Road trips are where friends reveal their true colors. Yet after double-digit hours on the road, thousands of miles traveled, and getting to know my friends on a whole new level, I still adore them thoroughly. I may like them even more than when we started, but, we have decidedly different views on things — particularly when it concerns margaritas.
The margarita is a simple cocktail — at the most basic it’s nothing but lime, tequila, and sweetener — but so many variations exist that it’s easy to get lost in a tequila-induced trance. We all agreed that the Bethenny Frankel skinny girl margarita (yes, I did just reference a Real Housewife) with agave syrup is not only less caloric yet also appealingly clean, but I’ve always liked my margaritas with a dash of premium orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau). Also known as a Cadillac, because it’s the luxury car of margaritas, the addition of premium orange liqueur rounds out the flavors and it makes all the difference to me.
But our road trip went down in a Mazda 5 rental — which is decidedly not a Cadillac — and we were in the land of Mexican Coke and sodas. Thus, it seemed fitting to tweak the Cadillac by adding a touch of Jarritos and re-coining it the Mazda 5. So, here it is: a version of the Cadillac that’s got me convinced that no matter how much I love my friends, my tweak is the one that reigns supreme when it comes to margaritas.
The Mazda 5 Margarita Recipe
Makes: 1 drink
Ground chipotle chile powder (or another ground chile powder)
1 lime wedge
1 1/2 ounces silver tequila (100% agave)
1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce premium orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
Pour equal parts salt and chile powder on a plate to just cover it with a thin layer.
Rub the lime wedge on the outside rim of a rocks glass. Holding the glass at an angle, dip the outside edge of the rim to coat thoroughly with salt mixture.
Place the tequila, lime juice, agave, orange liqueur in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well until chilled and frosty, about 15 to 20 seconds. Strain into the glass, add a few ice cubes, top with soda, garnish with the lime wedge, and serve.