingredients for the 3-4 drinks they prefer, then add the 3-4 drinks their family & friends love most.

Who exactly will you be serving margaritas to? If it's me... I like tequila -- & a bottled mix+Sauza margarita would be, ah, umm, disappointing. Sad.

Do you like some particular margarita? Ask for the recipe fron the place/ person who makes what you like.

Don't buy junk alcohol to complete your collection. You won't drink it, and the people who like it will be sad.
zuma
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by zuma »

I collect tequila and have visited many tequila distilleries in Mexico. I also love a good margarita.

My suggestions:

1) Buy only 100% agave tequila. This is the most important thing. If it doesn't say 100% agave on the bottle, don't buy it.

2) There are four common types to look for: blanco/silver (unaged), reposado (aged 2 months to 1 year), añejo (aged 1 to 3 years), and extra añejo (aged more than 3 years). Start with a good blanco so you can taste the agave. Move on to the aged varieties after that. There are good examples of all types, and aging a tequila doesn't necessarily make it better. Some of my favorite tequilas are blancos.

3) A margarita doesn't need orange liqueur. I prefer a Tommy's Margarita: 2 parts tequila, 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice, and 1/2 part agave syrup. I make a 50/50 mix of agave syrup and water and keep it in a separate bottle, which makes it easier to pour the syrup. Just use 1 part of this mix for the recipe. Add everything to a shaker with ice, shake well, and serve. Easy. A salt rim is fine too if you like that.

4) Some favorites: Fortaleza, Siete Leguas, El Tesoro, Tapatio, G4. For an everyday margarita tequila, look for Espolon or Pueblo Viejo. Again, just make sure it's 100% agave and experiment with some different bottles. Trust your own palate.

5) Don't be afraid to use an expensive tequila in a margarita. Even an añejo. A good margarita should feature the flavor of the tequila, not hide it.

Cheers :happy
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heartwood
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by heartwood »

Years ago we did some Spring skiing in Taos, NM. We had a few great margaritas with a NM Mexican dinner. After we got back I bought a good tequila, Cointreau and some limes. It wasn't even close to the taste we'd had or wanted. This was back when you paid for long distance calls (remember when?), but since I was already out the cost of the pricey stuff, I called the cafe. They laughed and said they used Mr & Mrs T's margarita mix and fresh lime juice. It's hard to find, but it suited our tastes. Over the years we used any tequila, cheap triple sec, and fresh lime if you have it. Then we graduated to the Costco pre-mix and have never looked back. How do you think Jimmy Buffet makes his? I haven't tried this: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Margaritavil ... 3=&veh=sem

Margarita season is upon us! As is G&T time! Maybe a thread on tonic? Or gin?
bberris
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by bberris »

I think we have no scientists here. The only way to settle this is a double blind experiment. I offer my services if anyone can raise the funding for this important endeavor.

My hypothesis is that tasters can easily distinguish between tequila neat, but not in a sugary, citrusy, frozen concoction that helps me hang on.
Snowjob
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Snowjob »

I have cointreau and tripple sec but to be honest cointreau is probably not worth it in the end. For the little bit that goes into a Marg, its not worth the expensive bottle. Additionally I've found my favorite tequila to be quite reasonably priced -- Espolon.
ramsfan
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by ramsfan »

zuma wrote: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:17 am I collect tequila and have visited many tequila distilleries in Mexico. I also love a good margarita.

My suggestions:

1) Buy only 100% agave tequila. This is the most important thing. If it doesn't say 100% agave on the bottle, don't buy it.

2) There are four common types to look for: blanco/silver (unaged), reposado (aged 2 months to 1 year), añejo (aged 1 to 3 years), and extra añejo (aged more than 3 years). Start with a good blanco so you can taste the agave. Move on to the aged varieties after that. There are good examples of all types, and aging a tequila doesn't necessarily make it better. Some of my favorite tequilas are blancos.

3) A margarita doesn't need orange liqueur. I prefer a Tommy's Margarita: 2 parts tequila, 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice, and 1/2 part agave syrup. I make a 50/50 mix of agave syrup and water and keep it in a separate bottle, which makes it easier to pour the syrup. Just use 1 part of this mix for the recipe. Add everything to a shaker with ice, shake well, and serve. Easy. A salt rim is fine too if you like that.

4) Some favorites: Fortaleza, Siete Leguas, El Tesoro, Tapatio, G4. For an everyday margarita tequila, look for Espolon or Pueblo Viejo. Again, just make sure it's 100% agave and experiment with some different bottles. Trust your own palate.

