Hail, Margarita!

Bob Joyce

blog - finished drink

As one of the male members of this blog community, I have had a certain amount of pressure recently to contribute a post. I didn’t have a legitimate excuse like Justin, who’s up to his eyeballs in house renovations, or Stewart, who simply stated that he was on a warship in the Atlantic. (I’m not really sure what that has to do with anything, but we do have to support our troops, so I guess he gets a pass.)

No, the real reason I hadn’t submitted a post was that I couldn’t think of anything I could do or offer that was food-related that would make for an interesting post. Then, one night, while I was sipping on that frozen concoction that helps me to hang on, it came to me: if there’s one thing for which I have gained a degree of notoriety within the family, it’s that I make a pretty darned good frozen margarita, if I do say so myself.

The history of the frozen margarita is somewhat unclear. It’s a relatively modern drink, as none of the versions of its origin dates it prior to 1940. According to Wikipedia, the most common version has the drink being first served by a bartender in Ensenada, Mexico, to Margarita Henkel, the daughter of a German ambassador who lived nearby, and he named it after her for being the first person to taste it. Other versions of the drink’s origin exist that also seem plausible. For current generations, however, I believe the drink owes much of its popularity to Jimmy Buffett’s song “Margaritaville,” which appeared on his 1977 album Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes – one of his best ever, in my humble opinion.

Contrary to what some might believe, I was not present at the unveiling of the first margarita ever served, whenever that might actually have occurred. My own history with the drink is much more recent. The first recollection that I have of ever having a frozen margarita was in April 2004. It’s possible that I had one before then; if so, it clearly wasn’t as memorable as this one.

Sharon and I were travelling to San Antonio for a business conference. After a tiring trip that started with a 4:00 a.m. wake-up to catch the pre-dawn flight out of Kingston, we arrived in San Antonio mid-afternoon. A 40-minute bus ride later, we were dropped off outside the Hyatt. And there, waiting for us in the outdoor courtyard, was a Hyatt bartender with pitchers full of frozen margaritas. What a wonderful sight, and welcome to the Lone Star State!

Back in Canada, we decided to make the concoction at home. As with most things in the kitchen, I turned to Sharon for help with the instructions. Since then, I have tweaked the recipe somewhat, and here it is.

blog - Margarita ingredients

Ingredients and directions

  • 1 can Bacardi Margarita Mix
  • About 24 regular ice cubes
  • About 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • About 6 oz. tequila
  • About 2 oz. triple sec
  • Margarita glasses – not essential, but preferred
  • Salt to rim the glasses
  • Blender

Our blender has a 48-ounce jar, so this will provide four 12-ounce drinks.

blog - margarita blenderIt is essential to have a powerful blender, as you’ll be crushing a lot of ice.I learned the hard way about needing a powerful motor when I blew out Liv’s favourite red Hamilton Beach blender several years ago. If your blender isn’t powerful, add the cubes in stages, about a third at a time. If you are adding the ice all at once, I have found adding half of the ice cubes, then the margarita mix, followed by the remainder of the ice, works well. Don’t throw out the can, as you will need it later.

Next, add about a tablespoon of sugar – we use the President’s Choice organic sugar in the carton. This is a personal preference, so you might like more or less than this amount. I then add the juice of a whole lime, more if the lime is small or on the dry side. Again, this is a matter of preference as to the amount.

Now add the tequila and the triple sec. I tend to use Jose Cuervo Gold, but I have tried other brands. If you have extra-nice tequila, save it for sipping, as the beauty of the smoothness will get lost in the frozen blend. I use the empty margarita mix can to measure, adding three-quarters of a can of tequila, and then one-quarter of a can of triple sec.

To rim the glasses, slice into the edge of one of the lime halves that you’ve already juiced. Slip the notch over the rim of the glass and moisten the entire rim. The proper way to salt the rim is to angle the glass into the salt container and rotate the glass until it’s salted. I’ve never mastered this technique, so I place the top of the glass straight down into the container and half-turn the glass.

Blog - margarita saltFinding a good margarita salt is important. We don’t like flavoured salts, but you do want a salt that adheres well to the glass. We use the Williams-Sonoma brand, but it is getting harder to find. The Toronto store didn’t have any the last time we checked, but you can still find it at Williams-Sonoma in the States, or by shopping online.

Now you’re ready to go. Blend the ingredients until you have a smooth consistency, pour and enjoy! 

Bob lives and has learned to love adventurous eating in Kingston, Ontario, just a short drive and a thousand flavours from his childhood home in Brockville, where black pepper was exotic.
Welcome to our family’s discussion forum on food. If you’d like to submit a post, please consider yourself family, and email us at familyfoodforum@gmail.com.

    After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

– Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

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10 thoughts on “Hail, Margarita!

  1. I could not be more excited to have this recipe! Though, I’m almost certain they wouldn’t taste the same if I made them at home. Bob, your margarita is the benchmark. I seldom order them when I’m out but when I do, I often think “hmm, not as good as Bob’s”.

    I can’t remember if James has experienced a Bob Margarita?

  2. Unfortunately, it makes me want one now. With corn chips and guacamole. But you have to restrict these babies to Friday and Saturday nights. I think that should have been included in the recipe, in the interests of public safety.

  3. Very Nice Bob! I would like to take this moment to lobby for more cocktail/wine/beer postings.
    If getting away this weekend to visit was an option Bob, I might have had a shot at tasting one of these beauties.The Margarita is my warm weather and or physically intense day slushy and absolutely perfect with a variety of hunger subduing nibbles. Corn chips, smoked fish, goat cheese, sheep cheese, salted nuts, toasted and spiced pumpkin seeds which are very seasonal at the moment, and so on.
    I once used black salt to rim….stunning with the pale silky ice and the lime garnish.

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