Upgrade Your Next Margarita With This Citrusy Swap

There's truly nothing like a margarita, which is arguably one of the most refreshing cocktails out there. Unlike some other cocktails, margaritas are easily adaptable, offering endless possibilities for you to upgrade or customize your marg. There are mango margaritas, spicy margaritas, watermelon or peach margaritas — the list goes on and on.

The origin of the margarita is slightly disputed with many people claiming to have invented it, but the one thing that everyone can agree on is that the margarita is delicious. With its tart citrus, sweet agave, earthy tequila, and flavorful salt, the margarita satisfies the palate. Sitting at your favorite Mexican restaurant enjoying chips and salsa with a margarita is one of life's simple pleasures, but if you're making them at home there are ways to make them as good as in a restaurant. This simple citrus swap allows you to amp up the citrus flavor in your batch of margs without amping up how tart they are.

Get a little zesty

According to America's Test Kitchen, one of the best ways to make restaurant-quality margaritas is to make your own mix. If you go to the store and buy a bottle of premade margarita mix you'll likely find ingredients you can't pronounce, tons of sugar, and preservatives that give it a long shelf life. Making your own mix is simple and it enables and empowers you to know what you're putting into your drink.

While classic margarita recipes call for tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, a citrus liqueur, and ice, you can amp up your blend by not only adding a bit of lemon juice to the mix but also adding lemon and lime zest, per ATK. Citrus zest has a purer citrus flavor than the juice alone, plus it doesn't add any extra acid to the mix. ATK suggests that you allow the lemon and lime zest to steep in the sour mix for as long as you can. The longer it steeps, the more bright citrus flavor you get. Epicurious notes that allowing zest to steep in your mix for 24 hours is preferable, but the flavor will still be wonderful if you steep for a minimum of four hours. Next time you want to have margies at home you'll have all the secrets to make your best batch yet.