In the craft cocktail world, frozen drinks—and frozen margaritas in particular—often don’t get much respect. But the problem with a frozen margarita isn't the drink itself. It's the fact that most of them are made with corn syrup-filled, artificially colored mixes, and—let's be honest—the cheapest tequila you can find. Now, you don't have to break out booze that costs 100 dollars a bottle, but follow our guidelines and see if you can't blend up the best margs you've ever had. The only ingredients: Tons of ice, decent tequila (it should say "100% blue agave" on the label; Pueblo Viejo Blanco is a great value), and these three recipes.
Classic Done Right
Lime, tequila, agave—there's nothing else you need. And really, this recipe is as easy as squeezing a few limes. Just beware: Make one pitcher, and your party guests might have you back at the blender, making refills, all day.
Instructions (Makes 4 servings): To your blender add 4 cups of ice, 8 ounces blanco tequila, 4 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice, and 1.5 ounces of light agave. Blend it all up until good and frosty. Pour into glasses and garnish with lime wheels.
Cooling cucumber and spicy jalapeño gives a nice balance to this drink, but take note: When we say to take the seeds out of that pepper, we're not being fussy; leave the seeds in, and this pitcher will end up undrinkably spicy.
Instructions (Makes 4 servings): To your blender add four cups of ice, 8 ounces blanco tequila, 4 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice, 1.5 ounces of light agave, and half a seedless cucumber. Add one jalapeño pepper, de-stemmed and seeded. Blend it all up. Pour into glasses and garnish with a cucumber slice and jalapeño slice.
Grapefruit - Mezcal
We like good tequila; we love smoky mezcal. When you make this drink with fresh juice and a high-quality spirit like Fidencio Mezcal, it's way too easy to suck down a pitcher. This may be the classiest blender drink you’ll find anywhere.
Instructions (Makes 4 servings): To your blender add 4 cups of ice to your blender. Add 8 ounces mezcal, 4 ounces fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, and 1.5 ounces of light agave. Add 4 dashes of orange bitters, if you have them. Blend it all up until super-chilled. Pour into glasses and garnish with grapefruit wedges.