Today is the day. It’s National Margarita Day in Southwest Florida. Margarita’s are one of the most popular cocktails in the United States according to beverage industry experts. Last year, I wrote this story for the Fort Myers News-Press and Naples Daily News, featuring margaritas in Southwest Florida. It highlights some of the best interpretations of the adult beverage and the restaurants where they are served.

Margaritas come in all shapes and sizes. Do you prefer frozen or on the rocks? Salt or no salt? For a drink that on the surface appears fairly straight forward, it can be quite complex. I find a lot of the margarita mixes hard to swallow. They taste like limeade. However, it’s that severe pucker that others crave. Bartenders will tell you it’s all about the balance between sweet, sour and salt. When it’s right…it’s amazing.

National Margarita Day
For that all important touch of sweet, a lot of mixologists add orange. It can come from the actual fruit itself or an orange liqueur. Adding orange also keep the citrus spirit alive. Take for instance this recipe from Cantera Negra.

  • 2oz Cantera Negra Silver
  •  1oz lime
  • .5oz agave syrup
  •  Orange bitters

Shake and strain first three ingredients over ice in a double rocks glass. Add 2 dashes of orange bitters, giving a nice orange essence without any added sugar.

One of the fun things about margarita’s is the flexibility that the base gives bartenders to be creative. Fruits like watermelon can easily be substituted for some of the citrus

National Margarita Day celebration in Central Florida

If you plan to be or are already in the Orlando area for the day, check out the party planned for Margaritaville Resort. It’s a perfect place to celebrate and try the Watermelon Basil Margarita. It was created for the event and it is free for the first 500 attendees. That is going to be a great party. If you can’t make it, I have the recipe below so you can give it a go at home. In addition, here are a few more recipes featuring different tequila’s for National Margarita Day in Southwest Florida.

  • Watermelon Basil Margarita

    National Margarita Day

    Recipe courtesy of Margaritaville Resort Orlando’s bartender

    • 2oz Watermelon Puree
    • 1.5 oz Margaritaville Silver Tequila
    • .5 oz Basil infused simple syrup
    • .5 oz Margaritaville Triple Sec
    • Topped with a Sea Salt Foam
    • Glass Rimmed with Tajin
  • Cosmo-Rita

    National Margarita Day
    Ingredients
    8oz Natalie’s Margarita Mix
    3oz Cranberry juice
    7oz Blanco tequila
    Frozen cranberries
    Sliced lime
    Flaky sea salt

    Directions
    1. In a cocktail shaker or pitcher combine margarita mix, cranberry juice, tequila, and frozen cranberries. Shake or stir well.
    2. Pour into 4 martini glasses (or margarita glasses!).
    3. Take a slice of lime and dip half of it in flaky sea salt and garnish the drink with it.
    4. Use extra frozen cranberries to keep the drink cold.

  • Perfect Pineapple

    National Margarita DayIngredients:

    1.5 oz Patrón Silver

    .5 oz Citrónge Orange Liqueur

    1 oz Pineapple juice

    .5 oz Lime juice

    Tajín rim

    Lime wedge for garnish 

    Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until combined and chilled. Strain into a Tajín-rimmed rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

  • Flecha Spiced Margarita

    National Margarita Day

    Flecha Tequila is founded by Mexican-American PGA golfer Abraham Ancer and Mexican entrepreneur Aron Marquez, Flecha Azul is an additive-free tequila, rooted in their bonds of friendship, love for Mexican culture and living the American Dream.

    2 oz Flecha Azul Blanco Tequila

    ¾ oz fresh lime juice

    ¾ oz triple sec

    3 jalapeno slices

    Tajin rim

    Combine all ingredients into a shaker. Muddle jalapeno slices, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass and add fresh ice.

  • Cazadores Highland Margarita

    National Margarita Day

    Made with award-winning 100% Blue Weber Agave from the highlands of Los Altos de Jalisco,

    2 oz. Tequila Cazadores Blanco

    4 oz. Grapefruit Juice

    1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

    1 oz. Light Agave Nectar 

    Salt (for rim)

    1. Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice

    2. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and a lime wheel

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