Feb. 22 is National Margarita Day, so it's time to grab your favorite tequila and get shaking. Whether you like them frozen or on the rocks with a salted rim, margaritas are among America's most popular cocktails, according to Bacardi Limited's 2021 Trends Report. Although the drink's exact history is hard to pin down — many accounts say it dates back to the mid-1900s — it has been a popular choice throughout the United States (and around the world) for decades. A margarita is basically a vacation in a glass, so take advantage of this spirited holiday and mix up your own cocktail from home this week.
Related: More cocktails and spirits
To start, you'll need tequila, fresh limes, agave (or simple) syrup or triple sec, a shaker, a jigger, glasses, and salt if you'd like to rim your glass. There are countless margarita recipes out there, but the Cointreau Original Margarita recipe (which has been around for over 70 years) keeps things simple with a 2-1-1 ratio: two ounces blanco tequila, one ounce Cointreau, a French orange liqueur, and one ounce lime juice, all shaken together and strained over ice into a glass with a salted rim. (To rim your glass, rub a wedge of lime around the edge, then roll it in the salt.)
That said, the beauty of at-home bartending is that you can play around to make your perfect drink. Perhaps you prefer a half-ounce of triple sec and a half-ounce of agave syrup, instead of a full ounce of orange liqueur, or maybe you'd rather skip the salt. Add a splash of fruit puree or syrup for a sweeter flavor, or shake it up with fresh jalapeno slices and serve it in a glass rimmed with chili lime salt for a spicy kick. Whatever you make, you'll want to stock up on the right ingredients — and you'll want to make sure they're good.
Espolon Tequila Blanco and Olmeca Altos Tequila Plata, which typically retail under $30 for a 750-milliliter bottle, are both budget-friendly options that taste delicious in a margarita (or most other tequila cocktails, for that matter).
Or, step it up a notch with a higher-end spirit: Patrón Silver Tequila, Casamigos Blanco, and Don Julio Blanco are a few popular choices that will take your National Margarita Day celebration to the next level. And if you prefer a reposado instead of a blanco tequila in your margarita, El Tesoro Reposado is a great option.
Spicy margaritas are all the rage, according to the 2021 Trends Report, and pepper-flavored or infused tequilas make it easier than ever to make one at home. Tequila brand Tanteo makes three pepper-infused tequilas, and its jalapeno iteration is its most popular — it has a great kick without overwhelming spice.
Of course, Cointreau, a classic French orange liqueur used in many cocktails, is a great accompaniment to tequila and lime in a classic margarita.
And while making a margarita is easy, opening a can is even easier. According to Bacardi Limited's 2021 Trends Report, ready-to-drink cocktails have exploded in popularity. They're easy to carry along to small gatherings or picnics, but they also bring that craft cocktail experience home, so you can enjoy a perfect drink whenever you want.
Cutwater has a range of canned, ready-to-drink cocktails, including the popular Cutwater Tequila Margarita and the new Cutwater Mango Margarita. Two Chicks, a canned cocktail brand with six flavors currently available, also offers a delightful Sparkling Citrus Margarita with a lower ABV and adorable packaging.
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