National Margarita Day: Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian explains what makes the perfect margarita

Margaritas. You know 'em, and you probably love 'em. But what makes some versions of this popular happy hour cocktail — and Cinco de Mayo staple — better than others?

Well, according to Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian, the answer is pretty basic: the ingredients.

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“Like everything else, ingredients and product. Only the best limes squeezed to order. Pure cane sugar. Great tequila,” the celebrity chef told Fox News.

However, the ingredients aren’t the only elements that push a margarita from just any drink to your favorite drink. It’s also how you use them.

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“You must not over-sweeten the drink. It can’t taste sweet the first sip. If it does, by the time you finish the 8-ounce glass, it will leave a sugary residue, and you won’t want another one,” Zakarian said.

“It’s a classic mistake making them too sweet,” Zakarian said.

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To avoid this amateur folly, Zakarian shared a recipe that delivers those authentic tequila flavors, but with a fruity — and spicy — twist.

Sidekick Margarita

“It’s a classic mistake making them too sweet,” Zakarian says of sub-par margs.

“It’s a classic mistake making them too sweet,” Zakarian says of sub-par margs. (Geoffrey Zakarian, Chef/Partner, The National at The Benjamin Hotel)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Avion Reposado Tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce passion fruit puree
  • 0.5 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 ounces spicy agave nectar
  • Chipotle salt and a lime wedge, for garnish

Directions:

  • Rim a rocks glass with chipotle salt. Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, Cointreau, passion fruit puree, lime and agave nectar. Pour into rocks glass and garnish with lime wedge.