National Margarita Day is February 22nd and while hospitality outlets remain closed, thanks to the global Covid-19 pandemic, some of London’s favorite bars are ensuring that everyone can enjoy plenty of Margaritas at home, with a wide variety of pre-bottled cocktails and Margarita making kits available for nationwide delivery. Top London bartenders from The Connaught, The Sun Tavern, Discount Suit Company and Mr Fogg’s have created kits to make your own and bottled cocktails to pour right into your salt-rimmed coupe glass.
While Margaritas might be considered a summer drink, real estate agent Todd McCalla founded National Margarita Day in February 2008 to demonstrate that they can be enjoyed any time of the year and to show the wide variety of this cocktail. Margaritas typically contain tequila, orange liqueur and citrus juice but there are many other versions, including strawberry, peach and mango. To dial up the sweetness of the classic cocktail, it’s common to add a spoon of sugar syrup or, better, agave syrup. Margaritas can use either Silver (Blanco) or Reposado tequila (slightly aged). While Reposado tends to be the Tequila of choice in Mexico, adding a mellow complexity and a smoother taste to the drink, Silver tequila is more broadly available and conveys the cocktail a bolder agave flavour. The salt rim is synonymous with the Margarita as it intensifies the sweet and sour flavours of the drink but depending on taste, is optional.
There is much debate as to when the classic Margarita was created, although it was likely in the UK in the 1930s, according to the mixology experts at Gifford’s Guide who point to a recipe in the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book published in 1937. A survey of 2,000 British drinkers by Scenic Cruises & Tours showed that the Margarita was one of the most searched recipes online last year, proving the UK’s ongoing love for this classic. With people turning to mixing their own drinks at home during the lockdown, the survey also found many are still far from mastering the art of mixology. Drinks often ending up too strong or simply tasting terrible. Just one in three people were aware that tequila is typically used to make a Margarita, with 40 per cent finding it harder to make than other cocktails. And 75 per cent would be unable to make the drink without a detailed guide.
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The Connaught, winner of “World’s Best Bar” in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2020, has created The Margarita Collection by Ago Perrone & Giorgio Bargiani (£35) in partnership with PATRÓN tequila to create the perfect Margarita for home delivery. The legendary duo has created a set of three bottled cocktails using PATRÓN Silver, PATRÓN Reposado and PATRÓN Añejo. All the sales profits will be donated to the Covid fund of The Drinks Trust, in aid of the industry professionals affected by the pandemic.
Mr Fogg’s Air Mail Cointreau Margarita kit (£19.50) is another creative option. Available for nationwide delivery, each kit includes two servings in a pouch containing Cointreau orange liqueur, AquaRiva Blanco tequila, citric acid solution and aromatic bitters plus a garnish for the perfect serve, along with Mr Fogg’s favorite strawberry bon-bons.
Margaritas in a single serving can (£3.99) have just been launched by new canned cocktail company MOTH (Mix of Total Happiness). Made using Enemigo Tequlia, Triple Sec, lime and salt, the MOTH Margarita offers a surprisingly tasty cocktail enjoyed straight out the fridge.
If you’re keen to make your own Margaritas, Difford’s Guide has also teamed up with PATRON to create PATRÓN x Difford’s Guide Margarita kits (£74.95). The kits include all the ingredients needed for fifteen Margaritas: a bottle of PATRÓN Silver tequila, a bottle of triple sec, 6 fresh limes, a bottle of agave syrup, Difford’s Margarita Bitters, an easy jigger and two PATRÓN Margarita coupe glasses. On purchase of the kits, buyers will also receive an invitation to a virtual Margarita making masterclass on 31st March, hosted by the expert ambassador Gianluca Pavanello.
Another option for home mixologists is from the team behind the popular cocktail bars, The Sun Tavern and Discount Suit Company who have created limited edition Cointreau Margarita Kits (£50) for World Margarita Day. Each kit includes all the ingredients you need: a bottle of Cointreau, a bottle of Ocho Tequila, Anglesey sea salt and limes. The kit also comes with a Cointreau cocktail shaker, jigger, strainer and squeezer, as well as two limited edition coupette glasses from Discount Suit Company.
PATRON Tequila’s Recipe for a classic Margarita
45 ml tequila
15 ml orange liqueur
15 ml fresh lime juice
7.5 ml agave syrup
4 drops Difford’s margarita bitters (optional)
1.If desired, rub lime over half of the rim of a chilled coupe glass and roll in rock salt.
2.Add ice, tequila, liqueur, fresh lime juice and syrup to a shaker. Shake for 15 seconds and strain into glass.
3.Garnish with a lime wedge.