a friendly guide to spirits, cocktails and beverages for beginners


A cocktail a day keeps the doctor away

If you’ve been in prison or under a rock for the past ten years, you might be asking yourself, “What’s that drink in the picture?” Most of you look at that delicious, refreshing drink and are remembering that special night at the Mexican restaurant where you had one too many of these and you woke up feeling hungover and smelling like ‘Paco’s Tacos’, some maybe even with Paco on the other side of the bed. It’s OK, I don’t judge you for it.

Margaritas are like eggs… everyone can make them but few can make them well.

So, your run-of-the-mill Margarita at your run-of-the-mill neighborhood bar is probably made with Shit-brand tequila, Crap Inc. Triple Sec and Rose’s Lime Juice. There’s a reason it costs $5.  If you’re making it at home, make it the way ‘Margarita Sames’ made it in 1948. Like with food, use the best and freshest ingredients (not necessarily the most expensive) like fresh limes, quality orange liqueur and good tequila. Recommendations: El Jimador tequila or most 100% agave tequila over $20 per bottle, Cointreau (which comes in small 375ml bottles) and fresh Mexican limes.

Tools needed for 2 drinks: Ideally a bar shaker, a pint glass, a jigger (1 oz/.5 oz) and a hand juicer.

Acceptable home substitutions: Big glass (pint sized), something to stir with (wooden spoon), measuring spoons (table/teaspoon).

Original Recipe:

3 parts (1.5 oz) Tequila (Silver or Reposado if you like the aged flavor)

1.5 parts (.75 oz) Orange flavored Liqueur (Cointreau)

1 part (.5 oz) Fresh Lime Juice

Bar Instructions: Add ingredients in a shaker, shake, strain over fresh ice. Salt rim if desired.

Home Instructions: Add ingredients in a glass; remember that one table spoon is 0.5 oz. and one and a half teaspoons is .25 oz. If you don’t have a hand juicer, you can just squeeze the limes with your hands. Soften the lime by rolling it in between your hands for a minute until it softens up. When you’ve added your ingredients into the glass, stir with ice. If you want salt, run a lime wedge over the lip of the glass, pour some salt onto a small plate and put the glass rim into the salt. The salt will stick to the limed parts of the glass. Then pour the cocktail you made into the salted glass. Add straw. Drink quick!

That’s the basics, whether or not you’re going to make them at home, at least you’ll know what to ask for at a bar. It’s usually only a couple extra dollars for the fresh stuff and it’s always worth it. If they can’t make it then don’t worry… luckily… beer is also delicious.

Thanks for reading.

I love booze. I hope you love booze too.