So on Tuesday I hit you with the kid-friendly end-of-summer treat and today I’m hitting you with the adult version. Especially for all you moms, pops and guardians out there. By now the kids are either back in school or just about to be. The second you get them and they’re tiny little character-laiden backpacks onto the bus, you’re going to be ready to kick back and relax with a cool drink in your hand (or probably go to the grocery store, work, clean the house or whatever you actually do during the day because being a parent is HARD WORK—I’m guessing).
Regardless, can we all just take a minute to relax and enjoy a drink? I usually have a glass of red wine at dinner/Dexter viewing time, but in the summer, nothing beats a cool, salty margarita. My parents have always been summer margarita drinkers and I’d had a few at home, but again we mostly stuck to red wine. So, I think when I really got turned on to the limilicious that is a margarita was my summer in New York. I was living with one of my very best friends (whose birthday was yesterday, happy birthday, T! This maragita’s for you) and she and her boyfriend (Hey, J) were all about margaritas. We set out to find the best one, but you know what happened? We found the cheapest, still very good one and ended the search almost immediately.
It was this cute little place over in Chelsea that opened up just before we moved there. The bar was hosted in an airstream trailer inside the restaurant. Man, I wish I had a picture. This place was so cool. And guess what? Two for one margaritas. Yep. I wouldn’t lie to you. It was the best. On our last night in New York, we went over for the final margs and found out they were closing after the weekend. FATE! That bar was put there just for us.
Anyway, since living in Arizona I’ve realized those margaritas were just OK. See the trick here is to sweeten that sour lime up with agave nectar, which makes sense since tequila comes from agave (plus hello, that makes them refined-sugar free, which is a major win in my book). Secret #2: My family always used triple sec to complement the citrus flavor of the lime and the alcohol content of the tequila, but for the perfect margarita, you gotta roll out the big guns: Grand Marnier. This life-changing revelation brought to you by Margarita Mondays with my favorite Arizona family (Hi, M, E, M and E — oh wow, I just realized they have parent-child matching initials. Whoa). Anyway, take all of this learning home to Iowa with the best fam (including the extended neighborhood fam—looking at you, J, P and K), add a salty rim and BAM! The Perfect Rocks Margarita (I haven’t attempted this frozen yet, but why would you? Rocks, salt all day, every day).
- 2 ounces tequila (silver, the clear tequila gives it a more pleasant color)
- 2 ounces Grand Marnier
- 2 ounces pure lime juice (I buy the lime shaped bottle in the produce aisle, or the larger 100% lime juice bottle found in the juice aisle)
- 1 ounce light agave nectar (again, the lighter color is more pleasant for a marg)
- Lime slices and coarse salt for garnish
- Cut a slit in a slice of lime and run it over the edge of two glasses (margarita, short ball or wine glasses all work well) and dip in coarse salt. Fill the glasses with ice.
- Place all ingredients (not the garnishes) in a shaker, add ice.
- Shake for about one minute, then strain into the prepared glasses. Cheers!