Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, and as a public service, I’m reminding y’all to get your margarita supplies now, before they’re all gone. While it’s not a Mexican holiday or even an American holiday, it is a reason to drink margaritas. I don’t know for sure, but I think margs are the official drink of Texas. If not margs, it must be Pearl Light beer. With a lime. But tomorrow it’s all about the margs.
How fortuitous is it that the Jimmy Buffet show in the Woodlands coincides with Cinco de Mayo? I’m not now nor do I aspire to be a Parrot Head, but I’m happy to hop in a limo with a group of friends and eat tacos and drink margaritas on the way to hearing live music from a legend.
Because I’m feeling generous, I’m going to share my world-famous margarita recipe. Back in the day, I was known as the Reina of the Blender, and my margs have stood the test of time.
Before I give you the recipe, let’s talk about the blender. If you have a $10 blender with 16 settings, including “frappe,” donate that piece of junk and get yourself a real mixmaster. Crushing ice is serious business when it comes to frozen margs, and an amateur blender just can’t hang.
It has 2 speeds, “on” and “pulse,” and that’s all you need for blending. I’ve had this blender for a decade and it’s still going strong, even after being put to use a lot. If blenders had mileage, this one would be high. Really high.
On to the recipe!
You’re going to need some frozen fruit. This gives the marg that creamy texture, almost like a smoothie. In fact, the addition of fruit qualifies my margs as a health drink, so you can have as many as you want. Gotta get those 14 daily servings of fruits and vegetables in, people.
You can cheat and buy bagged frozen fruit at the grocery store, but if you really want to be authentic, you gotta buy whole fruit, cut it up and freeze it yourself. I like watermelon but have also done strawberry and peach, and grapefruit is very refreshing. Juice a bunch of fresh grapefruits and freeze the juice, either in ice cube trays or ziploc baggies. Of course you can also mix & match your fruits, so if you want a tutti fruiti marg, have at it.
Take your frozen fruit and fill your blender carafe halfway. Fill the other half, or the rest of the way to the top, with ice. The smaller the ice cubes, the smoother the marg, so if your ice maker spits out wonkin’ big chunks, you might want to buy a bag of ice.
Once the blender is half filled with fruit and half filled with ice, add 1 cup good quality margarita mix (i.e., no corn syrup and neon green artificial color). I like Stirrings brand, which is widely available, or Cedar Door, if you can find it at your liquor or grocery store. The latter is made right here in Texas, and is now sold online, so if you’re not lucky enough to live in the Lone Star State, they’ll ship your mix to ya. The Cedar Door in Austin is famous for its Mexican Martinis, which require a whole ‘nother post. Their mix, however, is equally good in margs or Mexican Martinis.
This is the neon-colored, artificially flavored junk you want to avoid. Yes, you’ll have to pay a bit more for the brands I’ve mentioned, but it’s worth it.
If you’re cheap or desperate, you can use either of these brands of mix with my blessing:
ZingZang uses real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. It claims to be “Not Just Another Margarita Mix,” and it’s pretty good but not great. Uncle Dick’s uses HFCS but is still worthy because it contains grapefruit juice, lime juice, and lemon juice (from concentrate), so it has a nice tartness to it. And it has a cute label with a big, fat bulldog with his paw wrapped around a marg.
Ok, so add 1 cup of mix to the fruit and ice, followed by 1 cup of good tequila, whatever brand blows your skirt up; I’m not going to lecture on the booze like I did on the mix. However, I do think there’s something to the idea that the cheaper the tequila, the bigger the hangover. Don’t waste your Don Julio 1942 or your Harradura in a frozen marg, though. Save that for the sippers in your life.
Mix up a batch and let me know what you think.