There's One Ingredient That Will Give Your Margaritas A Refreshing Kick

Margaritas are one of the world's truly perfect cocktails, not just because they're so good with so few ingredients, but because they're also the perfect base for a wide range of interesting flavors. With just tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur (or another sweetener), the margarita manages to be refreshing and bright while still staying simple enough to showcase a good tequila. That means to make custom margaritas that still hit, you only need to tinker around the edges, muddling in hot peppers, or blending in a little fresh fruit. You can add more sweetness, make your margarita spicy, herbal, or bitter — but if you want to double-down on the refreshing vibes of this cocktail, the only thing you need is a sprig of mint.

Mint and lime are already a storied pairing, like in that other warm weather cocktail favorite the mojito, and who would say no to a tequila mojito? The sharp, mildly sweet flavor of a margarita gets an added layer of complexity from the cooling bite of the herb, while the alcohol and acid of the cocktail help bring out mint's natural sweetness, making for a perfect combination. Tequila, especially blanco tequila, can have notes of grassiness and spice, which are also complemented by the taste of mint. Altogether it means a drink that is much more bracingly clean tasting and sunny — the perfect late summer evening patio sipper.

Mint is a simple addition that will kick your margaritas up a notch

Adding mint to margaritas is pretty simple; you just need to do a few things to make sure you get all the flavor you want from it. First, you should start with a full sprig or two of mint per drink to shake with the rest of the margarita ingredients. Secondly, the mint should be muddled in the mixer, which will release the oils in the leaves and help make it more pungent. Shake the drink normally and then strain out the spent mint sprig when you pour. Finally, add another fresh sprig as a garnish; this one will offer extra minty aroma that will make the flavors in the drink pop even more.

Mint also works great with margarita flavors beyond the standard lime. Fruity margarita favorites like strawberry pair well with mint, and so do more unique ingredients like prickly pear. Or go with a summer pairing that's already a classic on its own and make a watermelon mint margarita. The herb is especially great with other additions that make margaritas more refreshing. Muddle cucumber slices with your mint for a more vegetal cooling taste, or add a splash of grapefruit juice to a mint margarita for a tasty Paloma-style crossover. But don't just let us tell you what to do; if you have a favorite variation on the margarita, mint is probably going to work in it.