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What Every Texan Should Know About . . .

No. 6 Cooking Like a Texan

How to make a margarita.

Illustration by Abi Daniel

One of the most commonly adulterated and abused cocktails is the margarita. Bartenders frequently try to “put a new twist on an old classic”—mixologist parlance for “fix something that ain’t broke.” And while these variations may get an A for innovation, more often than not they end up ruining a concoction so simple to mix that even the drunkest among us can’t muck it up—no matter how bad it might muck you up.

Makes one drink

2 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce fresh juice from Mexican limes

With a lime wedge, moisten the rim of a tumbler. Pour salt onto a plate, then coat the rim. Fill a shaker with the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Shake well. Fill the salted glass with ice, then pour the mixture into the glass and garnish with the lime wedge. (For a straight-up margarita, swap the tumbler for a martini glass, add ice to the shaker, then shake and strain into the glass.)

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  • Kozmo

    Yep, that’s pretty much how I make ’em myself. Except, being poor, I substitute Triple Sec for Cointreau. And I usually add a tsp. of sugar to reduce the tartness, balance the flavors better (since fresh lime juice can be unpredictable). Muy excelente!

  • Quancho

    What, is there some other way to make ’em?