Latin Twist: The Classic Margarita


Mis queridos amigos—What would a Cinco de Mayo Celebration be without margaritas? Margaritas are fun, always, because they’re festive and  refreshing—not to mention versatile! Actually, with this gorgeous weather we’re having in the Lower Hudson Valley, it’s hard NOT to think about barbecues and festive drinks al fresco. Well, since Sunday is, after all, Cinco de Mayo, I figured it’s time to pull out a classic tried and true Margarita recipe!

Now I’m of the mindset of making several at a time. Here’s a recipe, adapted from Mambo Mixers,  for a single classic margarita,   though I’ll be sharing one for 6  at dawn on Buenos Días Nueva York on Telemundo early this morning (I will share the You Tube with you!).

Classic Margarita

Serving Size: Serves 1

Classic Margarita

The classic margarita has just three ingredients: tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau or triple sec. Vary the amounts according to what you enjoy most (yes, my friends, play with your drinks!), but these three components are key!


  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (for the rim of the glass)
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 1 cup ice cubes


  1. Rub the rim of a glass with a wedge of lime to moisten it.
  2. Pour the salt onto a plate and press the rim of th glass into it, turning it gently until the rim is evenly coated.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and ice cubes.
  4. Shake well and strain (if you'd like it straight up!) or just pour into the prepared glass.


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

1 Comment

  1. Cointreau is essential as is 100% agave tequila.

    Then this recipe works perfectly.

    Most restaurants make a cheaper version…and it tastes that way.

    Delightful drink when made properly.

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