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.
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.