5) Don't be afraid to use an expensive tequila in a margarita. Even an añejo. A good margarita should feature the flavor of the tequila, not hide it.

Cheers :happy
I was going to post something along the lines of what ZUMA posted. We just got back from a cool all inclusive, and they had a "Tequilieri" on staff. Similar to a Sommelier for wine. They did some really fun educational sessions and tasting with some high end and other tequilas and mezcals. I think the number one thing for good tequila "at a reasonable price" is to make sure it is 100% agave. For what it's worth, the all inclusive had a wide range of tequilas we could ask for in our cocktails, and we could pay extra for super premium stuff, but the Tequiliera pointed us to asking for Herradura as the best Tequila that was included in the all inclusive.
Shallowpockets
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Shallowpockets »

Unless you drink alone, margaritas are all about the ambiance. The exact tequila you use is not as important as the people you drink it with.
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Alf 101
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Alf 101 »

This is all great, and as the OP, thanks. There is much advice to consider, but it's a fun thread to keep running, so I'll weigh in further.

I like the advice of stocking one's home bar with what they like, but tequila and the margarita falls into interesting territory. One brother, mentioned earlier, won't drink tequila. The other brother, who has pretty high level cooking and hosting skills, said he just buys Jose Cuervo Silver Especial, that it's more about the party than the tequila. That may be, but I'm not ready to rule out the role of the ingredients quite yet. The interesting thing is I've seen both brothers at the same gatherings; and my tequila-hating sibling seems to enjoy margaritas a great deal.

This is the dilemma I face. Many people hate tequila reflexively, having overindulged at some point on a cheap version of the spirit that tasted like motor fuel. Yet most people seem to enjoy margaritas, and they're a hit at summer parties. Do people like them because they're over-sweet, like a 7-11 Slurpee? Or will improving the quality of ingredients elevate the experience? This ties back to the core question for us consumers -- when do we lose value, or at what point will spending beyond make little or no difference?

While market timing is a no-no, I still find myself watching the sales. As mentioned in the first post, tequila, and associated margarita ingredients, seem to be widely on sale this month. These sales fall into a couple of categories:

1. The most known favorites have some deep sales this week -- Jose Cuervo and Sauza Blue the cheapest, Hornitos a couple bucks more, and 1800 a few more dollars than that. Blanco, Silver, and Reposado are identical in price within the brand. The kicker is these sales -- $8-10 off -- are only for the 1.75L bottles. This is a lot of tequila. Let's say 2 fluid ounces is about the most in a single margarita; this volume would then supply about 30 margaritas, which makes the volume seem less crazy.

2. There are smaller sales, $2 off or so, on what seem to be better tequilas -- mid-priced options such as Milagro and Espolon. The prices for a 750mL bottle of these, however, is in the same price range (+/- $3) as the 1.75L bottles listed above. Are they better? Are they 2.33x better?

Now the best way to figure this out is to experiment, as everyone likes different things. If I wanted to determine which cola or chocolate bar I enjoyed most, I'd do this, but buying multiple bottles of liquor represents a higher capital investment -- summer's only so long, and this may exceed the budget for this project. So as we look at this, I'm interested in any shared opinions that could help me target an approach.

The other part of this is the orange liqueur. Cointreau is perhaps the gold standard, which is also on sale. The Patron Citronge, also fitting in this niche, is about 75% of the price. Maybe I pick up both? There are other cheaper options, but for a margarita -- a drink with really three ingredients -- I'm thinking I will explore potential upgrades from DeKuyper. I mean, I could always go back...

One consideration is my dear spouse, who has far more of a just-in-time supply chain philosophy. She may ask why I have two bottles of orange liqueur, and six bottles of tequila -- this, of course, would be a reasonable question...
themesrob
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by themesrob »

I would agree with others above, you want to absolutely avoid Sauza or Jose Cuervo Especial -- the super-cheap mixto stuff, even in a margarita, (1) tastes awful and (2) gives way worse hangovers (apparently due to using cheap sugars in the production process, which on top of the sugar in a margarita, can cause issues for over-imbibers). Here's a good article on tequilas under $25:

https://drinks.seriouseats.com/2014/04/ ... polon.html

I'd say Olmeca Altos or Milagro. I personally don't like orange liqueur in my margarita, but YMMV. A little goes a long way, so I'd say you can go with a bottle of Cointreau and it will last you quite a while.
barnaclebob
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by barnaclebob »

Espolon Tequila is the best I've tried in its relatively cheap price range. Most people won't enjoy drinking Jose or Sauza straight but Espolon is very smooth and easy to drink. Up from there besides Patron or Don Julio is Tres Generationes which is also very good.

