5 Ways to Add a Punch to a Traditional Margarita

We all have our favorite cocktails. A traditional margarita, perhaps even just a rum and coke. But sometimes, you want to mix it up. A traditional margarita, whether on the rocks or blended, is a delicious favorite, but like the winner of our first ever Macayo’s Bartender of the Month contest, who created a Spicy Strawberry Margarita featuring Sriracha sauce, a little twist can make a big difference. Spice up your next fiesta with these five margarita additions and recipes.

1) Add an unexpected ingredient, such as ginger

Whether blended or on ice, an unexpected punch of flavor to your margarita is what will bring your fiesta to the next level. A little ginger can add a zing that’s also a bit healthy. Try a slice of cucumber – or if you prefer a blended margarita, blend a slice of cucumber or two with your mixture. Another ingredient that’s easy to add that adds a fun sour kick is grapefruit – try adding a bit of fresh-squeezed yellow grapefruit juice to the mix. If you prefer something sweet, use pink grapefruit juice.

2) Have fun with color

A pretty cocktail is something everyone can appreciate. It depends on the type of margarita you whip up, of course – don’t expect to maintain that rich golden hue if you add in muddled blueberries! Color can make a huge difference in the way your drink is presented, and bartenders are always aware of this. Try swirling in blackberry juice for a fun flavor addition as well as a pop of purple. If you’re making strawberry margaritas, create a color layer by blending the strawberry mixture separately from the traditional margarita recipe, then pour in a glass one mixture at a time. These types of ideas can add a punch to your fiesta cocktail game.

3) Mix up the rim

Salt on the rim is definitely a favorite, but there are so many other great things with which you can circle your margarita. Many mixologists try sugar or sugar and salt mixtures, but take a cue from other cocktails for this one. Dip the rim of your glass into orange or lime juice and then into colored sugars, chili powder, or seasoned salt. Naturally, these last two work for traditional margaritas or drinks with a savory twist.

4) Experiment with your garnish

Traditionalists tend to stick with salt and a lime, but there are many fun ways to garnish a margarita for your next fiesta. Try adding a sprig of something on the rim or sprinkle in an herbal garnish, such as basil, thyme or rosemary. Try a slice of apple or peach instead of a lime; and strawberries, of course, make beautiful garnishes.

5) Think outside of the glass

These ideas aren’t exactly a twist on a traditional margarita, but they do take the idea up a notch. There are different types of margarita-themed items you can make that your guests would enjoy, such as margarita sherbet, margarita ice cubes (for tequila on the rocks), and other margarita-cocktail fusions that have become popular in recent years. Whether you stay traditional and simply serve up a batch of margaritas for guests to enjoy or go out of your way to create artisan cocktails that your guests will talk about for years to come, the idea is to have a little fun and experiment. Keep it simple, tasty and fresh, and you can’t go wrong.