In the age of the 32-ounce (or larger) Big Gulps and the like, a small drink may not necessarily seem fashionable. But large quantity is not always related to good quality, as is attested by those mammoth margaritas, laced as they are with artificially flavored sweet-and-sour mix. This margarita is the real thing: purity and refreshing freshness that's strained into martini glasses after a vigorous rumble with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Just before your guests arrive, combine the tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice in a pitcher, and you'll be poised for the shaking to begin.
Though we gave an "equal part" recipe for the three main ingredients in our Top-of-the-Line Margarita in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen, these proportions focus a bit more on the flavor of the good tequila. And it's silver (unaged) tequila here, the freshest and most agave-flavored of the tequilas. Reposado (6-month-old) tequila is a little softer, without the bright freshness of a silver, while the añejo (aged) tequila is moving toward the flavor of an aged brandy and I personally don't think that's what margarita flavor is all about.
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