Don't cheap out on the mix. If you don't want to squeeze the limes yourself then get good mix, it probably won't come in a huge jug.

If you want the cheap stuff then Sauza is better than Jose IMO.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:15 am, edited 3 times in total.
zuma
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by zuma »

Alf 101 wrote: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:29 am 1. The most known favorites have some deep sales this week -- Jose Cuervo and Sauza Blue the cheapest, Hornitos a couple bucks more, and 1800 a few more dollars than that. Blanco, Silver, and Reposado are identical in price within the brand. The kicker is these sales -- $8-10 off -- are only for the 1.75L bottles. This is a lot of tequila. Let's say 2 fluid ounces is about the most in a single margarita; this volume would then supply about 30 margaritas, which makes the volume seem less crazy.

2. There are smaller sales, $2 off or so, on what seem to be better tequilas -- mid-priced options such as Milagro and Espolon. The prices for a 750mL bottle of these, however, is in the same price range (+/- $3) as the 1.75L bottles listed above. Are they better? Are they 2.33x better?
You want to avoid mixtos -- tequilas made with only 51% agave (and often with added colorings to make them look aged). These are the tequilas that cause problems. It's absolutely worth spending a few extra bucks to get 100% agave. For example, a cheap bottle of Sauza Blue Silver (this is 100% agave, unlike Sauza Gold) would be fine for a summer party.
srmach05
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by srmach05 »

As you've discovered Patron Citronge is less expensive than Cointreau, and in my experience a fine substitute. I believe it has a slightly lower alcohol content as well, which makes a difference after you've knocked back a couple.

As far as recipes for margaritas, I leave it to the experts. Alton Brown has a really great recipe, as do several other high-profile chefs/bartenders. Half the fun is finding the one you like best!
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Kenkat
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Kenkat »

pezblanco wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:19 pm Lots of clueless comments so far in this thread. :D
As an inhabitant of a part of the country where margaritas are a way of life ....

Recipe for an high quality margarita:

1) slice a lime in half
2) wet rim of glass with lime and touch to the sal gorda (rock salt) (half rim ... full rim whatever you want)
3) squeeze all of the lime into the glass
4) put one shot of orange liqueur (I use cointreau ... triple sec is low end but fine) in the glass
5) put one shot of a good 100% agave reposado tequila in the glass (Hornitos is fine ... there are lots of good choices ... 100% agave is important)
6) put a couple of ice cubes in the glass
7) drink

NO to
1) mixes (is the above that hard to do? really?)
2) syrups (do you also want to put an umbrella in the finished product?)
3) sugar (the orange liqueur is more than sweet enough .. just man/woman up)
4) any other fruit other than a lime (you're not making a fruit daquiri for god's sake) ... using a lemon instead of a lime is a capital offense
5) fake lime juice or anything from a plastic squeeze bottle
6) limeade ... what????
I had a friend that used this basic recipe; the only change I would suggest is that you might need to squeeze more than 1 lime depending on how much juice you get from each. Otherwise, it basically becomes booze on the rocks with a spritz of lime.

I do think there are a lot of people that want the sweet flavored margarita that you get from the mixes. Whether that fits the definition of a classic Margarita or not is a discussion for another day.
goodlifer
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by goodlifer »

I buy Costco Silver and the Costco premium mix (the one with no alcohol added). Everyone loves them. I like that there isn't a sour taste to the mix and it isn't too sweet. You can also make a Nadarita by substituting ginger ale for the tequila, and replacing the ice with frozen fruit if your guests want a fruity margarita. I like to keep things easy, especially when guests are around. I have to keep my eyes on them. :twisted:
wfrobinette
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by wfrobinette »

Alf 101 wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:53 pm This is a bit of an odd request, but as I developed a plan and am staying the course, my thoughts have turned toward summer entertaining.

After having recently moved, I am slowly rebuilding my liquor cabinet, mostly based on what's on sale in a given week or month. I am no heavy drinker, but do enjoy an occasional tipple, and like many here no doubt, like to grill and entertain.

This time of year I'm beginning to see tequila widely on sale. I never went through a stage where I drank much of this at all, so I asked my brother, who is both knowledgeable and opinionated on the subject of cocktails. He suggested I buy and drink a gallon of gasoline instead, as it would be cheaper and ultimately more enjoyable.

