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A classic margarita for Cinco de Mayo -- or anytime

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  • Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

Shake it. Blend it. Salt the rim.
Drink up!
Why wait until Cinco de Mayo -- which is today, by the way -- to have a margarita?
After all, the cocktail is more popular in the U.S. than Mexico. The tequila-based blend is the most favored cocktail in America, consumed about 185,000 times per hour.
Part of the margarita's charm is its simplicity. Basic recipes call for only three ingredients: tequila, orange-flavored liqueur and lime juice.
It doesn't have to stop there. Diet soda, cucumbers, lavender, grilled grapefruit, roasted blueberry and chocolate are all possible inclusions to make the drink your own.
And if you're feeling especially feisty, try adding red chile, basil, pumpkin, beets or peanut butter.
For real.
Why the name margarita?
Some accounts say the drink was named for singer Peggy Lee. Peggy is a form of Margaret, which is a form of Margarita.
Another origin story stems from a popular Prohibition drink called the Daisy that was served in Mexican border towns.
Others credit a Dallas socialite named Margarita, who was bored with the same old poolside drinks and wanted something new. Or maybe it was the show girl a Palm Springs bartender got mixed up with after mixing too many tequila drinks.
There are as many stories as there are flavors.
Pick your favorite.
What's your name?
Maybe it's time to have a drink named after you.

Drink up

A classic margarita is two parts tequila, one part orange-flavored liqueur like Cointreau or triple sec, and one part fresh-squeezed lime juice. Limes give up about two tablespoons of juice each, so do the math: If you want to make eight margaritas for a dinner party, you need about 12 limes.
Classic margarita
1 jigger (3 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
Margarita salt
2 jiggers (6 tablespoons) tequila
1 jigger (3 tablespoons) orange-flavored liqueur
Rub the rim of a margarita glass with the squeezed lime. Pour some margarita salt in a shallow saucer. Turn the glass upside down in the salt and rotate it a little bit so the salt sticks to the lime juice.
Pour the juice, tequila and liqueur into a shaker filled with ice (or a jar filled with ice), and shake it until the contents are icy cold.
Pour carefully into the glass so you don't mess up the salted rim. Garnish with a round of lime, if you like.
Makes 2 cocktails. Or one.
Story tags » Alcohol

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