The perfect margarita

A frozen margarita for grown-ups, using only fresh juices. The lime zest makes it tart, but the orange juice takes the edge off. I prefer the darker, more carmelized taste of reposado or gold 100% agave tequilas. For a less formal occasion Joe Cuervo Tradicional works very well.

Close-up of a margarita and glass.

Makes: 2 drinks
Time: About 5 minutes


  • 4 ounces Patron Reposado tequila
  • 1.5 ounces Mandarine Napoleon or Cointreau
  • 2 ounces of orange juice
  • 1 large lime
  • 2 cups (approx.) of ice cubes


  1. Zest the lime using a very sharp microplane zester, taking care to skim only the outer bright green skin. Avoid biting too deeply into the more bitter inner white skin. Place the zest into a blender.
  2. Juice the lime into the blender, with a citrus squeezer or citrus juicer.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients into the blender.
  4. Blend until smooth. The drink should be a dense slurry. Adjust the ice amount to your taste. I prefer a fairly dense mix that a mixing stick should stand up in.
  5. Pour into two glasses, salted or not. I prefer the glasses unsalted, serving the drinks with very salty, spiced, and oven-warmed tortilla chips.
  6. Bonus points: this is possible with a very dense ice mix: Pour an extra once of tequila over the top of the ice mix to form a thin “float” layer of pure tequila. Pour the tequila gently onto a tablespoon held at the surface of the ice to form the layer.
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