In a constant search for the perfect margarita- Here is our current favorite recipe. Similar to what is found at Cheddar's restaurant here in the mid-south. A slight variant from what is called the "Perfect Margarita" at Applebee's.
3 limes, cut two in half, cut half of the third for wedges
2oz gold (our preference) or silver tequila, mid grade such as Camerena (our current preferred), Sauza, Quervo
2oz Brandy (We buy inexpensive E&J because we use it in Sangria too.)
3TBSP Light Agave Syrup (Sugar may be used)
4oz Jose Quervo margarita mix (Don't Criticize, read below)
Coarse salt such as Kosher salt
Juicer. We use a Chef'n Lime Juicer, its the only squeeze type juicer we haven't broken (yet)
Boston Shaker or French Shaker
Small plate for salt
Small plate or cutting board for limes
Squeeze 2 limes into a cocktail shaker, for about 2 ounces of juice. Add all ingredients except the salt. add enough ice to cover the mixture. Shake or stir for 20 seconds or so.
Wet the rim of the glass with a wedge of lime, and dip the rim of the glass on a small plate with a layer of salt. Some prefer to salt only half of the rim to allow a sip with or without salt.
Optional- We prefer to add some ice to the glass, about 3/4 full. Some purists will strain their drink into a margarita or martini glass, but we prefer a larger glass or small Mason Jar.
Pour in the mixture. Garnish with lime.
The Margarita Mix
Most Margarita Aficionados would frown on a pre-made margarita mix, and would make their own lemon-lime or sour mix. But we prefer to add a little bit of volume to our drink to stretch out the enjoyment. Sad to say- we have tested a number of store-bought mixes, and Jose Quervo non-alcoholic mix is still our preference. Somewhere in time high fructose corn syrup was added to the ingredient list, that's something we detest. But it is still the best store mix we've found. And besides- do you think the bartender at Applebees is fresh-squeezing a gallon of lemon-lime mix at the beginning of the shift?