While it feels like there is a dedicated date for just about everything these days (World Tripe Day? Really?), National Margarita Day (February 22) is certainly one occasion we're prepared to get behind. To mark this not-so-momentous (but still rather fun) event, Greg Almeida, head bartender the Rosewood Hotel’s stylish Scarfes Bar, shares one of his top margarita recipes, and explains why the classic tequila-infused cocktail is his go-to tipple.
Celebrate National Margarita Day with an exclusive cocktail recipe
21st February 2018
Rosewood bartender Greg Almeida reveals his delicious Sweet Mama margarita recipe, a favourite at the hotel’s Scarfes Bar. Find out other top places to drink margaritas too
Why do you think the margarita is so popular?
Thanks to their simplicity, but also because they mark an occasion for good times amongst friends, celebrations and more. There is never a dull moment when tequila is involved, is there?
Are you a fan of the cocktail yourself?
I love them! Wherever I am, it is my go-to drink. The simple yet tasty combination of the three ingredients (tequila, triple sec and lime juice) might not look like much, but there is a lot that can be done. Even playing with the tequila itself - Blanco, Reposado or Añejo - gives you endless possibilities with an array of flavours that I’m always keen to discover.
What are your tips for making them at home?
Always use a 100% agave tequila! Remember the bad hangovers when you were younger? They were not caused by the agave - which is the heart of all tequila - but by what is added to it in a cheap tequila. 100% agave tequilas will offer a more premium drinking experience and be much more gentle with you (as long as you are responsible). Next, use fresh lime juice. It takes only seconds to squeeze and your drink will taste so much better. Finally, the ratio: two parts tequila, one part triple sec (Cointreau is good or Patrón Citrónge Orange Liqueur) and one part fresh lime juice. If that is too sour for you, just add some agave nectar (which available practically everywhere now) to taste. Et voilà!
Margarita Recipe: Sweet Mama
(The name refers to a guest’s spontaneous exclamation when they first tried an Almeida margarita)
- 40ml Patrón Silver Tequila infused with dried mangos
- 5ml of Habanero pepper distillate
- 15ml sweet vermouth
- 15ml ice verjus (Minus 8 is great)
- 20ml freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
- 2 dashes of Peychaud’s
Mix all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and double strain into a Coupette. Garnish with a rim of guzano salt - and enjoy.
Bar 45 at 45 Park Lane: Indecent Exposure, £18
Don Julio Blanco tequila, mezcal, pineapple, lime juice, muddled coriander, chilli, mint
La Bodega Negra: Hibiscus Margarita, £9
El Kimador Blanco, lime juice, orange bitters, homemade hibiscus syrup
The Coral Room: Tommy’s Margarita, £12
Tapatio Blanco, agave, lime juice
Corazon: Orange & Black Pepper Margarita, £12.50
Siete Leguas Reposado, Gran Marnier, fresh orange and lime, salt and pepper rim
The American Bar at the Stafford: Garden Margarita, £18
2014 Ocho organic Tequila, La Vida mezcal, agave nectar, cucumber, mint, lime, celery bitters