How Mexico’s Best Bartender Makes a Margarita

Fifteen minutes into my meeting with the current star of the Mexican mixology scene, I have already committed a margarita mistake. Fatima León — who last year won the World Class Mexico, the country’s Olympics of mixology, cementing her place as the best bartender in the country — gives me a questioning look as I squeeze my lime into the margarita she’s just made.

“Should I not squeeze the lime into my drink?” I ask — even though I already know the answer.

“I don’t recommend squeezing them because the peel has a bitter flavor and it messes up the balance of the drink,” León tells me. She has briefly descended from her perch as the senior bartender at Fifty Mils, the cocktail bar at the Four Seasons in Mexico City, to come to the U.S., and teach me how to make the perfect version of what I might argue is the world’s most perfect drink.

Very quickly, it becomes apparent there’s another way that I — and many others — have been corrupting our margaritas. “There’s too much salt around the rim,” she explains. A full rim of salt overpowers the drink’s other elements, so León places salt around just half the glass. “The margarita in Mexico is a completely different flavor than in the U.S.,” León tells me. She posits that may be because the fresh lime in Mexico is different and that the tequila is 35 proof, whereas in the U.S. it’s 40 proof. “Less alcohol impacts the flavor.”

Regardless of your own happiness level, it’s worth making your own version of León’s margaritas, too:

The Classic Margarita 
15 ml. orange liqueur (preferably Cointreau)
15 ml. fresh lime juice
50 ml. tequila

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and shake with ice for 30 seconds. Strain the drink into a glass with half of the rim salted. Add a slice of lime for garnish if you’d like.

The Extraordinary Margarita 
20 ml. Aperol
15 ml. orange liqueur (preferably Cointreau)
15 ml. fresh lime juice
50 ml. tequila (preferably Don Julio 70)
Orange peels for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and shake with ice for 30 seconds. Strain the drink into a glass with half of the rim salted. Garnish with the orange peels.

[button link=”http://www.grubstreet.com/2019/03/margarita-recipe-fatima-leon.html” size=”small” text_size=”gamma” newtab=”on”]Read More[/button]

Annie from All About Playa

Annie from All About Playa

Share this Post

Leave a Replay

All About Playa

Playa del Carmen provides everything one could wish for the Caribbean location: luxury hotels with all the amenities that international travelers require. 

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Sign up for our Newsletter