Variations and Substitutions
If you any of the ingredients don't agree with you or you'd like to experiment with the recipe, consider a few of these.
- If añejo tequila isn't for you, you can also use silver or reposado tequila, but consider using an extra splash of orange juice to keep that golden color.
- Consider using mezcal for a smokier golden margarita.
- Add an ounce of homemade sour mix (a half-ounce each of freshly squeezed lime juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup) for extra citrus flavors. You can use this in addition to the lime juice the recipe calls for, or you can skip the extra lime juice.
- For a less boozy cocktail, use around an ounce to an ounce and a half of tequila.
The golden and classic margaritas typically have a lime wheel for a garnish, but that doesn't mean you need to limit yourself.
- Add a rim if you prefer a sweeter or salty margarita. To prepare the garnish, rub the rim of the glass with a lime wedge. With the sugar or salt on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim in the saucer and coat evenly.
- Use a lime wedge or slice instead of a wheel.
- A lime peel or ribbon adds a pop of green against the golden margarita.
- To continue the yellow look, use a lemon or orange wheel, wedge, or slice.
- Likewise, a lemon or orange peel or ribbon offers a fancier golden garnish.
- Try a dehydrated citrus wheel, whether a lime, lemon, or orange, for a twist while keeping the citrus theme.
- Use different citruses in combination, such as a lime wheel with a lemon ribbon or a dehydrated orange wheel with a lime slice.
- Use edible gold flakes on the rim or sprinkle them on top of the drink to complete the gold theme.
About the Golden Margarita
There's no easy way to trace back the source of the golden margarita, but it's easy to start with the classic margarita. Born of necessity during Prohibition, the margarita's popularity resulted from easy access to tequila in Mexico when the United States was on a liquor lockdown. The margarita is in the family of cocktails called sours, with tequila serving as the strong spirit to balance the sour citrus and sweet liqueur.
Añejo tequila is already a smooth sipping spirit with only a gentle bite and notes of vanilla or caramel. This polished tequila flavor sets the golden margarita apart, transforming a margarita with a bite to a shining and rich cocktail with a mellow and balanced flavor.
A classic margarita is a bright green and yellow-hued delight, but this golden-hued margarita delivers on its name-- this liquid gold cocktail is both a visual and taste delight. Skip the classic and go straight to the golden margarita when you're in the mood for tequila.