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Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Border Grill - Mandalay Bay

Border Grill Margarita

Almost as many legends surround Mexico's most popular mixed drink, the margarita, as there are needles on a cactus paddle. Our favorite story credits Mexican hotelier and restaurateur Danny Herrara with mixing up the first margarita in the 1940s when a visiting American actress named Marjorie (or Margaret as he heard it) was allergic to straight tequila.

We prefer to make our margaritas with añejo tequila and prefer them shaken, not blended. If you're drinking them straight, use your best tequila. The traditional orange liqueur in a margarita is Triple Sec. Cointreau and Grand Marnier, if that's what you have in the house, are fine substitutes.

Serves 1

4 lime wedges
margarita salt or coarse kosher salt
2 ounces añejo tequila
1 ounce orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup ice cubes

Arrange 3 lime slices to cover a small plate, and cover another plate with salt to a depth of 1/4 inch. Place a martini glass upside down on the limes; press and turn to dampen. Then dip the glass in the salt to coat the rim.

Combine the tequila, orange liqueur, lime and lemon juice, and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake. Pour into the prepared glass, garnish with the remaining lime slice, and serve.

Copyright © 2005, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

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