I thought, however, I might seek a more balanced range of opinions. A margarita is a fine summer drink, that guests, and I, would enjoy. That's the extent of what I know about tequila.

Here are my questions:

1. Tequila seems to come in clear and colored varieties, reflecting levels of aging. Which is best? Perhaps just as important, which is most versatile?

2. Can anyone recommend specific choices, with value in mind? I'm not looking for gut rot, but am not keen on a $50+ bottle for my purposes. I would be mixing this occasionally, not sipping every night as I watch the sun set.

3. A margarita also requires an orange liqueur. Here one can go expensive (e.g., Cointreau), or not. Let's say I like to entertain, and enjoy good things, and will be hosting polite company, but am not in the least status conscious. That said, I'll be drinking it too. I can afford going higher shelf, but have some skepticism whether something 2x the price makes a noticeable difference.

Perhaps someone could help by weighing in. Many thanks in advance...
I prefer corralejo in the tall blue bottle for margarita's. 1800 silver is as cheap as I go. Jose cuervo will work but it's sub par stuff.

The best way to make a margarita is as follows.

1. Buy Cointrau orange liqueur in place of syrup or triple sec
2. Buy fresh limes
3. Drink shaker with ice
4. 2 shots teqillia
5. 1 shot Cointrau
6. squeeze 1 full lime
7. Shake well
8 Pour to serve (leave ice in shaker as it doesn't belong in the drink)
wfrobinette
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by wfrobinette »

pezblanco wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:19 pm Lots of clueless comments so far in this thread. :D
As an inhabitant of a part of the country where margaritas are a way of life ....

Recipe for an high quality margarita:

1) slice a lime in half
2) wet rim of glass with lime and touch to the sal gorda (rock salt) (half rim ... full rim whatever you want)
3) squeeze all of the lime into the glass
4) put one shot of orange liqueur (I use cointreau ... triple sec is low end but fine) in the glass
5) put one shot of a good 100% agave reposado tequila in the glass (Hornitos is fine ... there are lots of good choices ... 100% agave is important)
6) put a couple of ice cubes in the glass
7) drink

NO to
1) mixes (is the above that hard to do? really?)
2) syrups (do you also want to put an umbrella in the finished product?)
3) sugar (the orange liqueur is more than sweet enough .. just man/woman up)
4) any other fruit other than a lime (you're not making a fruit daquiri for god's sake) ... using a lemon instead of a lime is a capital offense
5) fake lime juice or anything from a plastic squeeze bottle
6) limeade ... what????
+1 on all of the above except the cubes in the glass. I skip the salt as well.
desiderium
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by desiderium »

At his DC restaurant Oyamel, Jose Andres serves a "salt air" margarita. It involves a salty whipped foam that floats on top of a shaken margarita. Very nice way to serve to guests, but too much trouble for a big party. Put this on top of a carefully made shaken margarita recipe of your choice.
https://www.washingtonian.com/2007/05/2 ... argaritas/
rockonhumblepie
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by rockonhumblepie »

I got a hangover headache reading this post and will require a red- beer for breakfast :beer
michaeljc70
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by michaeljc70 »

I agree with the comment that you never know at a restaurant if you are going to get a good margarita. Most rely on those bottled sweet and sour mixes which are terrible in my opinion. That is why you get bad margaritas most places. Fresh lime juice is expensive.

I use the Costco Kirkland silver tequila as my go to. If it is a special occasion or something I might buy something "better" (the Corralejo at Costco is pretty good and impressive as the bottle looks enormous). I use tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, a touch of salt (I don't like it on the rim) and a little agave syrup (not necessary if you like very tart drinks). I also add jalapeno sometimes for a kick. I probably use 2 limes for one drink depending on their size (the recipe above calling for half is way too little for my tastes). Depending on the setting/meal sometimes I shake them and serve them straight up in a martini glass but usually it is on the rocks.
apex84
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by apex84 »

Everyone has their own preferences, this is what we do. We rarely drink and when we make cocktails, I think they turn out better with high quality ingredients. It's so much cheaper than buying a drink at a bar or restaurant, that I don't mind.

I find that using fresh squeeze lime juice is nice. For the margarita's cousin, a whisky sour, I use fresh squeezed lemon juice. The combination of Regan's orange bitters and Cointreau adds depth of flavor.

I make simple syrup with 1:1 sugar dissolved in boiling water. I then add a shot of vodka and store it in a glass bottle that I've boiled water in, using the microwave, to make sure the bottle is clean. I find this keeps for a long time in the refrigerator, I don't know if the vodka or boiled bottle is necessary, but I don't want stuff growing in the sugar water.

