Become A Homemade Margarita Pro With This Zesting Tip

Margaritas with salt and lime
Margaritas with salt and lime - Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock

What better way to bask in the glow of a beautiful sunny day than to sit on a patio and sip margaritas, mojitos, and other refreshing cocktails? Made from blanco tequila, orange liqueur such as triple sec, and lime juice, margaritas are almost always served over ice or blended into frozen cocktails. Part of what makes margaritas refreshing has a lot to do with the lime juice. If you typically make margaritas at home and want to perfect your cocktail-making skills, consider using citrus in more ways than one.

While you can easily combine store-bought margarita mix with tequila for a fast and simple alternative, a homemade mix made from citrus juice and zest adds a bright yet sweet flavor to handcrafted margaritas. Instead of adding only lime juice to your cocktail shaker, prepare a complex-tasting zest-infused juice medley. Citrus gives this cocktail a refreshing tart flavor, and using the zest amplifies its underlying aroma and taste. Zest or the outer peel contains fruits' inner oils and flavor notes that are less sour and acidic than the juice. This flavor-loaded ingredient will take your homemade margaritas to the next level.

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How To Make Homemade Mix For Extra Flavorful Margaritas

Lemon zested with microplane
Lemon zested with microplane - Debbismirnoff/Getty Images

While traditional margaritas are made with lime juice, a homemade sour mix made from lemon and lime can transform standard margaritas into more complex-tasting cocktails. To enhance the juice component of this popular drink, take the extra step to infuse it with citrus zest. Luckily, upgrading your easy homemade sour mix with zest is simple as long as you think ahead.

To create the ultimate sour mix, steep a portion of zest from both fruits in citrus juice, sugar, and a bit of salt in your refrigerator. Zest includes the colorful outer peel of the fruit and shouldn't contain any of the white pith beneath the surface. If you have at least one cup of juice, add however many teaspoons of zest you desire. Adding more zest will give the result a more concentrated burst of citrus flavor.

Use finely grated zest, or large strips for easy removal, and steep for at least two hours before straining. Ideally, allow the mixture to sit for at least four hours so you can fully taste the difference between a sour mix made with only juice and your new and improved version infused with zest.

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Margaritas with citrus and mint
Margaritas with citrus and mint - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

If you typically enjoy classic margaritas without added sugar, steep citrus zest in your combined juices of choice and strain before serving. Or, infuse a bit of orange juice and zest if you'd still like a touch of natural sweetness -- if you're feeling extra adventurous, use lemon as well. Whichever combination of citrus you decide on, use more lime to achieve that classic margarita flavor.

Since zest-infused juice has a more potent citrus flavor, you may be able to skip the triple sec at cocktail hour. With orange zest in the mix, try just the juice with your favorite tequila. If you don't mind an occasional bit of peel, avoid straining the added zest to ensure your orange-infused sour mix retains a long-lasting citrus flavor. Just make sure to use homemade juice mix within a week.

Besides adding zest to juice, mix a bit of sugar and lime zest into salt for a tasty glass rim. Use a microplane so the added zest is super fine. While there may be plenty of ways to upgrade classic margaritas, don't forget the citrus zest when you want an extra flavorful cocktail.

Read the original article on Daily Meal