Truly, there are very few things that divide us.
Want to see what we're talking about? Just to name a few things: we all adore cooking Italian food, love traveling to Mexico, have an unending desire to explore Mexico City, and we all hate cotton candy!
But of those few things that we don't agree on, nothing divides us quite as much as one topic: how to make the best classic margarita cocktail. Even when you take away all the fancier options -- ahem, Skinny Margarita, Spicy Margarita, or Charred Citrus Margarita -- we still can't agree. That's because we don't on the most basic of basics like if the cocktail should be salt-rimmed, whether it should have orange liqueur, or what type of tequila to use.
Despite that, there are things we agree on: all of us prefer a margarita on the rocks, all of us like those rocks to be cracked (not crushed!), and we only ever use freshly-squeezed lime juice. And all of us like this version of a Classic Cadillac Margarita!
We already went over the various origin stories behind the classic Margarita when we covered the must-try classic food and drink from Baja California. But we didn't mention the formula.
If you were to create a cocktail family tree, you'd find that the Margarita falls squarely in the sour cocktail family. A sour is a cocktail that combines a liqueur with some citrus juice (usually lime or lemon) and a sweetener. According to the IBA -- the authority on all things alcohol -- the official ratio is 10 parts tequila to 4 parts triple sec/sweetener to 3 parts lime juice though you'll find all sorts of variations on that!
Along those lines, the classic Margarita is a sour cocktail made with tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur. So, you're now wondering what is a Cadillac Margarita, right? Well, a Cadillac Margarita is a premium version -- hence the reference to the most classic of luxury vehicles -- of that same drink.
Not only is top-shelf liqueur used but also golden liquor is used, which is why you sometimes hear it called a Golden Cadillac Margarita. What do we mean by golden? Well, traditionally the golden-colored liqueur Grand Marnier - a brandy-based take on triple sec - is used instead of clear-colored triple sec. Also, the straw-colored reposado tequila, which is aged a minimum of two months in oak barrels -- is used instead of silver (aka Blanco aka Plata) tequila.
Regardless of how you have it there are a few key tips to help you shake up cocktail perfection:
Once you've shaken up a few Classic Cadillac Margaritas, you may want to mix it up a bit. Here are a few of our favorite twists -- some spicy, others sweet, and some charry -- to try out:
Need some inspiration for what to serve with your oh-so-perfect Margarita? Take a look at these recipes that are perfect for a Mexican-themed feast!
thinly sliced (saving the end piece to rub the glass)
or any other style of 100% agave tequila that you like
Chill The Cocktail Glass: Prep the cocktail glass by filling it with ice water then set it aside until ready to use.
Make The Crushed Ice: Wrap a handful of ice cubes in a clean kitchen towel or in a ice bag, and, using a rolling pin or mallet, tap on it until all the ice is broken up and crushed into pieces ranging from pea-sized to snowflake sized.
Shake 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.
Serve The Cadillac Margarita: 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.
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.
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