Afternoon Margarita | Cotswold Cocktail School
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Afternoon Margarita

Cotswold Cocktail School - Afternoon Margarita Cocktail Recipe

ABV 19% / 2.5 alcoholic units

Primary spirit: Tequila

A Brief History of the Afternoon Margarita

The name "Margarita" is derived from the Spanish word for daisy, which is fitting given the cocktail's vibrant and colourful nature. Over the years, the Margarita has evolved into an international favourite and celebrated for its versatility.

Jason Stephenson founder of Liqueurious, a UK based craft liqueur manufacturer, adapted the Margarita recipe in 2022. An Afternoon Margarita is characterised by an afternoon tea with the addition of a surprising ingredient - tea liqueur. The result is unmistakably Margarita-esque. 

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Afternoon Margarita is as exciting as it is refreshing, boasting a balanced and tangy tea taste:

  • Tequila: The heart of the Afternoon Margarita, tequila provides a robust agave character with notes of earthiness and spice
  • Fresh Lemon and Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed juices infuses the cocktail with a bright and zesty citrus tang that cuts through the tequila's richness.
  • Tea Liqueur: Tea liqueur adds tannins and a touch of complexity, enhancing the citrus flavour.
  • Spiced Rim: A spicy rim adds edginess to the drink but choosing a lime forward seasoning such as Tajin builds on savouriness to contrast the cocktail's citrusy and slightly sweet notes.

The result is a cocktail that's crisp, invigorating, and utterly delightful—a true testament to the magic of tea-mixology!

Food Pairings

To enhance your Afternoon Margarita experience, consider these food pairings:

  • Guacamole and Salsa: Classic guacamole and salsa with tortilla chips provide a delightful contrast to the Afternoon Margarita's citrusy notes.
  • Tacos: Afternoon Margaritas pair wonderfully with a variety of tacos, from grilled shrimp to carne asada, enhancing the flavours of the fillings.
  • Ceviche: The citrusy notes in ceviche harmonise with the Afternoon Margarita's lime juice, creating a refreshing combination.
  • Mexican Cuisine: Enjoy your afternoon Margarita with traditional Mexican dishes like enchiladas, fajitas, or mole for an authentic experience.

Bar Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Hawthorne strainer and fine sieve 
  • Margarita or a rocks glass

Ingredients

  • 50ml Tequila blanco
  • 30ml Camellia tea liqueur
  • 20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 15ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 5ml simple syrup*
  • Garnish: orange wedge and optional spiced rim
  • Ice

Method

  • To add a spiced rim, rub a citrus wedge around the rim of the glass
  • Put some Tajin onto a plate and gently twist glass (rim side down) onto the plate
  • Add the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cooled
  • Double strain into a chilled spiced rim Margarita or rocks glass (optional ice)
  • Garnish with orange wedge

*Simple syrup - 1 part sugar to one part water. Gently heat in a pan until sugar has dissolved and allow to cool

What's the best Tequila for an Afternoon Margarita?

The best tequila for an Afternoon Margarita cocktail largely depends on your personal preferences and budget. However, many bartenders and Margarita enthusiasts recommend using a good-quality blanco (also known as silver or white) tequila for the best results. Here are a few reasons why blanco tequila is often preferred for Margaritas:

  • Clean and Agave-Forward Flavour: Blanco tequila is typically unaged or aged for a very short period, allowing the natural flavours of the agave plant to shine through. This clean and crisp agave flavour pairs well with the citrusy and slightly tart elements of an Afternoon Margarita.
  • Affordability: Blanco tequilas are often more affordable than their aged counterparts (reposado and añejo), making them a popular choice for mixing in cocktails.
  • Versatility: Blanco tequilas are versatile and mix well with other cocktail ingredients, allowing the Afternoon Margarita's flavours to come together harmoniously.
  • Agave Notes: The agave notes in blanco tequila can enhance the overall taste profile of your Afternoon Margarita, giving it a true and authentic tequila character.

It's worth noting that some well-known brands of blanco tequila that are often recommended for Margaritas include:

  • Patrón Silver: A smooth and popular choice for Afternoon Margaritas, known for its high-quality agave flavor.
  • Espolòn Blanco: A reasonably priced option with a pleasant agave character that works well in Afternoon Margaritas.
  • Herradura Silver: A well-respected tequila with a slightly fruity and herbal profile, making it a great choice for craft Afternoon Margaritas.
  • Olmeca Altos Plata: Sweet to the mouth with citrus notes like lime, lemon, and agave. The aftertaste is pleasant, long-lasting and agave forward. 

Ultimately, the best tequila for your Afternoon Margarita will depend on your taste preferences and budget. You may want to try a few different blanco tequilas to see which one you prefer in your Afternoon Margarita cocktail. Remember that the quality of your other ingredients, such as fresh lemon/orange juice and tea liqueur (like Camellia  tea liqueur), also plays a crucial role in crafting  a delicious Afternoon Margarita.

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