Spice up your summer

With so many variations, margaritas can be different every time.
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Margaritas get top billing on Cinco de Mayo, but their star turn shouldn’t end with the holiday.

The refreshing cocktail has it all for summer sipping: a little sweetness, a bit of tartness and plenty of strength to ensure it packs a punch.

The ideal margarita is simple. So simple, in fact, it can be made with just three ingredients: tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice. (Editor’s note: Feel free to use fresh lime juice and fresh orange juice in place of the liqueur to really pack in some natural, vibrant flavors.)

Certainly, one can pick up an overly sweet pre-mixed margarita or margarita mix, but when it’s such a straightforward cocktail with ingredients most home bars already have in stock, why bother when a perfect cocktail is just a shake away?

The margarita’s best quality, however, might be the nearly infinite ways to spice and, quite literally, shake it up for variety.

Whether you’re going for spicier or sweeter, the options are nearly limitless.

Also, don’t worry about sticking to blanco, or unaged white tequila. Mix it up and go with the lightly aged reposado or heavily aged and nuanced añejo.

Let’s start with the basic blend:

1 part orange liqueur

1 part lime juice

1 part tequila

Stir the three liquids together to mix, then combine with plenty of ice in a glass rimmed with lime juice and salt (if desired). Garnish with a lime wedge.

Now, to spice it up:

2 parts tequila

½ part orange liqueur

½ part agave syrup

1 part lime juice

2 jalapeno slices

Stir liquids together, pour over ice, garnish with jalapeño slices and a lime wedge. (Editor’s note: For a really spicy kick, rest the tequila in a jar with some jalapeño — or hotter — peppers.)

Maybe sweeten it up with some raspberries:

2 parts tequila

1 part lime juice

1 part simple syrup

Stir the liquids together, pour over a handful of muddled raspberries and top with ice.

This story can be found in the May/June 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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