The Basics Tips & Tricks

How to Put a Personal Twist on a Margarita

Image: / Tim Nusog 

Now as many of you know, I enjoy a well-made Margarita any time of year, come rain or shine.

But my tendency to tinker has led me to test out lots of variations on the cocktail. And there is no reason that you shouldn’t have a go at it either.

1. Experiment with Your Tequila

You should always start with a great 100% blue agave tequila. Blanco is a good base, but as you get comfortable with the spirit, experiment with using reposado and even añejo for a drink with more robust flavor.

2. Try a Different Fruit

Tequila is very mixable and works well with a variety of fruits besides lime. Try adding an ounce of apple, pomegranate or grapefruit juice to the standard recipe. You can also muddle a handful of blueberries or chunks of watermelon, pineapple or peach in your shaker before pouring in the remaining ingredients.

Another simple way to give things a twist is to use a bit of jam or preserves. One of my favorite versions is the Breakfast Margarita, which calls for a few spoonfuls of orange marmalade.

3. Spice It Up

And don’t be afraid to spice up your 'rita with a pinch of rosemary, mint or cilantro, or a little jalapeño or habanero chile. But remember, less is really more when it comes to herbs and hot peppers.

To bring balance to the drink, you’ll need a sweet element, whether it’s simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water) or organic agave nectar. Citrus liqueurs like Cointreau and Grand Marnier also sweeten things nicely, but look out for the elderflower St-Germain or the ginger Domaine de Canton.

4. Adjust the Balance

With any good Margarita, there's a harmony between the alcohol, citrus and sweet flavors, so keep on tasting until you get it just right.