Bourbon Is The Rich Replacement For Tequila-Free Margaritas

If you're a bourbon fan, you might feel a little left out on Taco Tuesday. All those tasty margaritas are flowing, but tequila might just not be your jam. If you think bourbon drinks can't stand up to spicy south-of-the-border flavors, we are here to open your eyes (and taste buds) to a simple swap you'll want to raise a toast to. Try shaking up a perfectly respectable Kentucky margarita, replacing tequila with your favorite bourbon for a delicious and thirst-quenching riff on the classic drink. 

Substituting bourbon for tequila is not really so outrageous; you could think of the modified cocktail as an upgraded whiskey sour. The whiskey sour's lemon acidity is simply swapped for lime, and orange liqueur brings the sweetness of traditional simple syrup, with a little extra flavor. Bourbon has notes of caramel, vanilla, spice, and toasty wood — all flavors that work beautifully with the lime and sweet orange liqueur components of a traditional margarita. The cocktail is a balanced sip of toasty flavors and bright citrus, boldly holding its own with highly flavored foods and a great pairing for rich avocado dips.

What's in the name might tell you what's in the glass

The margarita is actually a member of the daisy cocktail family; defined as drinks made with citrus juice, a sweet liqueur, and spirits. As a matter of fact, margarita happens to be the Spanish word for daisy — exactly the right name for a daisy cocktail with Mexican spirits. When you substitute bourbon you now have a daisy cocktail made with classic American alcohol — and although bourbon does not need to be made in Kentucky, there is a deep association with the state. Therefore, Kentucky margarita seems like just the right moniker for a lime and whiskey daisy cocktail!

When you are ready to shake up a bourbon-based margarita, don't even think about using a bottled margarita mix. You want fresh lime flavor, not that muddy, overly sweet taste from a bottle. Pick your favorite orange liqueur for a bright contrast to the citrus acidity, and a good quality bourbon to use in the proportions of your favorite margarita recipe. Serve your drink well chilled and enjoy a reimagined classic cocktail.