A lot of recipes call for equal parts of lime juice, tequila, and cointreau. In our experience this can be quite acidic and a little too boozy. We found a great recipe for margaritas you can make at home from Rick Bayless called the Topolo Margarita. The limeade on which this recipe is based gives you a good balance of sweet and sour to start. The addition of some water up front results in a margarita that’s not overly acidic or too alcoholic.
In Chicago we would often stop in to Xoco for a sandwich (try the Cochinita Pibil, but be so careful with the sauce!), skip the long line by getting it to go, and make our own drinks at home. These margaritas made frequent appearances during grilling and pool parties in the summer with our friends and neighbors, George and Stacy.
The key to this margarita, and why it has a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and refreshing-ness, is that it’s already a little diluted with the limeade that you make without using straight lime juice. Also, since you pre-mix everything in a pitcher it’s an easy recipe to make for a party since you’re doing most of the work in advance. Who wants to be the bartender at their own party? Not us. We strongly suggest using a high quality tequila. We like to use Herradura blanco. For triple sec we prefer Cointreau and we personally don’t like to salt our rims.
The recipe calls for being shaken and strained into a cocktail glass, but we like to keep things casual by using short glasses with ice. We like to re-purpose our favorite Malin + Goetz “mojito” candle glasses into tumblers. Once your candle is gone, freeze the glass and it will pop right out. Throw it in the dishwasher and you’re good to go!
While you’re at it, check out some of the other cocktail and margarita recipes on Rick Bayless’s website – he’s a pro.
HINT: Xoco also has a great margarita with a hint of cucumber in it. If you want the added refreshing-ness of cucumber, a splash of cucumber vodka will do the trick.
Get Recipe: Topolo Margarita