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Happy National Margarita Day + Two Border Grill Margarita Recipes

Today is National Margarita Day. Of course it's a ridiculous and completely fabricated holiday, probably invented by the makers of some brand of tequila or powdered margarita mix. But if you like margaritas, you should ignore that crass reality and just pretend that Ernest Hemingway invented the day instead. Sure, Hemingway is known primarily as a daiquiri man, but who cares. He often didn't.

So to celebrate this fictional occasion, here are two margarita recipes from Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill, Ciudad). The Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita and the Border Grill Añejo Margarita are both on the menu at the Border Grill in Santa Monica, should you feel like swinging by the restaurant instead of making them yourself. But margaritas are easy to make, and there's nothing quite like mixing up a pitcher of them at home with friends, maybe with a moveable feast of your own design.

Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

From: Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken.

Makes: 1 drink

6 slices peeled cucumber

2 to 3 slices jalapeño

1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1 heaping teaspoon superfine sugar, to taste

Ice, for rocks glass

1 1/2 ounces silver tequila

3/4 ounce orange liqueur

1 cucumber slice, for garnish

1. In a rocks glass, combine the cucumber, jalapeño, lime juice, and superfine sugar. Using a muddler or the back of a spoon, mash the cucumber and jalapeño until they start to break up and release their juices and oils.

2. Fill rocks glass with ice. Add tequila and orange liqueur. Place a mixing glass over the rocks glass. Holding glasses together firmly, shake gently to combine. Return margarita mixture to rocks glass and garnish with a cucumber slice. Serve immediately.

Border Grill Añejo Margarita

From: Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken.

Makes: 1 drink

1 lime wedge

Kosher salt

Ice, for cocktail shaker

1 1/2 ounces añejo tequila

1/2 ounce orange liqueur

2 1/2 ounces Border Grill Citrus Mix (see recipe below)

1 lime wheel, for garnish

1. Wet the rim of a chilled martini glass with lime wedge. Cover a small plate with salt to a depth of 1/4 inch. Dip rim of glass in salt and set aside.

2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, orange liqueur, and citrus mix. Shake vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds. Strain into salt-rimmed martini glass, garnish with a lime wheel.

Border Grill Citrus Mix

Makes: 4 cups

2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/2 cups simple syrup*

1. Combine ingredients in a glass container. Can be stored in refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.

* To make simple syrup: Combine equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cool and reserve in refrigerator for up to a month.


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