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Mike is a friend of mine from Chicago (hence the “Southside Special”) who turned me on to this wonderful margarita recipe. Citronge is an orange liqueur made by Padron, the tequila people. He recommends Hornitos for all blended margaritas. Why? He was a bartender and says this is the best grade of 100% Blue Agave tequila to use for mixed drinks. Anything more expensive will be lost. Anything much less and you’re missing out. I can’t argue with perfection after tasting these!

This recipe makes 2 margaritas:

3 jiggers Hornitos Tequila
1 1/2 jiggers Padron Citronge
2 jiggers lime juice, fresh squeezed if you have it
2 tablespoons simple syrup
3 handfuls of ice

Gran Marnier “float” to taste

Mix all that up in a blender, rim your glasses with salt, and you’re ready to go. Add the Gran Marnier last. It’s called a “float”. You pour it in until the drink is just slightly golden, or to taste. You’ll be amazed at how the Gran Marnier blends and smooths the tastes. Technically speaking, since Gran Marnier is a cognac, we’re making a sidecar here, but what the heck, it’s a fancy margarita.

This is a wonderful drink to have with Mexican food, or even a bowl of chili.

BTW, simple syrup is made with 2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Heat the water until the sugar is dissolved. Rim your glasses by dippng the rim in limejuice and then salt.