Are Expensive Margaritas Better?

America doesn’t give the margarita the respect it deserves.

Most margaritas served in the States are treacly, salty, gooey abominations: 24 ounce swamps of half-melted ice sweetened with corn syrup and tinted bright green with food coloring. As a result, most Americans think of margaritas as harbingers of hangovers, love handles and ill-advised hookups. A guilty pleasure at best.

Yet the margarita is fundamentally a great cocktail. Though it seems to have been invented as recently as 1948, its name, Spanish for “daisy,” points to its kinship with the venerable branch of cocktails just as old as the martini or the Manhattan. More importantly, properly-made margaritas taste great: tart, crisp, drinkable and complex. The perfect platform for tequila and the perfect cocktail for a summer afternoon. And, of course, Cinco de Mayo.

We at HuffPost do respect margaritas. But we normally make them using cheap ingredients. We’ve always heard that you shouldn’t splurge on expensive ingredients for cocktails, because they don’t really affect the taste once they’re all mixed together and shaken. We were dubious though. Everyone agrees that you can tell the difference between cheap and expensive spirits when you sip them alone. Why should cocktails be any different?


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