- Make sure you know what you’re doing before you serve a margarita this Cinco de Mayo.
- Insider spoke with Alfred Cointreau, a sixth-generation member of the family-run orange-flavored triple-sec liqueur brand, to find out the mistakes that might be ruining your margarita.
- First of all, he said, stop using a cheap orange liqueur, margarita mixes, and bottled lime juice.
- Also consider salting only 50% of the rim.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Insider spoke with Alfred Cointreau, a sixth-generation member of the family-run orange-flavored triple-sec liqueur brand, to find out how to make the most of the classic drink.
Created in 1849 by his great-great-grandfather Edouard in France, the brand has a whole lot of history and is even tied with the creation of the original margarita (the drink’s creator, Margaret “Margarita” Sames, once said: “A margarita without Cointreau is not worth its salt.”)
Having joined the family business in 2010, Alfred Cointreau (normally) travels the world to meet with mixologists and bartenders to educate them on Cointreau – and on the classic cocktails like the Sidecar and the Cosmopolitan, which also rely heavily on the liqueur.
He let Insider in on a few secrets – including all of the mistakes that might be ruining your margarita.
You’re using a cheap orange liqueur
Perhaps unsurprisingly, he recommends using Cointreau instead of a cheaper alternative.
“You want to make sure you get a well-balanced margarita, so you need Cointreau rather than a cheap orange liqueur or triple sec,” he said.
He also recommends opting for a high-quality blanco tequila instead of the most affordable bottle you can find – you’ll be able to taste the difference.
You’re using bottled lime juice
Cointreau says the brand uses only natural ingredients in its cocktails – which means no lime juice from a plastic bottle.
“Use fresh lime juice,” he said. “It’s better to use fresh ingredients – you get a better taste at the end and better results.”
You’re using too much salt
Most people dip the entire rim of their glass in salt when making a margarita – but you may want to rethink this to get the best taste.
“The thing that makes it is a salt rim, which can be strange for some people,” Cointreau said.
To make it as flavorful as possible, he suggests salting just 50% of the rim “so the drinker can taste it with and without the salt.”
You’re not getting your measures right
The proper margarita measures should be:
50 ml tequila
30 ml Cointreau (or triple sec)
20 ml lime
But he added: “Use the balance you like – if you like it more sour, add more Cointreau and lime. One of my good friends uses equal parts of each.”
You’re using a margarita mix
Margarita mix is a major no-no, according to Cointreau.
“What I like to do is to drink less, but drink better,” he said. “Nobody is amused by your irresponsible drinking – when you want to drink one or two cocktails, have a good one.”
He added: “In premixes you have artificial flavours – I don’t want to be influenced by artificial aromas and too much sugar.”