You know the time of year: those big, juicy strawberries are as plentiful as they are delicious and fresh bunches of basil are begging you to whip up a batch of homemade pesto. As you add punnets of ripe fruit and bunches of fragrant herbs to your shopping basket, make a quick note-to-self to add this cocktail to your weekend to-do list, too. You don’t need a blender to create this strawberry cocktail – all you need to do is muddle, shake and pour into the signature salt-rimmed glasses. This basil and strawberry margarita recipe serves four people, so it’s perfect for a casual get-together with friends.
Ingredients (serves 4)
Salt, to serve
1 lime, quartered
8 strawberries, hulled
4 basil leaves
⅓ cup (80ml) lime juice
½ cup (125ml) Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila
¼ cup (60ml) Cointreau liqueur
Ice cubes, to serve
Sliced strawberries, to serve
Basil leaves, extra, to serve
It’s no surprise that the margarita is known as the world’s most-ordered cocktail when you think about how simple it is to make with just four ingredients – tequila, triple sec, lime juice and salt to garnish. That also means it’s easy to reinvent it again and again and again. Creative bartenders all over the world are making twisted margaritas with different flavours – and almost anything goes. Strawberry margaritas are a guaranteed hit as they add natural sweetness but still have the tang that’s key to the traditional recipe.
If you really want to freshen things up, though, don’t skip the basil leaves. Strawberries and basil make a fantastic flavour match, so muddle them together and let the magic happen. But why stop there? Get creative with citrus, spices, stone fruits, peppers, other herbs, flowers, melons and more. Whip up slushies and frozen margaritas if you fancy, or try turning this strawberry and basil cocktail into a punch by topping it with chilled lemonade. As one of the best cocktails for spring, ingredients for a strawberry margarita and others like it are in abundance. For more seasonal ideas, just head down the produce aisle.
Of course the standard marg isn’t without merit – it’s that mish-mash of bright and salty zesty-funk we love. How many other cocktails can claim entire bars have been opened in their honour? For many of the classic cocktails, exact origin stories are tricky to pin down and the margarita is no exception. Depending on who you believe, Carlos “Danny” Herrera made the first margarita for a patron of Rancho La Gloria in Tijuana, Mexico in 1938, or maybe it was Francisco “Pancho” Morales who invented the margarita in 1942 at Tommy’s Place in Juárez, Mexico. Supposedly though, it was socialite Margarita Sames who named the drink after herself while on vacation in Acapulco in 1948. The question of who invented the first fruit margarita will remain a mystery, but we’ll raise our shot glass to them as well.
An multi award winning silver tequila, Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila is made in Los Altos, Mexico from 100 per cent blue agave. This smooth spirit has been voted the best tequila for margaritas by leading bartenders around the world. Plus, in a smart move for sustainability, Olmeca Altos redesigned the distinctive bottle to reduce the weight of the glass – and the CO2 emissions used to produce it – by 20 per cent in 2018.
Triple sec is a generic term to describe any orange-flavoured liqueur, but quality margaritas are made with Cointreau. This legendary French aperitif is also a star player in other world-famous cocktails too – cosmopolitan, anyone?