How to Make a Classic Margarita

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  • Tequila
  • Lime juice
  • Agave nectar

Place all ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake, then pour into either an old-fashioned shaker glass over ice or straight up into a martini glass.

Pure ingredients are the key to the perfect margarita, says Jacques Bezuidenhout, a bartender ambassador with Partida Tequila.

A 100% agave tequila is essential as is fresh lime juice. “Squeezing that lime is key to a fresh margarita,” Bezuidenhout explains. Never use a margarita mix. “They’re too sweet and they’re part of what gives a hangover because there’s so much sugar in them. And they have about 12 ingredients, which includes colorings.”

Agave nectar is also vital. This sweetener is easier on the body than other sugars and liquors because it’s fructose rather than sucrose, he explains, so it doesn’t produce the sugar spike that other sugars produce in the body.

Bezuidenhout advises against using salt on a tequila glass, which he says “hides flavors which you don’t really need to do with a fresh margarita.” But if your guest prefers it, wet the rim of the glass with a cut lime wedge then dip the rim into kosher sea salt. Take care not to squeeze the lime, he says, or juice will drip down the glass.

The classic margarita can be paired with any kind of Mexican food or anything spicy.” Margaritas are versatile and the tequila stands up to spice very well,” Bezuidenhout says.

The drink also works with Thai and Indian food and any American food like hamburgers or BBQ. “There’s nothing that pushes a margarita away.”

Jacques Bezuidenhout started his career nearly 20 years ago working in bars and restaurants in South Africa. He moved on to work in the restaurant and bar industry In San Francisco in 1998 and he is a bar and restaurant consultant. He is working with the Kimpton Hotel Group’s beverage program. He has worked with Partida Tequila since 2006.