There are many bad margaritas being served out there so the key is to be discerning. Words to be skeptical about when mentioned in association with a margarita: "Rose's lime juice," "sour mix," "orange juice," "gold tequila." These ingredients are often used by large chain restaurants and bars and leave much to be desired because too often they yield a cloying, overly sweet drink and a bad hangover. Silver tequila (aka blanco) is a purer form of tequila that hasn't been aged. Good quality silver tequila has a smooth or sometimes smokey flavor that pairs beautifully with fresh citrus. In my experience, margaritas made with silver tequila and lots of fresh citrus are the least likely alcoholic beverage to give me a hangover. I don't know why this is and I have no scientific proof, but I do know that when we consume alcohol our body is often left with a depletion of vitamin C. Perhaps the fresh lime juice in the drink helps to offset this?
MARGARITA (makes one)
2 oz silver tequila
1/2 oz triple sec or cointreu, grand marnier or other orange liqueur. Alternately, you can omit the orange liqueur entirely and increase the simple syrup (or agave syrup for preference) to 3/4 of an oz.
Juice from 1/4 of a juicy lime
1/2 oz simple syrup
dash of water
kosher salt or sea salt poured into a plate (for the rim of the glass)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients to your shaker with the exception of the salt. Run the juiced lime rind around the edge of your glass (use a martini glass or a rock's glass if serving over ice) and dip the rim of the glass into kosher or sea salt that you've poured on a plate. Shake the ingredients until the shaker is too cold to hold and strain the contents into your salted glass. Serve up or on the rocks. (note: if you don't like a salted rim, be sure to add a pinch of salt to your drink because the salt is crucial in creating the right balance of sweet and sour.)