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A good margarita starts with quality ingredients.

A good margarita starts with quality ingredients. Credit: AP

A good margarita is rather simple to make. There is but one rule: Use quality ingredients.

Fresh juice is easy enough -- just grab a couple of limes and/or oranges from the grocery store -- but the question of which tequila to use is a bit more complicated. It is, of course, a matter of taste.

Patron is always a safe bet, both for the stomach and taste buds. That, of course, doesn't come cheaply -- a 750 ml bottle of silver is in the $45 range -- but a celebration may warrant it. A cheaper option such as Hornitos is plenty tasty, too.

Whatever you choose, here are some recipes to make that tequila do its job.

From Salvatore Calabrese's "Complete Home Bartender's Guide" (Sterling, 2002):

1 ounce silver tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges
2/3-ounce Cointreau

Pour the liquid ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Rub a wedge of lime around the rim of a Margarita glass and dip the rim into a saucer of fine salt. Strain the drink into the glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

From "The PDT Cocktail Book" (Sterling Epicure, 2011) by Jim Meehan:

2 ounces El Tesoro Platinum tequila
3/4 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce lime juice, plus lime wedges
1/4 ounce agave syrup

Shake, with ice, all liquid ingredients, then strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice (and with an optional salted rim). Garnish with a lime wheel.

From Sauza tequila:

1 1/2 parts Sauza Reposado 100% Agave Tequila
1/2 part John DeKuyper & Sons O3 Premium Orange Liqueur
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
Orange wedges
Ice and orange for serving

In a shaker filled with ice, combine liquid ingredients. Shake vigorously. Strain into a glass filled with ice and rimmed with salt (optional). Garnish with an orange wedge.

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