Monday, January 31, 2011

The Best Margaritas in the World

These are absolutely the best margaritas I have ever made/had in the comfort of my own home. The credit, alas, is not mine at all, that belongs to the great and talented Rick Bayless, of Top Chef Masters and other foodie fame. He runs Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and XOCO here in Chicago. We visited Frontera about a year ago and the food was good, but the truly memorable part of the meal were the incredible margaritas. (Memorable food for cheap, by the way, can be found in abundance at XOCO, go there.) These were just the house margaritas, mind you, and they were about $14 at that. But they were amazing.

Luckily for the world, Rick chose to share his recipe for his house margaritas with a columnist here in Chicago who, in turn, chose to share it with everyone else. I personally recommend these, as do many of our friends and family members. The combination of the homemade lime simple syrup (which would be an amazing limeade on its own, by the way... and worth the hour it takes to make) and the higher quality tequila (completely worth the extra money) and the shaking over ice makes these incredible.

If you like margaritas and their limey goodness, please do yourself a favor and try these. And try not to be horrified by the extreme ratios as far as the seemingly large amount of tequila involved in these, but do drink them in moderation. The taste is exquisite, and can be enjoyed in small sips :).

Close-up of the real lime bits of goodness
Yes please

Rick Bayless' Margaritas of Awesomeness
(recipe makes 6ish, depending on your margarita size preference)

1 1/2 c freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 c sugar
2 c water
2 1/4 c 100 percent agave anejo tequila
1/2 c orange liqueur
1 lime, halved
Kosher salt

1. Place the lime juice, the sugar, and the water in a pitcher, stir well, and let refrigerate for about an hour
2. Once the simple syrup is all melded together, add the tequila and the orange liqueur into the pitcher and stir to combine
3. Using the cut side of the lime, moisten the rims of your margarita glasses/martini glasses and immerse in salt to crust the rims
4. Fill a single serve cocktail shaker about 3/4 of the way with cubed ice, fill with margarita mixture, cover, and shake until condensation appears on the outside of the shaker (or for about a 15 count)
5. Strain into one of the salted glasses, repeat the shaking for all your guests



  1. I love how you make your own lime syrup. I've never really entered the terrain of mixed drinks at home, but I'd love to start exactly here, with this awesome recipe.

  2. I think you certainly should Jenna... these are very worth making!