Uh oh – its late in the day on Cinco de Mayo and you have run out of the good tequila, but still need to produce a boatload of margaritas for your guests (or yourself). The only thing left in your stock is some really cheap stuff that you bought before you knew any better. Practically full and tucked behind the Boone’s Farm (another failed experiment when you thought about becoming a wine snob) it attests to a darker period during your margarita journey. If only it had some redeeming value, it could be the saving grace for your poor planning, which begs to ask the question: is there a way to improve on cheap tequila when making margaritas????
As it just so happens, there is – pour it out! NOT! That would be sacrilege…sort of. The reality is that you can’t really improve it, but you can influence the taste in a positive manner when dealing with margaritas.
I typically keep both cheap and premium tequila on hand for my margaritas. I use the cheap stuff in frozen drinks, cause the tequila taste is usually overpowered by the ingredients, which is fine. Plus, with frozen, I’m dealing with a large volume margarita machine and cheap stuff poured in large quantities fits the budget so much better than say a Don Julio 1942, which would be a waste in a sea of strawberries.
But when it comes to ROCKS, you want to use a premium brand, as the tequila flavor will influence the final concoction, which should be treated more like a work-of-art, than just another drink.
So what happens when the liquor store is closed and you want a good margarita, but only have the cheap stuff left (Poor planning obviously on your part)???? Simple trick – throw in a shot of brandy. It gives a more robust flavor to the less than stellar stuff, which makes for an instant improvement. It’s also a good way to trick a blanco tequila into thinking its a reposado… ok, maybe not that great, but anything is better than a blanco in my opinion when dealing with a margarita on the rocks. (Blanco is fine for frozen.)
So never fear if your tequila is weak and the liquor store is closed, just throw in that shot of brandy and all will be better…of course there is that one small detail of – do you have any brandy on hand…probably not…