For your original question, we only have Casa Noble Anejo so I don't have a lot of comparisons. We've had the same bottle for years which tells you how much we drink. I like whiskey so I bought the Anejo tequila.

Recipe 1
2 oz Tequila (1 1/2 oz)
1 1/3 oz Cointreau (1 oz)
2/3 oz fresh lime juice (1/2 oz)
1/4 oz simple syrup (or agave nectar)
dash of Regan's orange bitters

Recipe 2
For a less alcoholic version
2 oz tequila
2 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz simple syrup (or agave nectar)
dash of Regan's orange bitters

Shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
jbuzolich
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by jbuzolich »

I prefer a reposado for margaritas and always 100% agave. I recommend El Jimador as my favorite and easily find it under $20 per bottle. I don't like Cointreau in it or most of the mixes. Just lime juice, sugar, and water. The Costco Kirkland margarita mix is in our house all the time. The one without alcohol. It's just lime, water, and sugar. Perfect for my margaritas and also good for cooking. I splash a little on sauteed fish with onions and cilantro to make fish tacos.
jeep5ter
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by jeep5ter »

My recipe: 2 parts Cuervo or Juarez silver, 1 part O3 orange liqueur or Triple Sec and 1 generous part fresh squeezed lime juice plus ice in the blender. I feel the fresh lime juice makes a difference.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Great thread! We don't drink a lot of Margaritas, but now I know enough not simply to grab a convenient bottle of tequila off the shelf at the liquor store.

As the saying goes, "Everybody has a tequila story." This thread should help me avoid ever having another one :beer
stan_the_man
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by stan_the_man »

Afty wrote: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:47 pm I'm a margarita guy. I make mine with 2 parts 100% agave tequila, 1 part fresh lime juice, 1 part orange liqueur, and a splash of agave syrup for sweetness.

For the tequila, note that the base level branded stuff like Jose Cuervo and Sauza is only 50% agave. You're better off buying even a store brand as long as it's 100% agave. I use the Trader Joe's Zapopan brand. The Kirkland brand tequila is really good, maybe too good to use for a mixed drink.

I use Patron Citronge for the orange liqueur. I also like to muddle some fresh jalapenos to give the drink some heat.

Definitely no mixes.
The Trader Joe’s tequila is an excellent value and tastes pretty good straight up. The best part is that it’s in a 1 liter (1,000 ml) bottle for less than the name-brand tequilas mentioned in a 750 ml bottle.
rralex1
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by rralex1 »

Being married to a Texan and living there for 20 years, discussions about margaritas and tequilas can be fun and boy can they be varied. Ultimately IMHO there will not be any one answer that is necessarily right for you, (or anyone). That includes for the most part what kind of tequila, brand, and "other ingredients" one uses. The flavors of the different types of tequila - blanco/silver, reposado, anejo, the different flavors again but of the brands, and the wide variation of citrus/ acid that one prefers is 'incredibly varied.

And that is what makes a search for your perfect margarita fun. After years of trying many alternatives this is our go to.. Again, this is only one man's opinion.

100% agave tequila as other have suggested. No pre-mixed ingredients. Every house has a foundation of some kind. Start here.

3,2,1,1 - easy to remember ounce/part proportions - serves two - the proportions easily scale up or down.
3 parts tequila - I use blanco/silver and have gone through many types and brands love Milagro and now use Don Julio. Rep or anejo is great as well, and will produce very different flavor profiles.
2 parts cointreau
1 part - (combination of juice from one orange, one lemon, and one lime mixed together - 1/2 of each works for an initial batch).
1 part simple syrup (I make it - easy 1/2C sugar -1/2C water - sugar fully dissolved store in fridge) or agave nectar. Different flavors both good.

Pour into a shaker with crushed ice and shake vigorously 80 times. OK not necessarily 80 but if you get there you can't go wrong. It will not only combine the ingredients but create a bit of froth and foam.

Strain into lowball glasses (6-8 oz) that have fresh crushed ice in them. Stemmed glasses are fine - we use them for fun with guests sometimes, but only for the look.

It works for us. Enjoy the journey.
Ependytis
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Re: Tequila and Magaritas

Post by Ependytis »

Trader Joe’s has an excellent tequila for margaritas. It’s called Zapopan and it is 100% agave. I don’t know if they still have it available but it was relatively inexpensive- $11 for 1 liter.
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