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Hey, y’all. Today I’m telling you about our Beach Drink of Choice: a Top Shelf Margarita. That’s right. The best tequila and orange liqueur, the best from-scratch sour mix, and a pretty potent proportion of booze to sour.
So if you’re a fan of a scratch made craft cocktail, you’re going to want to get on board with these rocks margaritas!
Family Dogs: A Remembrance
As anyone who is a pet parent knows, our pets are part of our family. The Beloved and I are cat people, for sure, but we both grew up with dogs and love them as well. And when we visit family, we are also visiting their pets.
My cousin Ken and his wife Candace are dog people. But not just any dog people. Their dogs go everywhere with them. Showing dogs, specifically in agility, is also a huge part of their and their pets’ lives.
Over the years, their dogs have racked up countless ribbons and awards in agility trials. Candace also competes in freestyle and carting.
While Ken and Candace own dogs together, as is often the case, one or the other will be closer with each dog. Shadow, a beautiful Bouvier des Flandres, was Candace’s dog. I could tell you all about Shadow, but here is a page from her breeder all about Shadow and her competition history.
Sadly, the most recent post tells of Shadow’s passing at the end of March 2014. Still, she lived a good, long life and was much adored by her mom and dad. We loved her too, and she rather liked us as well which I hear was a bit unusual for Shadow as she was definitely a one-family dog. We were honored that she liked us!
Just as Shadow was Candace’s dog, Heath was surely Ken’s dog. Heath, a handsome and gentlemanly Collie, was a sweetheart and wanted nothing more than to please his people. Check out the link so you can see him with his cart. He also loved to do freestyle even more than Shadow did, and he did it very well.
Earlier this year, Candace traveled to Alaska to pick up their new Bouvier puppy from Sleeping Lady’s Bouviers in Alaska. The Beloved and I were looking forward to meeting Breeze and visiting with Heath who had just turned 13 a few days before.
Since we don’t see Ken and Candace as frequently as we’d like, we knew it would probably be the last time we saw Heath. We planned on driving up on Saturday. Ken called us on Thursday evening to say that he and Candace had made the decision to put Heath to sleep on Friday morning.
As much as we wanted to say, “No, wait! We want to see him one more time,” we knew how selfish that would be. Heath had been slowing down over the last year or two, and as often happens with aging, his slow decline had turned into a plunge.
We asked about postponing our visit, but they wouldn’t hear of it. Aside from looking forward to this visit for weeks, Ken and Candace certainly needed something to distract them from their sadness over Heath. We had already planned on making our signature top shelf margaritas while we were there as that is sort of a tradition whenever we get together, so I told them I’d bring extra.
We had a lovely visit with Ken, Candace and Breeze. Yes, we were all a bit sad about Heath, but that sadness wasn’t tinged with any sort of guilt or regret. Heath had lived a long, full life, and Ken and Candace knew when it was time. And they have Breeze now to love and train and show. She is a sweetheart. Just look at that face!
How to Make Top Shelf Margaritas
And now, whether or not you are in need of some comfort, join me for a margarita, won’t you?
I’m not only sharing a margarita with you, though. I’m sharing how to make a top shelf margarita. They are delicious, and the balance of the homemade sour mix makes it easy to pour a perfect drink.
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Time is approximate and does not include chilling time for the homemade sour mix.
It is very easy to whip up your own top shelf margarita all from scratch. Here’s the rundown.
- Make Your Sour Mix
Boil equal parts of water and sugar together so the sugar dissolves. Add a mixture of lime juice and lemon juice. Refrigerate. This is your fancy homemade sour mix.
- Rim Your Glasses with Salt
Pour kosher salt or your favorite rimming salt into a shallow dish. Wipe a lime segment around the rim of your margarita glass, then dip the rim of your glass into the dish of salt. Let the rims dry while you make your drinks.
- Measure the Tequila and Grand Marnier
I like a ratio of 4:1 tequila to orange liqueur, so for each ounce of tequila, I use 1/4 oz of orange liqueur. I prefer to use Grand Marnier because I think it has a more nuanced flavor than Cointreau. Cointreau has a nice, bright orange flavor, though, so you use whichever you like. You can use either. I encourage you to save your Triple Sec for blender margaritas and to use the “good stuff” for your top shelf margarita. It makes a difference!
- Pour Over Rocks and Enjoy
Fill your margarita glasses to the rim with ice cubes or crushed ice. Mix the alcohols and sour mix together in a pitcher, then pour over ice.
Margarita Sour Mix Recipe
It is so easy to make your own sour mix to make margaritas that you’ll never buy store-bought again. Plus homemade sour mix tastes so much better. your top shelf margarita will thank you for your efforts!
The sour mix I use to make margaritas, top shelf or otherwise, is the same one I developed for the bar at the restaurant.
I like a lime-forward sour mix as that flavor profile works especially well with margaritas. After making the simple syrup, I add a mixture of 3/4 lime juice and 1/4 lemon juice to the cooled syrup.
The sour mix recipe makes about 2 cups or enough to make 6 regular sized margaritas. Of course, there is no rule that says you need to make margaritas at all.
Use the sour mix as a base for fizzy lemon-limeade. Just add club soda. Or use it to sweeten ice tea. This is good stuff, so keep some on hand. It will stay fresh for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
More Margarita Recipes to Try
Here are some other top shelf margaritas you might want to give a try. So delicious, friends!
- Blood Orange Margaritas
- Red Currant Margaritas with Ginger Sugar
- Pink Grapefruit Margaritas with Sriracha Salt
I really hope you love this top shelf margarita recipe, you guys! If you make it, please share a photo with me, either in the PCO Facebook Group or on instagram by tagging @onlinepastrychef and using hashtag #pcorecipe. Thanks, and enjoy!
For the Sour Mix (makes 2 cups)
- 5.25 oz granulated sugar (about 2/3 cup)
- 5.25 oz filtered water (about 2/3 cup)
- 6 oz freshly squeezed lime juice (3/4 cup)
- 2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice (1/4 cup)
For the Margaritas (Makes 1 huge margarita in a 16 oz glass or 2 regular margaritas in 8 oz glasses filled with ice)
- Crushed ice
- 2 oz your favorite silver tequila, (such as Camarena Silver or similar), (1/4 cup)
- .5 oz your favorite orange liqueur, (Grand Marnier preferred) (1 Tablespoon)
- 5-6 oz sour mix (about 3/4 cup)
To Rim the Glasses
- Segment of lime
- kosher salt or your favorite rimming salt
For the Sour Mix
- Bring water and sugar to a boil. Cool to room temperature.
- Add freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice.
- Strain and chill until cold
For the Margaritas
- Rim your glasses with lime juice and then kosher salt or your favorite rimmer (optional but recommended)
- Fill your glass/es with crushed ice. All the way to the top.
- Stir together the tequila, orange liqueur and sour mix. Start with the lesser amount and add more to taste as needed.
- Pour over the crushed ice in the glass/es and enjoy slowly.
- Exotic Cocktail Salt Collection - 5 All-Natural Glass Rimmer Salts - Margarita, Margarita Lime, Pink Lady, Habanero Heat, Smoked Bacon - For the Perfect Cocktail, Every Time - 25 Total Oz.
- Crystal Cocktail Mixing Glass Set - Includes Mixing Spoon, Strainer, Jigger and 18oz 550ml Cocktail Glass - Sturdy, Thick Base - Perfect for Amateurs & Pros - Great Gift
- Libbey Colors Margarita Glass Set, 4-Piece
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Thank you so much for spending some time with me today.
Take care, and have a lovely day.