The Margarita Is Boring. Here Are 24 Hacks to Improve It.

Change Your Sweetener

“Honey is a great way to connect local flavors,” says Kim Haasarud, Proprietor of Garden Bar PHX /  The Cocktail Collaborative in Phoenix. “And various varietals can enhance aromatics in spirits. Alfalfa honey, for example, has some grassy hay notes which can enhance the grassiness flavors of agave in tequila.”

Raid Your Candy Drawer

“This version is called Fajitas because when you place the Pop Rocks on dehydrated pineapple, they sizzle,” as a rep for The Joseph Hotel in Nashville told us. The mezcal also adds just a touch of smokiness.

Mix Up Your Tequilas

“My ideal margarita splits the tequila base between silver tequila and reposado tequila,” says Jake Barnett, the co-owner and operator of Old Fashioned Beverage & Hospitality in Kansas City, MO.  “This offers the best of both worlds: refreshing, crisp vegetal and floral notes from the blanco, and warm vanilla and caramel from the oak-rested reposado.”

Go Non-Alcoholic

A rep for the booze-free spirit brand Seedlip tells us this is their most popular recipe. The agave syrup keeps the flavor profile of a margarita consistent, and using SL’s Grove (with notes of Mediterranean orange, lemon peel, lemongrass and ginger) adds some new fruity and spicy elements.

Find Other Ways To Add Smoke

There’s a good chance your margarita contains Cointreau — they’re also part of a margarita kit at The Cocktail Courier that delivers a really nice, classic marg to your door if you don’t feel like doing bar work. The brand also suggests one altered recipe, however, that’s a real conversation starter.

Just Bring the Heat

Talking habaneros here. “We standardize our heat level by creating a sugar syrup into which we steep fresh habanero chiles until the syrup is powered-up with their fragrance and incendiary heat,” says Torrence O’Haire, a mixologist at The Gage in Chicago.

Go Micro

“Honestly, the very straight-forward margarita recipe is typically too dry for most people’s palates,” says Briggs. He suggests some very small (barspoon-sized) edits to the classic drink.

Thankfully, the margarita is an endlessly versatile drink, so for every terrible idea, there’s an equally fantastic (and simple) alternative. “The recipe is flexible enough to make any minor variations a sure thing,” says Justin Lane Briggs of The Cabinet, an agave-centric cocktail bar in NYC.

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