Illustration by Paige Spearin

 

A twist of lime, a hint of spice – how you take your margarita says as much about your personality as what you wear.

 

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style this year we asked our friend and entertaining genius Suzanne Pollak of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits for some help crafting the perfect margarita.


Below, join us as we celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a few festive cocktail tips from Suzanne.

 

The Margarita! The one and only super refreshing, spring like, intoxicating drink.

 There’s the slightly tacky, slightly wonderful frozen margarita, which is only delicious by the side of a pool on a steamy hot afternoon. But that’s not what we are after.

 Our cocktail is the elegant, elevated, enticing three ingredient margarita. The most delicious and authentic ones only have fresh lime juice, tequila, and Cointreau or Dry Curacao. Two liquors hide in them in their waters and make no mistake, even if your mind forgets they are there, your body won’t. Two of these may be one too many.

 

The Glass - A martini glass, an old fashioned glass, a see through glass. Whatever. You do not need a dedicated margarita glass.

 

The Ice - Fresh. A few cubes for shaking, a few for on the rocks.

 

The Salt - Do not use iodized salt. Sea salt - Fine, coarse or flaky? I find coarse is best but not too much. You don’t want a mouth full of salt. I rim half the glass so I can keep my taste options open. 

 

The Lime - Use a citrus juicer which is quick, efficient and impressive and can juice dozens of limes in minutes, for when you plan to make pitchers of cocktails. The lime wheel, which you will want for garnish is a thickish slice of lime.

 

The Liquor - Silver Blanco.

 

Dry Curacao - When some people think of curaçao they think of that awful bright blue stuff - sticky, sweet and horrible. Curacao is a product of the island of Curacao made from pot stilled brandy & dried peels of curaçao oranges. Curacao is much more interesting than anything else in a margarita. Just ask the bartenders :-) I make curaçao soufflés for Easter. Easter Eve too. 

 

The Mix - If you even think about using a mix LEAVE class.

 

 

The Academy's Favorite Margarita

 

Coarse Salt, for rimming the glass (optional)

Ice

1 1/2 ounces silver tequila

1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice, or one juicy lime

1/2 ounce Dry Curacao (or Cointreau)

Optional for spicy- a piece of Serrano chili in the shaker or a few drops of spicy chili bitters

 

If using salt, place in a shallow dish. Rub the rim with the inside of squeezed lime, dip half the rim in salt. Salt brings out another element and goes with agave flavor.

Put lime, orange liquor, and tequila in a shaker, fill with 3 - 4 ice cubes, shake aggressively till the shaker is ice cold, about 25 to 30 seconds. Shaking tames the drink. Will get frothy on top from the sour limes. Strain. Garnish with a lime wheel. 

 

Serve immediately.

 

If making a pitcher of margaritas add a cup of cold water and stir. It tames the drinks down since you are not shaking.

 

 

 

What To Wear To Your Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, Below: