Straight-Up Classic or Rainbow Slushy, the Margarita is Timeless

Tequila Photos/Flickr
Reposado tequilas on the bar at Tommy's.
Remember when the family would head out to that Mexican joint on the highway with the racetrack-shaped cocktail lounge and the three-foot bartender and the Miwok skeletons under the floorboards? And your father would give you a taste of his margarita and you said, What is that, salt? and he said, Yeah it goes great with the lime juice and the booze and you knew he was right because he'd bummed around Mexico during the Depression. And man did it taste good. Then, later on, when margaritas were sweet, fruity snow cones in every color of the rainbow, hell, they tasted good too, especially on Happy Hour Mondays with the free spread of taquitos and guacamole and Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers on the jukebox.

Nowadays you can enjoy margaritas any way you please, frozen, up, on the rocks, tarted up with strawberries and agave nectar, you name it. The classic local dispensary is Tommy's (5929 Geary at 23rd, 387-4747), purveyor of a zillion or so top-shelf tequilas, but if you want to mix up a pitcher yourself for a festive family gathering, get ahold of Tommy's excellent margarita mix (available in the refrigerator case at PlumpJack, the Jug Shop, Bi-Rite, Andronico's, and other classy grocery stores), mix it up with your favorite tequila, and serve on the rocks. For easy, tasty frozen margaritas, pour a can of frozen limeade in a blender half-filled with ice, fill the empty can two-thirds of tequila and one-third of Triple Sec, add to the blender, and mix it up to your desired consistency. Or for a more classic margarita experience, combine one part lime juice, one part Triple Sec, and three parts tequila in an ice-filled cocktail shaker, mix well, and strain into a chilled, salt-rimmed cocktail glass with a slice of lime. Still tastes terrific.

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