A Proper “Frozen” Margarita

By Robert Hess

As David Wondrich says in Esquire Drinks, "Cocktails should not remind you of childhood; therein lies problems." Friends coming over for a party? Sure, make a pitcher of Margaritas. Just remember to leave the blender out of it.



3 parts silver Tequila

2 parts Cointreau

1 part lime juice


For a pitcher of Margaritas, stir all ingredients with ice to chill and dilute.

Strain out ice and store mix in the fridge until time to serve.

Crush ice in a Lewis Bag, cotton napkin or bar towel.

Pour Margarita mix over crushed ice in individual glasses to serve.

AaronWalls 29 Dec 2013
1:06 am

Excellent video. Question: Our shop carries a triple sec called Harlequin. It’s an orange & cognac triple in a similar vein to Cointreau and Grand Marnier, but about half the price. Have you tried it? To my palate, it is difficult to distinguish between them, especially when mixed in a proper cocktail. I know you’re a big proponent of Cointreau. Thoughts?

Robert Hess 2 Jan 2014
4:57 pm

Aaron… Yes, I am familiar with Harlequin, but still feel that Cointreau has a flavor which works better in most cocktails which call for triple sec. It is important to remember that while there can be some confusion between “triple sec” and “curacao”, there is (or should be) a difference between the two. Triple Sec has a neutral grain spirit base with just orange added to it, while curacao is (typically) brand/cognac based with orange and “sometimes” additional flavors added for accent. This makes a triple sec more of a bright and distinctive flavor, and curacao a more mellow rounded flavor.

I always recommend folks do blind tastings when trying to zero in on the product they should use, especially when you are wanting to know if the higher cost of Cointreau is justified for your usage! The goal should never be to identify which drink has which product in it, but just which drink you prefer, as well as how much of a difference you think it makes. If you prefer Cointreau over Harlequin, but only by the tiniest of margins, then perhaps it makes sense to continue using Harlequin.

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