Waking up on a Monday morning is similar to jumping into a cold shower; the procrastinated work from the previous week and all the work for the upcoming week hits you like a tsunami. Lying in bed there is a feeling of dread and the world is gloomy. What is the solution? Tequila! (more specifically the 22 oz Margaritas at Mad Mex.)

As senior year was cut short, this week’s blog serves as an ode to Penn State’s Mad Mex and the phenomena known as Mucho Mad Monday (unlimited $6 burritos and 22 oz 6$ margaritas.) Penn State seniors flood into what is usually a family friendly restaurant and find solace at the end of the glass. It is such a good deal on burritos and margaritas that you are quite literally losing money by not going. To relive these fond memories, I ventured from the realm of vodka and started to dabble with Tequila to find the perfect margarita recipe.

Disclosure: I have never made a margarita before this weekend and am not a tequila expert. Yet, in every crisis there is an opportunity and with COVID-19 I decided to dive into the unknown and new a learn skill; how to make the perfect Bhaskar margarita.

The Margarita

The Margarita is simply “a fun drink.” The word margarita brings a smile to my face when said aloud. When you reflect on drinking a margarita, the experiences are always pleasurable and lively. Anytime tequila is flowing liberally, good (or great) memories are sure to follow.

The Margarita is similar to tomato sauce; there are a few essential ingredients but much of the recipe is up to personal preference. The classic margarita follows a 2-1-1 ratio: meaning two ounces of tequila, one ounce of fresh lime juice, and one ounce of an orange-flavored liqueur. This concoction can either be served frozen (think smoothie) or on the rocks (fancy phrase for on ice.) Additionally, margaritas can be upgraded and served flavored. My personal favorites from Mad Mex are the mango margaritas and the seasonal apple cider margaritas.

The Ingredients

Tequila

If someone ever choses Tequila as their drink of choice, everyone automatically understands the type of night they’re trying to have. Tequila is synonymous with high-energy, intense, shot-taking, and foggy memory nights aka “fun”. As I am not an expert on tequila, I cannot recommend specific brands but have a general rule to follow. “Thou shall not purchase Tequila that comes in a plastic bottle.” The only time I still use alcohol that comes in a plastic bottle is if I’m making a large batch drink (fancy jungle juice) or serving someone I really dislike.

Lime Juice and Liquor

For the lime juice, I always recommend using a fresh lime. If you don’t want to measure out exactly one ounce of lime juice, a rough approximation is one medium sized lime. The third ingredient in a margarita is the orange-flavored liqueur which ties the lime juice and tequila together. Most people either use some type Triple Sec or Cointreau; both are orange flavored spirits made from a distilled orange peel. One of the major differences is alcohol content, different brands of triple sec are between 20% and 45% alcohol while Cointreau is 40%.

Margarita Mix?

My parents always told me “there are no shortcuts in life”, but a curious person might ask “can’t I just use margarita mix? Isn’t that a shortcut?” The answer: No.

Life is more about the journey than the destination. Theoretically you could combine margarita mix (which is straight sugar) and tequila to get a so-called margarita, but what is the fun in that? When I finished making my first margarita, I was proud because I made something beautiful and delicious from scratch. It excited me to play with the recipe and create my own twist and favorite ratio.

Don’t be a sellout. Create the margarita out of love and passion.

Making the Classic Margarita

Step 1: Prepping the Glass

Pour and spread a thin layer of salt (I used kosher) across a plate. Take the margarita glass, or any serving glass, and coat the top with lime. The easiest way to do this is to take a slice of lime and wipe it around the side of the glass. Turn the glass upside down and twist the top side of the glass into the salt. This will create a nice layer of salt at the top of the glass. Why do this? I think it’s because when I taste the mixture of salt and the margarita it automatically transports me to a beautiful beach.

Step 2: Combining the Ingredients

The Margarita can be served two ways: on the rocks or frozen. On the rocks is simple, just pouring the mixture in a glass with ice. The main advantage is that a margarita on the rocks can be consumed faster. Frozen is the way to go and will be demonstrated and detailed below. Frozen margaritas are objectively cool and taste delicious. The only negative? Walking the tightrope between drinking too fast and getting brain freeze.

To make a frozen margarita, combine the three ingredients of tequila, lime juice, and Triple Sec in a blender. Add a handful of ice and blend. Generally, it’s better to start with a smaller amount of ice and see the consistency. Re-blend with more ice if a thicker drink is desired.

Step 3: The Finished Product

Pour the margarita into the glass and add a slice of lime to the side of the glass. Enjoy!

Flavored Margaritas

As mentioned previously, there is a limitless amount of margarita flavors. Have fun and experiment, it’s really hard to make a bad margarita. I wanted a spicy margarita and added multiple jalapeños to the blender, according to my mom the end product was “unique” but not unbearable.

The Addition of Food

A new topic within the blogs will be quality food pairings, it really heightens the experience and is a great way to impress friends, families, and dates. This week I tried to make these excellent nachos (pictured below) and it turned out well. The nachos were so tasty it covered this week’s rent with the landlords (parents.)

Recipe: (https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a51518/nachos-supreme-recipe/)

Life Lessons from the Margarita

Margaritas are the drink the people need during this time of uncertainty. It is a symbol of hope, summer, and creating amazing memories. Taking a sip of my first margarita gave me flashbacks to the countless memories with my closest friends at Mad Mex; experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world.

With all this free time, try and make a margarita, experiment, and have fun. I guarantee after the tequila hits, you will be in an amazing mood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *