The Mexican favorite gets the Lone Star treatment in this Texas Margarita—everything you love about the original cocktail but with a splash of orange juice.
Texas and Mexico have a special bond. The reason is obvious: they share a long contiguous border, making them closer neighbors than, say, Texas and Louisiana. So it makes sense that they influence each other in everything from sports to culture to food. That’s how this cocktail—the Texas Margarita—came into being.
The details of the original Margarita’s creation is a bit hazy. Some point to Carlos “Danny” Herrera, a bartender in Tijuana, Mexico, who named it after a customer—Marjorie King—in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Others credit Margaret “Margarita” Sames, who supposedly created it for her guests while on vacation in Acapulco. Whoever it was, their cocktail became so popular, it grabbed the attention of those just north of the border, in Texas. There they added a splash of orange juice for a more balanced, refreshing version of the original. And it worked.
With the addition of a non-alcoholic ingredient, the Texas Margarita is a favorite of mine on those long summer days spent in the sun, when I don’t want to fall prey to the potency of a traditional Margarita. Give it a go and you’ll see just what I mean!
What is the Best Tequila to Use?
We get tequila from the fermented juices of the blue agave plant. Want to go on a tequila crawl? Head to the Jalisco region. There you’ll find the town of Tequila. It is the only government-regulated location where the spirit can be distilled. Tequilas are recognized by their age and color:
- Blanco (silver) is light in color and taste. It is a mild one, so I usually turn to it when I only want a hint of agave flavor.
- Reposado is an amber tequila. It assumes that color after spending two months to a year aging in oak casks.
- Añejo and Extra Añejo (aged and extra aged, respectively) are the old fogeys of the lot. Añejo is aged for one to three years while Extra Añejo surpasses three.
As with most spirits, the longer it is aged, the richer and more sophisticated the taste. For the Texas Margarita, I recommend blanco or amber tequila. You want to taste that orange juice, not the tequila.
- 2 oz. silver tequila 100% agave is preferred
- 1 oz. Cointreau or any orange liqueur
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz. fresh orange juice
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup or agave
- salt (for the rim) *optional*
- lime and orange wheel (for garnish)
- Wet the rim of a glass with a lime wedge, and then dip into a plate of coarse salt. Set the glass aside.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, orange juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously until well mixed.
- Strain the mixture into your prepared glass over ice, garnish with a wheel of lime, and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks to Making a Perfect Texas Margarita
- Fresh juices are recommended instead of the store-bought stuff. They taste better and you will avoid preservatives and added sugar.
- Want some sweetness in your cocktail? You should try adding a bit of sugar to the salted rim.
- No one likes a warm Margarita, which is why I chill my glasses before using them.
- Don’t worry about going to the gym; you’ll get your workout from shaking this cocktail, which you’ll need to do for at least 30 seconds.
Other Margarita Variations
- Mango Margarita: A tropical variation that ads mango to the tequila, lime juice, and triple sec.
- Frozen Margarita: Is it a particularly hot day where you are? Then you’ll want to chill it up with a Margarita that blends its ingredients with ice.
- Strawberry Margarita: You can infuse your margaritas with a sweetness only strawberries can provide.
- Pomegranate Margarita: I pass pomegranates at the grocery store all the time. With this recipe, I finally have a reason to pick one up!