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Vilis' World's Greatest Margarita Recipe

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My best results occur when I mix this in a standard blender:

1-1/2 cups good tequila! Life is too short to drink cheap tequila! Jose Cuervo Gold is the minimum standard.  My latest personal favorite is 1800 Silver or I've also been using Sauza Hornitos Reposado a whole lot lately.   
And, face it, the margarita will be incrementally better if you jump up to a higher-end brand (besides the better the tequila, the less severe the hangover!). 

Experimenting with high-end tequilas will add subtle flavors and allow you to create your own signature margarita.
My latest favorite is a brand called Cazadores recommended to me by Fernando Avelar whose family has a legacy of growing and harvesting the blue agave cactus for tequila in Mexico. Patron Silver Tequila has also been a very good mix.
1/2 cup Grand Marnier This is as good as is gets.  I do not float this on top but rather mix it in with the blender.

A great alternative is the Italian version of Grand Marnier called Gran Gala (it's less expensive and just as good).

1/3 bottle of beer Yes, you did read that right, a 1/3 bottle of beer.  The best results are with a standard bland American icon beer like Budweiser, Coors or Miller.   Avoid micro-brews with lots of character as this will leave an aftertaste to your margarita.  Beer is one of the few food groups that are less acidic and so the addition of beer to this margarita will make a mellow tasting, smooth drinking formula.  It also adds the barest hint of carbonation during mixing.  This is one of the 'secret' ingredients and I have never had anyone guess that there was beer in their margarita.
1 can frozen lemonade
concentrate
I've experimented with lime-aid, and all sorts of lemonades.  You will have to do the same.  I avoid the ones with the pulp.  Sometimes you will have to add sugar if you've selected a sour brand. (12 ounce size)
A big long healthy squirt of Real Lemon This is real lemon juice concentrate and adds the wonderful lemon tanginess a great margarita needs.

You can squeeze an actual lemon, but then you're dealing with the pulp issue (which you can filter out), but for a more authentic blend, this is the way to go.

A big long healthy squirt of Real Lime This is real lime juice concentrate and also adds the lime tartness for a subtle enhancement.

As above with the lemon, you can squeeze an actual lime, but then you're dealing with the pulp issue (which you can filter out), but for a more authentic blend, this is the way to go.

Water or Ice to fill up the blender My preference is to add half ice and half water to fill up the blender to the top.  This way you are not serving a frozen margarita but a very cold one with shards of crushed ice. The best margaritas are quite concentrated but then poured over a heaping full glass of ice that starts to dilute the power of the cocktail as it melts. Now, lately we've been serving these straight up or "perfect" in a margarita glass or (my personal favorite) a martini glass. Shake it up on the rocks and pour it in straight up. Somehow this promotes more of a sipping approach (very fast sipping often, but still technically sipping)
sugar to taste As you are completing the mix portion in the blender, you may choose to add sugar to taste.  By doing it in a blender you don't have to worry about a granular texture in the drink.

 E-mail Vilis with your comments

Check out previous comments about this recipe:

  • "You are right - THE BEST margarita ever! Thanks for the recipe. I usually find them too sweet but this one cuts that cloying taste."
        ... Sharon
     
  • "dear Vili , undoubtedly the best recipe out there , I been working in Fiji from Australia, our bar is constantly stocked with duty free. I mix all ingredients in a jug and freeze overnight hence the result is more of a slurpy texture. I have on occasion substituted the sugar with local mandarins, nicely complementing the grand Marnier with another subtle undertone. thanks from Vince/ Australia"
     
  • "Just a quick note. Last summer our neighbor asked us for cocktails and served us Margaritas. He had gotten the recipe from your site…..my how easy they were to consume.

    After that evening I asked him to pass on the recipe to me. At another social event we were asked to contribute a cocktail, and this is the one we chose to share. Again, another hit!

    We have now passed on the recipe again, and do it without hesitation as it is by far the best recipe for margaritas we have ever had the please of tasting.

    I just wanted to pass this note on and say Cheers! "
        .... Wendy
     
  • "We are serving our margaritas over ice and will be having a big party – do you have a recipe that is converted into a larger quantity? Like a gallon?" CW

    Dear CW ... I like your style! I too like big parties! Honestly, since it needs to be well mixed anyway, I find the blender is still the best route and I just make batch after batch. As the "Margarita reputation" has grown I have received several nice gifts of crystal decanters for Margaritas (thanks Ingrid!) and I serve them in the decanter instead of from the blender. For big parties or where I am bringing the margaritas elsewhere, I have used a thoroughly cleaned gallon milk jug or two to store or to transport them."
    ... Vilis
     
  • "You were doing great until you mentioned beer!
    No one puts beer in a Margarita!!!!"

     
  • "I didn't add the beer .... but simply because I couldn't bring myself to pick up a single. The suggestion of the Gran Gala was great ... good savings ..Grand Marnier ... is over priced...

    The overall mix was ... thick ... and tasty .... used organic Lemon and Lime juices ... Almost tasted.... like a dessert ... I drank too much ...  Up-side is..... I bought the Cazadores ... and didn't feel any pain ..

    Great recipe ... best I've used lately ... I will add the beer next time ... I'm staying home and .... fuzzy ...."

    GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
     
  • "I hate you and your margarita recipe! Well not really. They are too good. We had an office barbeque this weekend and everyone loved your margaritas! The problem is that now (... it's Monday morning) everyone is hung over ... and there is some explaining and apologizing (especially from Albert!) that needs to happen amongst co-workers. Thank you for your contribution to a better business  climate in America!"
     
      ... Hung-over in Michigan
     
  • Interesting!
    ... Mackeroon
     
  • "Cuervo Gold???!!! You should call this a trailer trash margarita! Agave Añejo or nothing!"
       ...
    Disappointed in you, from California
     
  • "I would like to make this into a frozen margarita. Can I do that with this recipe?  We're having a party tomorrow."
      ... Okla

    Dear Okla: Just substitute ice in the blender for the water that you would normally add. Keep adding the ice until you get the consistency that you would like ... and voila ... a frozen margarita!
    Vilis

     
  • "Hi! I stumbled across your "Vili's World's Greatest Margarita Recipe." I was hoping you would allow me to post it to MyMissourian.com, a site for mid-Missourians to post stories, recipes, etc. Please let me know if this would be ok. Thank you!"
       ... Julie
     
  • "Okay, I have to ask. How does a margarita recipe have anything to do with your motivational speaker website?"
       ... just a little confused.

    Dear confused: I've asked myself the same question more than a few times. There is absolutely no correlation. Just a few too many times though, I've had to write out the recipe on a flip chart or white board or napkin so I opted for the easy way out and it has just evolved since then. I guess as long as I keep getting visits and hits on this page I'll keep it up!
    Vilis

 E-mail Vilis with your comments