Lemon Thyme and Ginger

Taste of Mexico: Classic Margarita

Taste of Mexico: Classic Margarita Recipe

Cinco de Mayo is a great celebration of Mexican heritage and culture. As with many cultural holidays, the festivities focus on parades, parties, music, food, and drink. It just so happens, May 5, 2017 is also an auspicious day for my family, my son Evan in particular. So, I want to give him a toast and raise a margarita in his honor.

Taste of Mexico: classic margarita recipe

Evan running the 2015 NY City Marathon

If I can boast and be a proud mama, for the past 6 years Evan has continuously studied, taken and passed 9 actuary exams. If I remember correctly, the average time it takes to complete all 10 exams is 10 years. Fingers crossed, he will accomplish this feat in 6. Against the odds, he passed each exam in his first try. This is not an easy task. It is hard work to keep this schedule up and stay focused for so long. Life happens and there are always distractions to resist. To accomplish his goals, he established a rigorous study schedule using his former training as a college varsity swimmer to model and organize his study schedule.  The final day is here and today May 5, 2017, Evan takes his final actuary exam. Kudos to you Evan.

Evan believes it is a good sign his last professional exam falls on Cinco de Mayo. After the exam is done, stepping out into Cinco de Mayo festivities is a great way to celebrate. As luck would have it, one of his good friends is getting married this weekend and he jokes, “It’s really nice of Meggie’s parents to throw me a party this weekend because I finished my exams.”

Surprisingly, his preferred drink is tequila. I look at him cross-eyed and confused as he explains how tequila is a delicious and complex drink. His preference is “really good” tequila on the rocks to sip and enjoy. Evan insists good tequila is nothing like the namesake that sparked its reputation.

Taste of Mexico: Classic Margarita reicp

My memory of drinking tequila is dramatically influenced from my college days. (I can so hear my boys having a chuckle with this statement). It’s not that I drank it a lot, Sarah Lawrence had possibly two tequila sunrise parties in my four years at school. Honestly, I didn’t drink that much, but with tequila, a little goes a long way. To this day, I have not looked at a tequila sunrise and might need some persuading to try one. Later, I learned the tequila I drank in college was not real tequila, but some strange brew with a mysterious worm sloshing about in the bottle.

More about tequila. 

It is funny, while researching tequila for this post every article started the same way. … “I know we all have our tequila stories from college, but….” Almost every article pleads with the reader to give tequila a second chance. It appears that the 70’s and 80’s gave tequila a bad rap that has lasted to this day.

Eventually, I will work my way up to sipping tequila, but until then a margarita is my choice drink with tequila. Classic margarita is one of my favorite drinks. A little fresh lime juice, a splash of orange liquor mixed with tequila is a bright blend of flavors. A delicious margarita depends on fresh quality ingredients. I know it is tempting to make a pitcher with store-bought limeade. However, the best ones are made one at a time, shaken not stirred, and with fresh lime juice. My preferred margarita is on the rocks without salt. Every now and then I add a salted chili rim spiked glass for some perk and heat.

So today as we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I toast Evan and congratulate him and all his accomplishments. Evan may you continue to soar through life like a champion. You are a fun, compassionate, generous, intelligent, and loving person. I feel very blessed you are my son.

Taste of Mexico: classic margarita recipe

Taste of Mexico: Classic Margarita Recipe

Taste of Mexico: Classic Margarita

Enjoy a classic margarita made with fresh lime juice.

Prep Time 6 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1 drink
Author Ginger


  • 2 oz blanco tequila
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz or less simple syrup*
  • Kosher salt for garnish
  • Lime wedge for garnish


  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes then add the ingredients. Shake the mixer for 15 seconds to make all the ingredients sing together in harmony and like you are dancing the salsa.
  2. Rub the rim of a highball glass with lime and coat the rim with Kosher salt. Fill the glass with ice cubes then pour the margarita in the glass. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

How to make simple syrup:
Add 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool. Keep the simple syrup in the refrigerator in a sealed container until needed. Will last for several months in the refrigerator.

© 2017 – 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.

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