Liquor On The Farm: A Classic Margarita

My wife and I usually spend holidays and some of January at our respective parents’ farms — hers in Pennsylvania and mine in South Carolina — because I’m an academic and the rest of my jobs can be done anywhere, which is just how I like it. However, this is probably the last year we’ll be able to travel like this; my wife is graduating this Spring, so the academic calendar will no longer be our rhythm. Plus, of course, the prevalence of newly-empowered, newly-out-in-public, unabashed white nationalists* in both of these places might deter us from visiting and spending our hard-earned liberal money in these states. That too.

But in what might be our last hurrah, it’s been fun — we had discussions about whether my wife’s family’s farm should get a cow just so they could teach it to jump like a horse. And we visited this Mexican restaurant we like in South Carolina. We love that place not for the food (though it’s also good), but for the extensive tequila library and amazing margaritas. Ugh. Abby and I spent the 15 minutes before we left for said restaurant doing the margarita happy dance. It’s like the twist, but with the promise of margaritas.

I know it’s not a traditional winter drink, but in honor of what might be the last time for a while that both my wife and I get to have these excellent margaritas at the same time, here’s how to make a classic margarita. Not the frozen kind. The real kind.

photo of cocktail ingredients

You will need:

2 oz Tequila

1 oz triple sec

1 oz lime juice (I’m using fresh!)

a shaker (remember, fruit juice means shaken!)

salt for the rim of your glass

a lime wedge, also to rim your glass

a lime coin to garnish

photo of lime wedges next to a glass dipped in flaky salt

Remember last month when we learned to rim a glass? Well we’re gonna do it again! Grab the lime wedge and moisten the lip of your glass with it. Pour some salt onto a plate and, holding the glass at a 45-degree angle, turn the glass so the salt sticks to the rim. Set the glass aside. The reason we do it this way and not just by sticking the glass in a pile of salt is so that we don’t accidentally turn the margarita into salt water by letting the salt get on the inside of the glass and then slowly dissolve while we’re drinking it.

photo of tequila being poured into a shaker next to a cocktail being strained into a rimmed glass

Grab your shaker and fill it halfway with ice. Combine the tequila, triple sec and lime juice. Then shake shake shake it up — remember, shaking isn’t just for mixing. The outside of your shaker should be all frosty. That’s how you know it’s cold enough as well.

Strain the margarita into your pre-rimmed glass. Perch the lime coin on the rim and enjoy!

photo of completed cocktail in front of my mother's book collection and decorative plate

* let me be clear: there were always white nationalists. I’m not one of those people who think that all of a sudden there they are after this election. It’s just that, now that they’re in power, they feel emboldened to be EVEN SHITTIER in public.

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. A classic margarita is one of my favourite cocktails – but I never, ever remember to get tequila. Thank you so much for the reminder Ali! Maybe this will be my drink of 2017 – it’s suitably joyful, energising, and strong, sounds like just what we all need xxx

  2. I think you need to come to California, or Texas more often, cause it is a classic winter drink. Just add a little orange liqueur, and/or a little cayenne and your set(at least I had a winter Cadillac margarita like that).

  3. I drank some straight Triple Sec on a dare once and immediately regretted it.

    From now on, I’ll just use it in margaritas and other drinks. Now, if I could only find my lost shaker of salt, I haven’t seen it since that my tattoo showed up. =)

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