As team Salt & Wind, we see eye-to-eye on most things; really, there are few things that divide us. And of those thing, nothing divdes us as much as how to make a classic margarita cocktail. Even when you take out all the bells and whistles (sans Skinny! no picante! without fancy citrus!), we can't agree on the most basics of basics.
Take the tequila: some of us like it aged while I stand by 100% agave silver tequila (and we won't get started with brand names). A few want it super stripped down: just lime, tequila, and simple syrup while the rest of us go for salt and a dash of Cointreau. All of us prefer it on the rocks, all of like those rocks to be cracked (not crusehed!), and we only use freshly-squeezed lime juice. So, after much debate, here is our version of the Classic Margarita, well, a Classic Cadillac Margarita that is.
thinly sliced (saving the end piece to rub the glass)
Prep the serving glass by filling it with ice water. Right before you going to serve the drink, discard the ice water, rub the rim with the end of the lime then dip it in salt, pressing to adhere.
Wrap a few handfuls of ice cubes in a clean towel or ice crusher bag and, using a mallet, rolling pin, or muddler, tap until all the ice is broken up and crushed (you want a mix of ice sizes from pea sized to snowlike).
To make the margarita, place the tequila, lime juice, agave, and orange liqueur in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well until chilled and frosty, about 15 to 20 seconds. Strain the margarita into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice (with a salted rim, if desired). Garnish with a few slices of the lime and serve.
To salt the rim, press half of a squeezed lime along the rim of a glass then roll the very edge of the rim in some kosher salt.