The best margarita in Texas

February 27, 2019

¡Es Tiempo para Margaritas!🇲🇽🌮🍸

Here are the only margarita recipes you need

    My wife and I just got back from San Jose Del Cabo for a short vacation after football season ended. We had a lot of great food and drinks, and we met up with old friends Pete and Susie - Minnesota snowbirds migrating south for the winter as they do every year. 

We had some fantastic margaritas during our stay but I left missing the process of actually making them. The smell of good tequila, the scent of fresh-squeezed limes, the constant sampling to check if you've got the ratios just right... you miss that when your waiter serves you the finished product.

After returning home,  I'm ready for a good marg. THIS, I know how to do. 

Remember these numbers:  3 - 2 - 1(ish)

The perfect margarita is all about fresh, crisp flavors kicked up with Grand Marnier and sweetened with light agave nectar.  The perfect margarita begins with the understanding that there is no such thing as a perfect margarita. There is only a perfect margarita for you. It's important to find the ratio that works for your taste buds. 

Doing an extensive amount of research on the subject I think I finally determined the perfect ratio for me,  and it seems to work just fine for my friends and family too. I can't stress this enough;  the uncontrolled variable in any margarita is the acidity of the lime. The size of a lime - the season - they all make a difference in how a single lime can affect the ratio.

Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge is an orange-flavored liqueur created in 1880 by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle. It is made from a blend of Cognac brandy, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar. Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge is 40% alcohol. All things are better with Grand Marnier. It makes for a balanced, smooth margarita without taking away from the tequila, and they have a Peach version that adds an interesting flavor note. Not a fan of the peach in margs, but Grand Mariner is a must.

CAMARENA SILVER TEQUILA is relatively new to the U.S. market, but the company traces its tequila-making origins back 250 years. Located in the Highlands region of Jalisco, Camarena grows three million agave plants at an elevation of nearly 8,000 feet. And from all that agave, they are producing two expressions of twice-distilled 100% agave tequila–a silver and a reposado.  The silver is my favorite. It's slightly peppery and vegetal on the nose, with a hint of citrus in the background.  

According to Nielsen ratings, margaritas were the best-selling drink in America in 2018, passing martinis, old-fashioneds, and mimosas. 

Tequila and mescal are two Mexican spirits that vary in flavor and their legal definitions. According to Mexican appellations of origin, tequila is a distillate made from blue agave and must be produced in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Mescal can be made from any of the 30 distillable types of agave and anywhere in Mexico. In other words, tequila is a type of mescal, but mescal is not always a tequila.

Ground rules for the perfect margarita

- All tequilas have their own terroir and character, whether they’re blanco, reposado (aged up to 12 months), or añejo (aged between one and three years). Taste, at room temperature, to judge for yourself.

- Choose only tequila that’s made from 100 percent agave. 

- Use fresh citrus, from ripe fruit. No prefab mixers.

- A little salt on the rim can brighten and balance your drink. I like to experiment with blending in herbs and spices to hit different flavors. For example, try sea salt and your favorite fine-ground red chile pepper.

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Here are five of the best margarita recipes I think you'll appreciate.

I met Sean Beck at The James Beard Foundation dinner at the award-winning Caracol restaurant in Houston in late March. This is his margarita recipe:


El Tesoro Is my favorite tequila and one of Mexico’s finest spirits. Grown in the highlands of Jalisco, it’s clean, pure and flavorful. It makes a perfect margarita, delivering a refreshing-yet-flavorful experience. Here is the recipe for our classic version we serve at Caracol.


1.5 ounce El TESORO BLANCO


1 ounce LIME JUICE


2-inch strip ORANGE ZEST


1. Lightly salt rim of a double old fashioned glass.

2. Combine in a shaker El Tesoro, Combier, lime, agave nectar, and ice

3. Cover and shake well.

4. Strain into prepared glass.

5. Garnish by squeeze orange peel skin-side down over the top of the drink.

Here are some other classic recipes you may like:

The House top-shelf Rita

2 ounces Roca Patron Silver

1-ounce Grand Mariner

Juice of ½ lime (to taste)


Fleur de sel salt


1. Lightly salt rim of a traditional margarita glass.

2. Combine in a shaker: Tequila, Grand Mariner, lime, agave nectar, and ice

3. Cover and shake well.

4. Strain into prepared glass.

The Silver bullet

Silver Bullet margaritas use high-quality silver tequila balanced with a little Cointreau and fresh citrus.

2 ounces Herradura Silver

1 ounce Cointreau

Juice of ½ lime

Lemon juice to taste (try a quarter of a Meyer lemon, which is a sweeter variety)

Sea salt on the rim

Directions: Same as above

The Cue

Here, we introduce mescal, but balancing all the flavors is important. Again, taste and sample. It’s sweet, tangy, and savory all at once, which makes it especially great during backyard barbecues.

1 teaspoon pureed chipotle in adobo sauce

½ lime, quartered lengthwise

½ ounce fresh lemon juice

¼ ounce agave nectar

2 ounces Sombra mezcal


1 green bean, for garnish

1 slice bacon, for garnish

In a shaker, muddle the chipotle and lime wedges with the ginger syrup, lemon juice, and agave. Add the mezcal and ice, shake, strain into a glass, and garnish.

The Fire and Brimstone

For this one, you’ll need to experiment with the jalapeños—or a similar pepper of your choice—to dial in the heat to your liking. I'm comfortable with 50,000 scovilles.

1 ½ ounce Sauza Tres Generaciones Plata tequila

1 ounce Cointreau

1 ounce Don Amado Rústico mezcal

3 slices jalapeño, seeded, muddled in the glass (or 2 drops of DaBomb hot sauce)

Sea salt on the rim

Directions: Same as above


And finally - The World's best margarita


3 ounces Camarena silver tequila (100% blue agave)

2 ounces Grand Mariner (mixed in drink)

3/4 fresh lime squeezed (to taste)

1-shot Agave Nectar (to taste)

Kosher Salt rimmed glass

1 sliver of jalapeno, for garnish

1 twist of lime, for garnish

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Special equipment:  Stainless steel container/shaker

1️⃣ Combine the tequila, Grand Marnier orange liqueur, some of the lime juice, and agave nectar in a large stainless steel container. Stir. Remember, you're going to add ice, which will add water to the mix. What you're looking for is the balance of the tartness of the lime juice since that's the uncontrolled variable. I've had limes that were so tart you only needed two for 4 margaritas.

2️⃣ Smell.

3️⃣ Sample taste. If it needs a little more lime juice, add a little. 

4️⃣ Add 3 cups ice.

5️⃣ Sample taste after the ice has mixed for 30 seconds. Tart, but not too tart is what you're looking for. Nothing ruins a great margarita faster than too much tartness, (or a heavy-pour of tequila). You will never be able to balance it out, so keep it low on the acidic scale to begin with.

6️⃣ Again, the best part of this... Sample taste again. (Sip it fool! Tiny sips are all you need at this point.)  You'll know you've hit it when you taste it. 

7️⃣ Prepare a chilled, salt-rimmed margarita glass. Pour into the glass along with a controlled amount of the ice. Garnish with a sliver of lime twist, and serve.

RATIO: 3 parts Tequila, two parts Grand Marnier, 1 Part lime juice, Equal part ice.

NOTE: You've got to keep the ice/water included in the finished product with this recipe, or the ratios are thrown off.


✏️Ran DeBord ~

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