National Margarita Day: Modernized margaritas with big, bold flavor


Raise a glass and say salud. National Margarita Day is the perfect excuse to enjoy this classic cocktail.

From on the rocks to frozen and salt rimmed or without, margaritas are a classic cocktail that everyone has enjoyed at least once. For National Margarita Day, these reimagined margaritas bring big, bold flavors.

The classic margarita is a simple combination of tequila, triple sec and lime juice. While people tend to vary the ratio, the International Bartenders Association’s margarita recipe is 1/2 tequila, 1/3 Cointreau and 1/4 lime juice. Although some premade mixes work in a pinch, a margarita using fresh ingredients tastes better.

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Over time, the classic margarita has expanded on the simple flavors. From added spices to exotic fruits, margaritas adapt to many food trends. Today, margaritas use edible flowers, spicy peppers and savory ingredients to boost the traditional cocktail.

In honor of National Margarita Day, FoodSided has compiled some of its favorite new margarita recipes. These recipes will awaken your taste buds to what a margarita can be. Warm weather and sunny beaches not included.

National Margarita Day cocktails, photo provided by Tres Agaves

Mandarina Rosa

For those people who want a little different flavor without venturing too far off course, this margarita recipe is a perfect choice. The addition of tangerine juice is a sweet citrus flavor that balances the tartness from the lime juice. With a touch of pink sea salt, the millennials will be drawn to their favorite color, too.

"Mandarina RosaJakob Hostetter, Beverage Director at Cantina 1838, NYC, New YorkIngredients:2 parts Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila2 part Fresh Squeezed Tangerine Juice1 part Fresh Squeezed Lime JuiceDirections:Rim glass with pink sea salt. Shake all ingredients together; double strain and serve straight-up in a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with tangerine twist."

Habanero Hell Fire margarita, photo provided by Tres Agaves

Habanero Hell Fire

For the spice fans, this margarita recipe will get their tongues ablaze. Habaneros are considered one of the spicier peppers. Biting into a whole habanero can make some people chug a glass of milk.

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This margarita recipe uses habanero bitters. Bitters are used to flavor cocktails. Some bitters are considered to have digestive properties, but many bitters are more flavor elements. Habanero bitters add a heat note to the sourness of the bitter. The resulting flavor is more like a tangy heat.

Habanero Hell Fire adds the heat without it becoming a scorcher. The sweetness from the pear offsets the heat. If you aren’t a huge heat fan, lessen the amount of jalapeno seeds.

"Habanero Hell FireJakob Hostetter, Beverage Director at Cantina 1838, NYC, New YorkIngredients:2 parts Tres Agaves Reposado Tequila2 parts Pear Puree2 dashes Habanero Bitters1 part Tres Agaves Agave NectarSeeds of 1 Jalapeno pepper, muddledDirections:Rim glass with black pepper and salt. Then muddle seeds of Jalapeno pepper in pre-rimmed margarita glass. Pour remaining ingredients in glass, top off with ice and stir."

LA Margarita, photo provided by Patron

LA Margarita

Adding something healthy to a cocktail can make you feel less guilty. Chia seeds have become a popular food choice. From fruit parfaits to smoothies, chia seeds have some beneficial qualities. In this margarita recipe, the rim is lined with chia seeds.

While many margaritas add fruit for flavor, this recipe calls for lychee. Lychees have a slightly floral taste, but it pairs quite well with lime. This traditional Southern Chinese fruit is often seen as a summer fruit. The combination of lychee and chia seeds seems like a very Californian pairing.

"LA MargaritaCreated by Jorge Ortega from Los Angeles, CA1.5 oz Patrón Reposado.75 oz Patrón Citronge Orange1 oz Lime Juice.5 oz Lychee Syrup.5 oz Ginger Syrup (such as Monin or Ginger Reál)Whole lychee for garnishSprinkle of chia seeds and salt for rimMETHOD1. Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill.2. Strain onto fresh ice in a glass rimmed with a 50/50 blend of chia seeds andkosher salt.3. Garnish with lychee.*Lychee syrup: Empty the complete contents of a can of peeled/pitted lychees into a blender. Blend until completely liquefied, then strain through a mesh strainer to remove solids"

Skyline margarita, photo provided by Patron

Skyline Margarita

Shrubs have become increasing popular in cocktails. Many mixologists used shrubs as a flavor enhancer. The home mixologist has quickly adopted this technique in the home bar.

This margarita recipe balances the sweetness from blackberries with the smoky heat of cayenne. The combination of a berry with an earthy spice is a smart choice. The heat lingers on the tongue but doesn’t overpower the drink. The effect makes you want to go back again and again for another sip.

"Skyline MargaritaCreated by Megan Radke from Seattle, WAIngredients:1.5 oz Patrón Silver.5 oz Patrón Citrónge Orange1 oz Lime juice.75 oz Blackberry shrub*.25 oz Cayenne-chile syrup**Cayenne-chile salt rim***Orange zest for garnishMETHOD1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill.2. Fine-strain through a mesh strainer over fresh ice into a cayenne-chile salt-rimmed rocks glass.3. Garnish with orange zest.*Blackberry shrub: Combine equal parts blackberries, cane sugar and red wine vinegar in a blender, blend until liquefied, then strain out solids.**Cayenne-chile syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar, one cup water, 1 teaspoon chile powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once the desired flavor is achieved, strain out solids. Alternately, use .25 oz simple syrup, a slice of cayenne or other hot pepper, and a pinch of chile powder.***Cayenne-chile rim: 4 parts kosher salt + 1 part chile powder +1 part cayenne."

Verde margarita, photo provided by Patron

Verde Margarita

Edible flowers are on trend. While the pretty floral colors are visually appealing, the floral flavors add a brightness to the cocktail. The key to using edible flowers is a deft hand. No one wants to drink a cocktail that tastes like a bowl of potpourri.

The Verde Margarita uses both edible flowers and Elderflower liqueur. Elderflower liqueur is a lovely addition to a margarita because it balances the acidic notes without making the cocktail too sweet. Also, the celery is an unusual garnish choice. The texture and bright flavors enhance the floral notes. Why not try something bright and different for National Margarita Day?

"Verde Margarita Created by Jose Luis Leon from Mexico City, MXIngredients:2 oz Patrón Silver.75 oz Patrón Citrónge Orange.75 oz Elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain).5 oz Fino sherry.5 oz Agave syrup1 Lime wedge1 Celery stick1 Pinch saltCelery spear & edible flower for garnishMETHOD1. Rim a highball glass with a mix of sugar, maldon salt & celery salt.2. Combine ingredients in a blender with crushed ice and blend until a slushy consistency is achieved.3. Pour contents from blender into glass.4. Garnish with celery spear and edible flower."

These margarita recipes are just a few options for National Margarita Day. Whether you enjoy one of these cocktails or the classic recipe, don’t let the food holiday pass without raising a glass in honor.