Our time at the San Antonio Margarita Meltdown

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margarita-texas-meltdown     We are a little late to writing this article but wanted to share our experience with the San Antonio Margarita Meltdown this past August 31 at La Villita in San Antonio, Texas. We have participated in many margarita events since we started this website in 2006 and this would be our first time at this one.

The day was extremely hot as expected during Summer in Texas. A quick rain shower as the gates were about to open added a little steam to the day. We setup our booth at the entirely outdoor event, started mixing up our batch (15 gallons) of mango habanero margarita and waited for the gates to open.

Visitors were given a sampling card like the one below which gave them the opportunity to taste the creations at each booth. We were told you could use the “Milagro” options to come back and taste samples you especially enjoyed. Our margarita was tasty enough that we found ourselves marking these circles many times.

IMG_2407-14-689x1024While we did have a few people decline our margarita because they do not like spicy foods, many people that expressed similar concerns but were brave enough to try thoroughly enjoyed the drink. For those who asked for the recipe, we gladly put it on our website to share.

The event also had a music playing throughout the event, bites to eat and a booth that hand rolled cigars. Most of our time was occupied with set up, serving and tear down so we did not have a complete experience of the event. That also included not being able to taste all of the other participants which were comprised of restaurants and bars. Overall, we found the event a success because we were able to meet a lot of great people and tell them about Margarita Texas Mix.

Part of the proceeds benefited La Voz del Anciano (The Voice of the Elderly). La Voz del Anciano is a local non-profit organization whose primary focus is serving the needs of the elderly throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Below is the exact recipe we used.

margarita-texas-habaneroMango Habanero Margarita Recipe



Combine all ingredients into strainer, shake and serve on the rocks.

Restaurants Reveal Their Margarita Secrets

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We reached out to restaurant owners and bar managers to share their margarita secrets and how they make the perfect cocktail. They weighed in on their preferred ingredients and how the drink should be served.

A majority of those questioned felt that tequila was the most important part of the drink. Choosing a 100% de agave Tequila was a top priority and according to Mariano Martinez, inventor of the margarita machine, “expensive aged Tequila is not necessary for margaritas, but don’t buy by price alone.”  As for which style of tequila works best, the answers were mostly split between blanco and reposado.

Regarding the debate of frozen margaritas over “on the rocks”, Liz Baron, owner of Blue Mesa Grills’ Dallas Texas area restaurants believes the coldness of a frozen drink makes it harder to discern the subtleties of the taste. Nelly Mendoza Olsen, General Manager and Vice President of Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine also prefers the drink over ice. Olsen feels the best representation of the margarita is “on the rocks” where the taste of the tequila is dominant. On the other side of the argument, Ricardo Molina, Partner of Molina Restaurants feels frozen is better if done in a machine. Molina believes that a blender requires too much ice and dilutes the drink. He also says that “up”, or chilled and served without ice, is “good too but in Texas it gets hot quickly.” Tila’s Restaurante in Houston, Texas serves all of their margaritas “up” to prevent dilution and customers have the ability to add ice as they please.

While those in the industry have varying ideas on how a margarita should be served, each remains successful throughout the years. A few restaurants even shared their margarita recipes below which were previously unreleased.

Basic Margarita
Source: Ricardo Molina, partner Molina’s Mexican Restaurant (Houston, Texas)

  • 2 parts Tequila
  • 1 part Triple Sec
  • 1 part lime
  • add a small amount of sugar

Serve on the rocks.

Mi Tierra
Source: Beverage Director at Mi Tierra Cafe in San Antonio, Texas

  • 2 oz of your favorite Tequila
  • juice of one fresh lime
  • 3/4 oz organic agave nectar

Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin with ice, shake and pour. A variation would be to muddle in a few pieces of your favorite fruit like mango, strawberries or watermelon with the above ingredients and make a delicious fresh fruit margarita on the rocks.

RF Margarita
Source: Roaring Fork (Locations in San Antonio and Austin, Texas)

  • 2 oz El Jimador blanco Tequila
  • 2 oz Margarita Mix
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz lime juice

Combine ingredients over ice in shaker. Shake vigorously and pour into Martini glass.

Mariano’s Margarita
Source: Mariano Martinez, Dallas, Texas, creator of the margarita machine.

  • 2 oz fresh, hand-squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz 100% agave Tequila
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Salt rim of glass, if desired and set aside. Fill a pint shaker with ice and add all of the ingredients. Shake vigorously and pour contents of shaker in glass. Lime wedge garnish optional.

09 Margarita
Source: Nelly Mendoza Olsen, General Manager and VP of Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine and Vela at Paloma Blanca

  • 1 1/2 oz Tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 oz Grand Mariner
  • 1 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • ice

Put ingredients in shaker and shake for several seconds. Strain into martini glass straight up and garnish with a lime wedge.

Pomegranate Clementine Margarita
Source: Liz Baron, Blue Mesa Grill (Dallas, Texas)

  • 2 oz blanco Tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz Perfect Puree Pomegranate Puree
  • 1 1/2 oz guava nectar
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed Clementine juice
  • 2 pieces muddled Clementine
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Serve in a Collins glass garnished with a Clementine wedge.

Ginger Margarita
Source: Rawad Semaan, Ava Pizzaria/Pizzaria Alto (Houston, Texas)

  • 1 1/2 oz reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau liqueur
  • Muddled Hawaiian Ginger & Thai Chile
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup

Muddle the ginger and the chili with a couple of cubes of ice, then fill the shaker with ice, add the liquor and the rest together. Shake it and pour it in a stem less wine glass with no salt. This drink should not be served with a straw.

Habanero Infused Margarita Mix

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habanero-peppers     We have always enjoyed sampling infused tequilas and mixing them into margaritas. This process is rather easy and it typically does not take a long time to achieve the desired flavors. We decided to take this idea in a different direction and infuse our award winning Margarita Texas Mix instead of the alcohol. Our mix is less expensive than a bottle of tequila so you are out a smaller investment if you do not like the flavors produced during the infusion.

First, we cut and removed the seeds from two habanero peppers. We recommend using gloves as habanero peppers enjoy leaving a lasting burn on your skin even after simply washing with soap. The peppers were cut into small enough pieces as to be easily inserted into the bottle opening. The seeds and stems were removed as well.

Next, place the peppers into the margarita mix and let sit in the refrigerator to work its magic. We used two habanero peppers per bottle to achieve the desired heat we were seeking. After about 24 hours, you will have a fiery concoction that can be used to spice up your favorite margarita.

Some other possible infusions could include lavender, fruits or other combinations of herbs and spices.  The choices are endless and you can even combine items to produce unique flavors. What would be some of your favorites?


Mango Habanero Margarita Recipe

  • 2 oz Margarita Texas Mix (infused with habanero peppers)
  • 2 oz mango pulp
  • 1 oz blanco tequila
  • 1 oz orange liqueur