Hola, Margarita

Margaritas. Photo by Keri White

This is a lime-forward beverage that can be served high or low octane depending on your guest list.

Because it contains both lime juice and zest, it is on the tart side, but if your crew prefers a sweeter drink you can reduce the number of whole limes used, add more simple syrup and also up the orange juice quota.

We served it with an enchilada dinner, offering margaritas in salt-rimmed glasses for the drinkers and mixed another batch with seltzer for the kids and non-drinkers. A good time was had by all!


10 whole limes
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups orange juice (fresh-squeezed preferred, or a high-quality store-bought version)
½ cup simple syrup (see note)
3 cups water
Seltzer and /or tequila
Additional limes, coarse salt for serving (see note)

Place 4 whole limes cut in quarters and the cucumber chunks into a blender with 1 cup of water. Puree until smooth. Pour it into a sieve atop a bowl and press the solids to squeeze out all liquid. Discard the solids.

Squeeze the juice of the remaining limes into the bowl (discard the rinds). Add the orange juice, the simple syrup (to taste) and the water. Stir and adjust to the desired sweetness.

This will be a more concentrated flavor than it will be when served with tequila or seltzer, so if it tastes a bit strong, that is OK.

To serve it as a soft drink, mix 1 part juice with 1 part seltzer. To serve it as a margarita, use a ratio of 1 part tequila to 3 or 4 parts juice.


To make simple syrup, mix equal parts sugar and hot water, and stir to dissolve.

To rim glasses, put a tablespoon of coarse salt on a small plate. Take a lime wedge and rub it around the rim of the glass. Invert the glass onto the plate.


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