The savory Mexican staple gets an injection of sweetness in the Strawberry Margarita—tequila, lime juice, and triple sec together with strawberries to get the best of both worlds.
The Margarita—that star of Mexican resorts and Cinco de Mayo parties—is as popular now as it has ever been, dating back to the mid–20th century when it was invented. Of course, like any good origin story, the Margarita’s is up for debate. Was it Tijuanan bartender Carlos “Danny” Herrera who named it after one particular customer, or was it Margarita Sames, who concocted the drink in anticipation of a party she threw while vacationing in Acapulco? The world may never know.
What the world DOES know is that, since that fateful day, there have been variations on the theme, including this recipe for the Strawberry Margarita. A lot of these variations, while acknowledging the tartness of the original, add some sweetness to the proceedings, which is what we’ve done here. It’s similar to my Watermelon Margarita and Pomegranate Margarita, but with strawberry, which is arguably a more popular fruit. So if you’re making a batch for guests and want to make something exotic without scaring off your guests, this may just be the ticket.
Which Type of Tequila Should I Use?
In a word? Silver. Though it is aged the least (if at all), “blanco” tequila lets the other ingredients shine through. I mean, you’re adding sugar and strawberries probably because you don’t like the taste of traditional Margaritas, which owes much to the tequila it uses as its base. So a more subtle option is the one you’re after. It’s also easy to track down so it also has that going for it.
But so that you are made aware of the other kinds of tequilas, I’ll touch on them briefly. There’s reposado, or “rested” tequila, which is aged between two months and a year, “anejo”, which is aged between one and three years; and “extra anejo”, which is aged longer than three years. Gold tequila, meanwhile, is a mix of silver and aged. The older the tequila, the more sophisticated and subtle its flavor. With that in mind, I suggest anejo varieties for sipping, and silver/gold for mixing.
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries hulled
- 2 oz. tequila
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 0.5 oz. orange liqueur
- 0.5 oz. simple syrup or honey
- Ice cubes
- Salt and fresh strawberries for garnish
- Combine the strawberries, tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, and simple syrup in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and free of chunks.
- Use a lime wedge to wet the rim of your glass and then dip it into a plate of salt to create a salt rim.
- Fill your salted glass with ice and pour over the margarita mixture. Garnish with a strawberry to add a pop of color.
Tips & Tricks to Making a Perfect Strawberry Margarita
- For more sweetness, replace the salted rim with one made from granulated sugar. Or, if you can’t decide, mix the two together.
- Use real fruit juices to avoid that synthetic, over-sugared stuff you find at the store.
- If you don’t have a blender, muddle the strawberries at the bottom of the shaker.
- To make simple syrup, heat on LOW a 1:1 mix of granulated sugar and water. Stir until the granules have dissolved.
- For a sweetness that will pair nicely with the tequila, use agave syrup (tequila is made from blue agave).
Pomegranate Margarita: Tequila, triple sec, pomegranate juice, freshly squeezed lime juice, and pomegranate seeds for garnish.
Spicy Margarita: Add some heat to the traditional Margarita with hot sauce, Angostura bitters, and serrano peppers.
Cadillac Margarita: Blue agave tequila is a must.
The Margarita: The original, because you should never forget where you came from.
Strawberry Margarita Mocktail: Omit the tequila and triple sec, and increase the juices. Add soda water if you don’t mind the fizz.