See Updates below.
To make a great Margarita you need great tequila, and most of the widely-available affordable tequilas (including name brands) are dreadful mixtos. (See Types of Tequila) Fortunately there is a very good tequila that won't bust your budget: Zapopan,
- 3 oz tequila 100% agave, reposado preferred
oz triple sec*
good quality, orange curaçao also works well
oz lime juice**
unsweetened, preferably fresh, Mexican/Key lime for extra flavor
Shake with cracked ice, and serve in rocks glass, over cracked ice, without salt.For more sweetness, add more triple sec (or agave nectar).
Great accompaniment to guacamole!
Update (8/2017): Alas, Trader Joe's no longer carries Zapopan, and the replacement tequila doesn't measure up, but Zapopan can still be found at Bitters+Bottles. The price is higher, but it's still a great bargain. Only Blanco is stocked, but Reposado can be ordered.
Update (5/2020): In California, try Mission Wine & Spirits (in Pasadena), which ships to California addresses: 1L for $19.95 (still a bargain).
Tequila alternatives (easy to find):
- Olmeca Altos Reposado
- Lunazul Reposado
- El Jimador Reposado
- Drillaud (excellent)
- Mr Stacks 60 Proof (bargain)
- Hiram Walker 60 (1.75L size only)
- Patrón Citrónge and Cointreau are good but overpriced
- Nellie and Joe's 100% Key Lime Juice (not the similar Key West Lime Juice)
- Florida Key West 100% Authentic Key Lime Juice