Golden Margarita

There are lots of good margarita recipes out there, and I appreciate many, but this has been my standard cocktail of choice for a few years. This is the margarita that made me switch from silver to gold tequila. (It’s also the one that I missed a time or two when I was pregnant.)

I haven’t been hungry for oranges, so I used some of my homegrown oranges to make it. It’s great with regular orange juice, but I love using freshly squeezed at this time of year.

The recipe was originally inspired by the El Nino margarita at Chili’s, but it evolved into something a little different. Chili’s version uses Herradura tequila, but we eventually switched to Jose Cuervo Gold. The Herradura is better for taking shots, but it’s almost overpowering in a mixed drink. The Jose Cuervo gives it the tequila flavor without taking over, and it’s also less expensive. You can easily find the exact Chili’s recipe if you search for it, but here is our variation:

4 ounces orange juice
3 ounces sweet and sour
3 ounces gold tequila
1 ounce Gran Gala
1 ounce Cointreau
splash olive juice

Shake and serve on the rocks or straight up. Garnish with salt and orange slice or lime.

Photography Details:

I took this a few years ago, but I love the Christmas tree in the background. (I’m currently trying to put our tree up, but I’m having light issues AGAIN!)

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: 28.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-4.5
Focal Length: 50mm
ISO: 1250
Aperture: f/4.0
Shutter speed: 1/20

Notes: The shutter speed is really slow, but it had to be to make up for the larger aperture (the best that lens could give me). I set the drink on a pedestal on the coffee table, a few feet away from the Christmas tree. I propped my elbows on the table to get a steady shot without camera shake. I took several pics with different focus points–including ones focused on the lime, the bubbles, and the tree. I liked this one with the focus on the front rim of the drink the best.

This year I’m looking forward to capturing pictures of Tice with the tree in the background!


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