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Tip Your Bartenders, We’re Here for You!

A Guide to Making a Margarita

By Michael BaylonPublished 3 years ago 5 min read
Tip Your Bartenders, We’re Here for You!
Photo by Aurélien Lemasson-Théobald on Unsplash

I’ve been on the food industry for quite some time and what I love the most about the job is being a bartender. You are essentially a “cook” behind the bar, your place of solitude from regular service. You’re mixing ingredients from left to right, often nonstop during the night. Combining your liquors, your bitters, your sweets, and your zests to make your signature drink. Finally, when a guest tried what you offered and that satisfying look in their face; it’s amazing.

Hello friends and thank you for reading this special story. My name is Michael and today, I am going to be your bartender guide for all your drinking needs! I am here for those who’ve always wanted to be a bartender but never got the opportunity to do so, or even those who want to be more knowledgeable about making drinks. Creating drinks doesn’t have to be that hard, and when you make a mistake? It’s a fun, drinkable mistake. I’m here to teach you the basics without the complications. The only thing I want you to do: Make it and drink it. So let’s start with making your first special cocktail (because you made it) which is: The Margarita.

By Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

As a disclosure: You must be 21 or over to drink. Don’t even think about making this drink on your own if you’re under.

The margarita is a very simple, traditional, and often altered cocktail. You can make pineapple margarita, strawberry margarita, extra spicy margarita, so on and so forth. Basically, whatever flavor you’re craving, make a margarita. Considered to be a “classic” cocktail, the drink simply consists of tequila, triple sec, fresh citrus juice, simple syrup. Garnished with a salt rim and a lime wedge. Simple enough right? Here is the build (a term where you stack the ingredients in your mixing glass).

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Tequila: An Upper, Not a Downer (1.50 oz)

Isn’t great when you have a liquor that keeps you excited and happy and not sad or depressing? Well, good tequila will provide you that feeling. When choosing a tequila, choose on quality brands rather than the “house side” of the brands ( pretty much, don’t go cheap) . There are several choices, but some of my favorites include, Sauza, Tres Agaves, or even Herradura. Go for tequilas that are marked silver NOT gold. Note that most liquors, with the exemption of whiskeys/bourbons, they usually come clear. It’s like having a blank canvas with flavor and smelling notes of honey mixed in. If you go gold, you’ll be getting this weird metallic flavor. You don’t want that. When you do, it’s hard to mask that flavor; you’re trying to accentuate all the variety of flavors from the rest of the drinks. If you want to be daring and maybe add a bit more class, try a tequila that’s marked reposado, a more milder and smoother flavor with touch of smoky notes. That’ll keep things interesting if you do.

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Triple Sec: It’s a Liqueur of the Orange Variety (0.50 oz)

Again, when choosing brands, refrain from house brands. With the case of liqueurs on the other hand, they act as a sweetener while containing their alcohol content so it’s okay to go cheap. You can at this point go for brands that‘ll literally say Triple Sec. I can’t even recall it too, it’s kind of embarrassing. I guess I’m just used to picking it up from the line without looking at the name. Speaking of name though, if you want to give that extra one-up you’re looking for, go with Cointreau. It’s that cubed bottle, you can’t miss it. It’s a good quality liqueur. Reason being it’s mainly French, but when your drinking to enjoy a night on the couch, go house.

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Simple Syrup: Not So Simple at All (1 oz)

Okay I lied. It really is that simple. I recommend, really recommend you make a batch at home rather than buying syrups you get in the grocery aisle. It’s cheaper, it last a while when you properly store it, and above all, you know what you’re putting in your drink. What I recommend when making a batch of simple syrup is using natural, raw sugar. Again, natural, raw sugar. The taste of the sugar is subtle, it’ll give your drink a more authentic flavor, and you get street creds for being a better bartender. To make it, measure 1 cup of natural, raw sugar and mix it with 1 cup of warm water. Completely dissolve the mixture.

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Lime Juice: Freshly Squeezed Please (0.50 oz)

Pretty much what I said from that subtitle. Freshly squeezed all the way. When I decide to write another cocktail you can easily make, it is essential you use fresh ingredients. It just taste better. If you buy those juice boxes in the liquor aisle and try them in your drinks, you’ll taste the preservatives. It taste horrible. Remember, you’re making your own drink. As a home grown bartender, you’ll get a better satisfaction that something fresh always tastes better.

By Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Natural Juices: Whatever Pleases You (1.50 to 2 oz)

As I said before, go au naturale. The fresher the better. Simply enough, some freshly squeezed orange juice will do you some good. If you happen to have something seasonal, mix it up.When you don’t have time for fresh, that’s okay. You’re not going to get some negative points if you don’t use fresh juices. Like pineapple. That’s pretty hard to juice on a normal day. I often recommend then to use juices that are preservative free and something you often use for other cooking purposes.

Time to Mix it and Drink it

Now that you have your ingredients, go ahead and build it in a mixer glass or shaker tin. If you don’t have those two items, one trick is to use a 32 ounce cup you got from McDonalds fill it up with ice. Add all the ingredients and shake. If you’re using the alternate cup, slosh it back and forth with another sized cup. Get a new glass, preferably a cup that usually drink a cocktail with, and rim it with salt. Fill with new ice and strain your cocktail into that salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

There you have it! You’re simply made cocktail, the margarita. That was not bad at all. It really is easy being a bartender. One thing to keep in mind for making any kind of drink is to keep things simple. You definitely will get those cocktail that’ll ask for waft of cream foam, or a dusting of some of spice you’re not going to use. Just keep it simple. Most cocktails will generally have 3 to 4 ingredients max, it’s all about balance and flavor. Give it a try when you try to make your own concoction. Remember, if you make a mistake, it’s a fun, drinkable mistake. Tip your bartender and come back next time when I post another cocktail you can easily make.

By Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash

If you ever need visual help.I’d be happy to do so. I’m your bartender guide after all. Cheers!


About the Creator

Michael Baylon

Actor, singer, foodie, and an inspiration at heart. Sometimes life throws you in for a loop, let’s create something positive to spread to this ever-growing community.

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