You know how the fools at Tom Foolery’s do it — we like the best drinks in town — and we couldn’t let this day go by without a list of our favorite margaritas. Before we get to the good stuff, you know I can’t resist a good history lesson when it comes to holidays so you know I’ve got you covered on the real meaning behind Cinco de Mayo.
Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day, which falls on Tuesday, May 5 in 2020, is also known as the Battle of Puebla Day. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
See, I made it short and painless for you. The more you know! Now, let’s get to the good stuff… Whether you prefer your ‘ritas shaken up with triple sec and lime or blended up with an avocado (trust us—it works!), these recipes will help you get your tequila fix, stat. Bottoms up!
- Agave Margarita: No sugar here—this margarita gets its sweetness from agave syrup. Choose your favorite tequila Blanco for the base. Ingredients include Kosher salt, 2 lime slices or wedges, ¼ cup Tequila Blanco, 1 tablespoon agave syrup (nectar), ¼ cup fresh lime juice. Directions: Pour some kosher salt into a small dish. Rub 1 lime slice over half the rim of an Old Fashioned glass (if you prefer your Margarita on the rocks) or coupe glass (if you prefer it up). Dip rim of the glass into salt. Combine tequila, agave syrup, and juice in a cocktail shaker; fill with ice and shake well. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with a second lime slice.
- Spicy Grapefruit Margarita: These get their kick from heat-packed habanero chiles. Ingredients include 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons tequila, 1-2 habanero chiles, halved, Kosher salt, 6 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice. Directions: Mix tequila and chiles in a large pitcher. Let steep 3 hours, or longer if a spicier tequila is desired. Discard chiles. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 month ahead. Cover; chill. Pour enough water onto a small plate to cover. Pour enough salt onto another small plate to cover by 1/4″. Dip rims of eight 12-ounce. glasses into water, then into salt to lightly coat; fill with ice. Add grapefruit juice to the pitcher with tequila. Fill with ice; stir until cold. Divide drink among glasses.
- Spicy Cucumber Margarita: Leave the jalapeño in for as long as you’d like—the longer, the spicier! Ingredients include: 1/3 cup sugar, 3 cups Tequila Blanco, 1 1/4 cups lemon juice, 1 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup triple sec, 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, Lime wedges, kosher salt, cucumber slices, and jalapeño slices, for serving. Directions: Bring sugar and 1/3 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let simple syrup cool. Combine simple syrup, tequila, lemon juice, lime juice, triple sec, and jalapeño in a pitcher. Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours (taste every half-hour or so until spiced to your liking); remove jalapeño. Rub a lime wedge over half the rim of highball or rocks glasses; dip into kosher salt. Serve Margaritas over ice in prepared glasses; garnish with sliced cucumber and jalapeño.
- Classic Margarita: You’ll notice there’s no triple sec. Trust us, it’s better this way. Ingredients include Kosher salt (for serving), ½ thick lime wheel (for serving), 2 oz. tequila Blanco, ¾ oz. fresh lime juice, ¾ oz. simple syrup. Directions: Place some salt on a small plate. Rub rim of an old-fashioned or rocks glass with lime (reserve for serving); dip in salt. Fill with ice and set aside. Combine tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds. Strain cocktail through a Hawthorne strainer or a slotted spoon into the reserved glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
- Watermelon Margarita: Out of tequila? Never fear: Using vodka instead makes this cocktail just as delicious. Ingredients include 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1-ounce fresh lime juice, plus 1 lime wedge for glass, 1½ cups cubed seeded watermelon, plus 1 small wedge for serving, 2 sprigs mint, 2 ounces tequila Blanco, ¾ ounce simple syrup. Directions: Place salt on a small plate. Rub rim of a margarita coupe with lime wedge; dip in salt. Muddle watermelon cubes and mint in a cocktail shaker until watermelon breaks up into small pieces and releases its juice. Add tequila, simple syrup, and lime juice. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain cocktail into prepared glass and garnish with a watermelon wedge.
- Paloma: My personal favorite. Okay, so it’s not a margarita—but we’d be remiss if we didn’t shout out to our other favorite tequila cocktail. Ingredients include Kosher salt, 1 grapefruit wedge, ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ cup mescal or tequila, ¼ cup club soda. Directions: Pour some kosher salt on a plate. Rub half of the rim of a highball glass with grapefruit wedge; dip the rim of the glass in salt. Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, and sugar in glass; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in mescal, add ice, and top off with club soda. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.