The Perfect Margarita

margaritaI’m posting this recipe for Cinco de Mayo, because I want you to have a fabulous day, filled with great friends and great Mexican food. But no Mexican celebration is complete without a really good margarita. And while I don’t drink all that much anymore, I do still enjoy a really good margarita from time to time.

I’ve got be honest, though. Most of the drinks people call margaritas aren’t. Just as putting some alcohol in a martini glass doesn’t make a martini. Chocolate liquer, vodka and some milk are NOT a martini. I feel the same way about my margaritas. Margaritas have tequila. Period. Not Rum. Not Vodka. Not anything-other-than-tequila. They have lime juice and some sort of sweetener. And that’s IT! Everything else should go by a different name… like, I don’t know… Marjorie, Martha, something. But not margarita.

Anyway… enough ranting. Here’s the important stuff: Over the years I’ve experimented with various recipes until I came across a new one that included Agave nectar. I had never heard of it, but I realized right away that it was a sweetener from the same cactus as tequila. I thought to myself, “Self; if they came from the same cactus, chances are they’re going to work together really, really well. Off to the store I went, and came home with a bottle of nectar and a sack of limes. I grabbed my bottle of Patron (silver) from the shelf, and the rest is history.

Gran Patron Platinum TequilaIngredients:

Individual serving:

2 0z. Tequila (see below)
1 oz. Lime juice
1 oz. Agave nectar

Big Batch:

2 cups Tequila
1 cup Lime juice
1 cup Agave nectar

HUGE Batch:

1 gallon tequila
1/2 gallon lime juice
1/2 gallon Agave nectar

agave cactus

Agave cacti being harvested. This is where your tequila comes from.


Lime slices or wedges
small chili peppers or jalapeno slices


For small batch, pour tequila, lime juice and nectar into glass and stir like crazy to blend.

Add ice.


For big batch, pour ingredients into blender to mix thoroughly.

Pour into glasses over ice.


For HUGE batch, get a punch bowl. A really big punch bowl. And take everyone’s keys as soon as they come in the door. Have the number of your local cab company on hand.

Gran Patron Burdeos TequilaAbout the Tequila

I find that a good silver tequila is best because it’s smoothest in mixed drinks, but if you want a more robust flavor, feel free to use Resposado or Anejo tequila. In fact, if you want to do a seriously top shelf margarita, get one of the super-premium brands, such as Don Julio 1492



Lots of people like to put salt on the rim of the glass. I don’t. See, back in the day, when most tequilas around were pretty darn awful to taste, the salt was useful because it deadens the taste buds momentarily – long enough to get the tequila down your throat. Today, however, there are many very smooth and flavorful tequilas that won’t destroy your taste buds, so salt really ins’t necessary. At least to me.

If you want salt, all you have to do is pour some salt onto a small plate or in a wide bottomed bowl. Run a lime wedge or slice around the outside – OUTSIDE! – edge of the glass. Turn the glass over and press it onto the salt. Turn it one full circle to ensure a good coating. No big deal, right?

By the way, some liquor stores carry a special large grain salt just for margaritas. Just something to think about.

agave margaritaLimes

It’s pretty standard to have some lime wedges or slices as part of the presentation. Wedges are easy. Cut the lime into 6 to 8 wedges (I like to slice the very ends off first), and put a wedge on the side of the glass. Slices aren’t all that much harder, and I prefer them. I do very, very thin slices to put in the glass itself (make sure you wash the outside of the lime), and thicker slices (about 1/4″) for the side of the glass. For these, I make a cut from the edge to the center of the lime, into which the edge of the glass goes. Again, no big deal.


Sometimes, just for fun, I’ll put a small chili pepper (green works very well) in the glass, or perhaps add a few jalapeno slices. If I do, however, I will omit the limes.

There you have it. The perfect margarita. To be honest, I know that some of you will want a little more lime juice, or a little more nectar. No problem. Have fun experimenting until it tastes just the way you want it to. After all, that’s what I did.

When friends start to arrive for your feast, mix up a big batch of margaritas, set out some chips and salsa and such, and let the fun begin! And don’t forget to

Play with your food (and drink!),


Check out my Mexican recipes here.

Did you like this recipe? What recipes would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! (And don’t forget to LIKE this post!) Share it using the tiles below.

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About Lane

Lane Baldwin is a an internationally-acclaimed singer, songwriter, author and food lover. He wasn't trained in France, and he doesn't have his own TV show. He just loves to cook, and loves sharing what he's learned over the years. In his "real life," Lane has toured the world, bringing his special brand of Blues-infused Americana to millions of fans. At home he leads a quiet life filled with good books, good food and good friends.