I’m blessed with a friend who makes the best margaritas I’ve ever tasted. Brittany’s margaritas are also dangerous, because as the night wears on, she gets more and more heavy-handed with the hard stuff. She’s never shared her secret recipe with me, but I have seen her include finishing splashes of unexpected ingredients. Once, she topped off my glass with pomegranate Italian soda. Another time, it was some sort of prickly pear soda. I think she’s also been known to make a regular margarita with lime soda. The lesson for me has been that margaritas are much enhanced with the addition of a little bit of carbonation.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when she showed up to my most recent poolside barbecue with ingredients for her own tequila concoction, but this one stands out. As she tells it, this drink is a lazy man’s version of some fancier drink she had in LA. She’s been recreating the drink at home, steadily leaving out ingredients until she came up with this simple, refreshing cocktail. It’s so easy that it feels like cheating to share this with you, but you’ll wow your friends at your next gathering, shindig, or hootenanny with this fizzy margarita.

A note about tequila: Brittany’s boyfriend, a tequila connoisseur, has been kind enough to school me on the proper usage of tequila. Expensive, premium tequila should be reserved for sipping. For most mixed drinks, however, a mid-level tequila blanco will taste fine and go down smooth. Personally, I’m one of those women who doesn’t like my cocktails to taste like they have any alcohol in them, and tequila blanco lacks the smokiness found in more aged tequilas, like tequila reposado. For your day-to-day mixing needs, I suggest El Jimador Tequila Blanco. If you insist on the “top shelf” experience, spring for Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco.

Ginger Beer Margaritas
Recipe adapted from my friend Brittany
Note: to make a pitcher for a party, use 3-4 bottles of ginger beer, and 2 shots of tequila per bottle. Add lime juice to taste and serve over ice.
Serves 2

You will need:
1 bottle ginger beer
2 shots tequila blanco
Juice of 1 lime

Pour 1 shot tequila into each of two small tumblers. Add ice and split the ginger beer between the two glasses. Top with lime juice, stir, garnish with a lime, and serve.

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