Hella from Palm Springs writes: “What’s the best way to serve a margarita, blended/frozen or on-the-rocks and why? I never know which to order and never seem to get something I really like.”
A: What you’re asking about is a common problem with a lot of drinks, but especially margaritas. Seems like every bar or restaurant that serves them has a different recipe and makes them in their own way, so your question is hard to answer. In general the answer lies in how cold you’d like the drink to be, and how fast it’ll get diluted.
In the case of a frozen margarita, when mixing a cocktail in a blender there’s always a lot of ice added to make the drink thick and cold. You end up with a nice, frosty cocktail, but because the blender has chopped all the ice into little tiny pieces, it melts pretty quickly and will usually get watery and diluted before you can finish it.
A margarita served on-the-rocks (a great recipe for which is right here, by the way) is usually mixed by shaking. Shaking a cocktail will chip the ice cubes and add some water to the mix, but nowhere near as much as mixing it in a blender will. Plus the ice cubes won’t melt as fast as the crushed ice in a blended drink. Ordering a margarita on-the-rocks will get you a cocktail that will stay pretty cold but won’t get watery too fast.
Oh, what do I prefer? (Yeah, like you really wanna know.) I always make them for myself straight-up, martini-style (again, a great recipe for which is right here, just strain it in to a chilled, salt-rimmed martini glass after you shake it.) Just shake the drink well enough to thoroughly chill it, and then strain it into a martini glass so the ice won’t melt in the drink and dilute it. That’s the best way to enjoy every sip of a well made margarita