Sure, folks watching the Kentucky Derby this weekend may be sucking down mint juleps. But Cinco de Mayo — a May 5 Mexican holiday commemorating a 19th-century victory over the French that America has co-opted — means margaritas. Still, an iguana-green spiked Slurpee isn’t doing anyone south or north of the border any taste favors. “Don’t use a premade mix — they’re overly sweet. It really doesn’t take that much effort to squeeze your own limes,” says Marcia Simmons, one of the editors of cocktail blog Drinkoftheweek.com and co-author of the new book “DIY Cocktails: A Simple Guide to Creating Your Own Signature Drinks” ($17, Adams Media). And ignore the rumor that good limes can mask a crummy tequila. “Go for an agave one, and you won’t get that hangover you remember from college,” Simmons says. We’ll toast — and slurp — to that.
Recipe File: Margarita
3 parts 100 percent agave tequila blanco
2 parts triple sec (Cointreau recommended) or agave nectar
1 part fresh lime juice
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake for about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass. Optional: Rim the glass with salt and garnish with a lime wedge.
For a single serving, “1 part” can equal half an ounce. To make a batch that serves 10, “1 part” can equal 5 ounces.
Tips and Tricks
» For a less tart margarita, try adding some fresh orange juice.
» For a fresh fruit taste, muddle strawberries or mango slices with the agave syrup, then add other ingredients, shake and strain.
» For a spicy margarita, muddle a slice of jalapeño or chile with the agave syrup, then add other ingredients, shake and strain.
From “DIY Cocktails: A Simple Guide to Creating Your Own Signature Drinks” by Marcia Simmons and Jonas Halpren ($17, Adams Media)