We get a lot of reminders this time of year that Feb. 22 is National Margarita Day—a bizarre designation that seems to have something to do with the murky origins of this legendary cocktail and some marketing efforts to get us to drink more. Our typical response: around the Southwest, where Outside is located, every day is margarita day. The cocktail, which we hold in high esteem, is in play year-round, routinely capping rowdy powder days, toasting epic bike rides, and providing the perfect recovery beverage for bloody-fingered climbing weekends. What’s more, we take particular pride in crafting the best margs we can. No neon-green slushies or mix-in-the-mouth party shots. We’ll take our tequila on the rocks, thanks, or as a "Silver Coin" (a Classic, with blanco tequila) or "Gold Coin" (the Classic, but using reposado tequila, our pick for the winter months), blended carefully with just a few of the finest ingredients beneath a salted rim.
With a grateful shout-out to our friends at Casamigos, the private tequila label founded by Rande Gerber and actor George Clooney, who sent us a sample of their fine product, here are a few guidelines to preparing a margarita the way it should be. We tend to keep them simple, but don’t discourage dressing them up, provided the ingredients remain high-quality.
The Real Man’s Margarita:
• 1 glass
• 2 ounces Casamigos or quality blanco, reposado, or anejo tequila
• 3 cubes of ice
Preparation: Pour tequila over ice; garnish with a couple of good friends.
Caliente Kiss Margarita (Originally the Bloody Rita):
• 1 part blanco tequila (100% blue agave only)
• 1 part tomato sauce
• 1 squeeze of Sriracha Chili Sauce
• 1 dash fresh black pepper
• 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
• Dash celery salt
• Dash paprika
• Dash cumin
• Juice ½ lemon
• 1 cucumber slice, for garnish
Preparation: In a shaker filled with ice combine all ingredients. Shake well and pour into tall glass over ice. Garnish with cucumber slice.