Recipe Description

I’m a bit of a nerd & nerdy things crack me up, so one of my favorite quotes is from an economist. Ronald Coase (the Coase Theorem is brilliant btw) famously said in an interview, “I don’t know whether you’ve had a conversation with Milton Friedman, but an argument with Milton Friedman is a pretty strenuous affair.”

I’ve had occasion to adapt that quote to my life numerous times, always to hilarious effect (to me anyway!) Well here is one of those occasions. “I don’t know whether you’ve had a homemade Margarita in Texas, but a homemade Margarita in Texas is a pretty strenuous affair.” It’s not that this Yankee did not know how to drink, it’s just that this Yankee could tell the difference between an ass-kicker of a cocktail and what she’s long called “a kid’s drink” just by the taste of them–until she got to Texas.

I could tell the difference between a Manhattan or a Martini and a Whiskey Sour and plan accordingly. Not so with the Texas Margarita. All I remember from the first Margarita I had at my downstairs neighbor’s house upon moving to Dallas back in the day, was that it was basically a big red plastic cup full of tequila and ice with a splash of sugar, a squeeze of lime and a little something else (Cointreau, I now know). Problem was it was DELICIOUS. I mean seriously slurpable. Might as well have been soda. So I drank it like soda.

Not only did I slop it onto my shirt, but I went to my bathroom upstairs, took my shirt off in the window (to the delight of the revelers down below in the Texas-shaped pool with mosaics of all the Texas landmarks laid out in tiles beneath the water–I shit you not), but I put the shirt in the sink and ran water on it to get the stain out, forgot about it & left it there until water started dripping through the ceiling in the bathroom below.

That margarita my friend, was a strenuous affair.

This is as close to that margarita as I dare fly these days, but it’s just as delicious.


  • 3 ounces high quality silver tequila
    Don Julio is my preference. Herradura Silver is also fantastic.
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 ounces Cointreau
    You can also use Grand Marnier (way too sweet for me) or Triple Sec.
  • 0.5 ounce simple syrup
    You can use agave or demerara syrup also, or for a Margarita's Ghost, used Caged Heat Cocktail Syrup, which you can find on amazon.


You can serve this up in a coupe or with one a big rock in a double old fashioned glass (or triple maybe)–or of course in a big red cup full of ice. Whatever vessel you choose, put it in the freezer first.

Take all ingredients and shake them with ice.


Remove the glass from the freezer, moisten the rim (with a lime rind if available), and dip it in salt.

Place ice or one big rock in the glass if that’s how you’re serving it, and strain cocktail into glass.

Garnish with lime wedge if desired.


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