Sure, it’s easy to load a cooler up with beer and maybe a couple bottles of wine and call it a weekend. But imagine the treat of sipping fresh margaritas as the sun sets. And since they’re neither difficult nor take up much space, the minimal work is totally worth the effort. But first, a few tequila tips: Use one you wouldn’t mind drinking straight, but not one that’s so exceptional it should be drunk straight. The best are labeled “100% Agave.” Clear types (called either white, blanco, plata, or silver) will have an intense, but true tequila flavor, often with a hint of sweetness. Once aged, agave tequila turns golden and takes on other characteristics; reposado (rested) and añejo (technically “aged”) are both mellowed slightly in barrels for anywhere from two months to year or more. Note that these are tangy, somewhat strong margaritas. If you like them sweeter, increase the sugar and water for the syrup to 1/3 cup. If you like them weaker, decrease the tequila to around 1 cup.
Makes 3 cups (4 to 6 cocktails)
1/4 cup sugar
About 1 pound limes
1 1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup triple sec
Kosher salt, for serving
- Put the sugar in a small pot (or a microwave-proof cup) with 1/4 water and bring to a simmer. Stir to dissolve the sugar then let cool a bit.
- Juice all but one of the limes. (You should have about 3/4 cup.) Quarter the other lime and put in an airtight container.
- Combine the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar mixture in a 1 quart jug with a tight seal. It should be about 3/4 full.
- Fill the jug with ice and shake. Let the margaritas chill while you prepare the glasses.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of salt on a plate or towel. Run a lime wedge around the rim of 4 or 6 tumblers and dip each in the salt. Fill the glasses halfway with more ice. Pour the margarita over the rocks, add a squeeze of lime, sit back, and start sipping.
There won’t be any leftovers. So be sure to rinse out the jug well so you don’t attract ants. Use it for water or mixing pancake batter in the morning. (See Pancakes from Scratch)
Bring smaller glasses and a strainer, and put the margarita mix in a 2-quart jug. At camp, top the jar off with ice, shake and chill, and salt the glasses but don’t add more ice. Strain the margaritas to drink straight up.