The Bayless Margarita

The Bayless Margarita
From Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks, by Rick Bayless

We’ve never posted a drink recipe before, but I figured New Year’s Eve was a good time to start.  Of course, champagne is typically the drink of choice, and don’t get me wrong, we’ve got a bottle chilling in the fridge as I type.  But right next to it is a pitcher full of this beautiful concoction.  It might not be traditional, but when in Rome Florida.

It’s actually an homage to our snowy homeland, as Rick Bayless is arguably the most famous chef in Chicago right now.  What began with one no-reservations, high-end Mexican joint has spiraled into a veritable empire with 2 full service restaurants, a line of grocery products and more sandwich shops than I can count.  Oh, and cookbooks, of course.  We received his margarita cookbook for Christmas and instantly knew that it would make the cut for our Florida packing list.  Truth be told, I’m not the biggest margarita fan, but I have to admit this recipe makes the smoothest, most perfectly sweet margarita I’ve ever had.  The liquors are a bit of a splurge and squeezing a bunch of fresh limes is a real pain in butt, but one sip of this and you’ll never go back to those dusty bottles of margarita mix.

Here’s to a gourmet new year!


  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (~8-9 standard sized limes)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Tequila (we used Sauza Conmemorative but I think any quality 100% agave resposado or 100% agave anejo will work just fine)
  • 1/3 cup Orange liqueur (we us di Amore, Bayless recommends Torres, but if you’re in a pinch and want to save a little money Triple Sec would work as well)
  • lime, for garnish
  • kosher salt, for garnish
  • ice, for mixing


  1. In a pitcher combine the fresh lime juice, water and sugar.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the tequila and orange liqueur to the pitcher and stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  3. Pour a layer of salt on a plate.  Crust the rim of your glasses by rubbing a little water on the rim and placing the rim into the salt.  Twist until salt sticks.
  4. Fill a cocktail (martini) shaker half full with ice and pour in desired amount of margarita mixture.  Shake until the mixture is a little foamy and strain into prepared glasses.

Makes 8 cocktails

Note: We made the whole recipe and kept it in the fridge for a few days, using a martini shaker to shake out individual servings each night.

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2 Responses to The Bayless Margarita

  1. Bob Miller says:

    Tera and John This drink brings back memories of the good old days !!!!
    But now we have to stick with wine ! It’s Pino-Nor vrs. Margareet
    Happy New Year Bob and Arlene

  2. Doreen Dodero says:

    It makes all the sense in the world to have this drink while sitting beside a pool, however we may need to wait until spring for this drink recipe. With a forcast of 10 degree wind chill this week, we may need to stick to Baileys and coffee. Can you tell I’m jealous. ha ha

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