Margarita: How to Make the Perfect Sour Punch

Hello again. Welcome back to 5 O’ Yesterday I was able to determine that a good margarita doesn’t need to be made with Cointreau triple sec.

Still, there is one thing you do need to get right when making margaritas, and that’s achieving the right ratios. This important lesson came from my dad. Here’s how he makes a margarita:

2 shots of tequila

1 shot of triple sec

1 shot of lime juice

Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into a glass full of chunky ice cubes.

There are a couple of things to note about Dad’s recipe. The first is Dad usually makes margaritas the way Mom likes them. This means he doesn’t salt the rim of the glass. If you’re a salty dog like me, take a lime slice and squeeze it around the outside rim of the glass. (Be careful that you don’t get any of the lime juice on the other side of the rim. You’ll risk salt chunks sticking to the inside of the glass and possibly infiltrating your drink. No one wants a margarita that tastes like limey ocean water.) Then gently spin the outside rim of the glass over a heaping plate of margarita salt. Kosher salt from the supermarket works fine too.

The second thing is Dad swears by Rose’s lime juice. I’m not as convinced. I like a more sour punch and I’ve found the best thing to use is professional bar grade material. A local supply shop sells 1kg of Funkin Pure Pour Lime juice for about £10.

Last night’s margaritas, however, were extra special…by accident. Our local supply shop was out of Funkin, so my saintly husband spent the past week scouring the interwebs and the streets of London to source the stuff. All attempts failed.

So what do you do when life gives you lemons? You make lime juice.


Here you can see I squeezed the life out of a dozen limes from the supermarket. I feel fairly privileged to be able to do this. A great friend of mine – and cocktail queen – recently moved back to her home country of Australia, where she was horrified to find out the price of one lime has skyrocketed to – ready for this – $2.25. That’s two Australian dollars twenty-five cents – meaning this photo here might look to friends Down Under like $27-worth of lime carnage. Just as a comparison, I bought my limes from the local Waitrose for 32 pence each, a total of £3.84, about $5.67 in Aussie currency. That’s a (relative) BARGAIN!

Now still on the lime issue: this saintly husband I refer to does disagree with the ratios dear Dad and I use. He says you should use two shots of lime juice instead of one. I will admit I love my other half’s margaritas but you can’t really mess too much with a family recipe, can you?

Finally, the biggest difference between Dad and me is tequila. He usually opts for Jose Cuervo Gold (once described to me as “the good stuff” by a bartender in Baltimore, Maryland). Still, I’ve grown up to be a bit of a tequila snob and now only use 100 percent Agave tequilas. This is a whole point of discussion for another time.

So stay tuned for my next blog when I tell you all about what makes a tequila a real tequila. Hasta luego!