It’s a sweltering hot summer’s day, you just finished the yard work, you’re hot and tired, and you’re finally ready to kick back and relax. You desperately need a great thirst-quencher. What could be better than an ice-cold Margarita!

Tim Huckaby, Microsoft RD and MVP, and Founder/Chairman of InterKnowlogy and Actus Interactive Software, graciously shares his ultimate Margarita Guidance for making that perfect refreshing drink. And judging from his firsthand knowledge, he sure knows his stuff.

A note from Tim himself:
“The Margarita is not only a staple, it is a part of our culture in San Diego. I have developed this not-so-secret recipe over years of testing… literally thousands of unit tests. Preparations A through G were a total failure, so I shall call this… Preparation H. Warning: you will fall down if you drink too many of these; all the citrus juices mask the taste of the tequila.”


Tim Huckaby’s “infamous” Margarita Guidance
Cheap tequila
Triple sec, Cointreau, or any citrus-based liquor
Fresh lime juice
Fresh orange juice
Lime-flavored seltzer water or light beer
Fresh lemon juice
Margarita Salt

Margaritas are always on the rocks with a salted rim and a full tumbler of ice. Never blend them; blended margaritas are for ice-dancing fans. Some people do not like a salted rim. That is acceptable because even communists have a place in the world.

The best thing about this ancient margarita recipe developed over centuries is that it should be modified (and has been) easily to make uniquely your own—giving me (Tim) full credit, of course. It’s also one of those recipes, that, if you are missing an ingredient, you can substitute easily.

Done the “hard way,” these Margaritas can be a real pain (a lot of work) to make, so make them in batch in a large container and simply pour them over a salted glass full of ice as needed.

I have found that making them one by one is like fishing for bluegill with 10 kids. You never get a chance to fish because you are always baiting hooks and pulling fish off hooks. It’s still fun… just not as fun…

Basic Directions
The basic idea is you end up with ½ alcohol, the next ¼ lime juice, and the remaining ¼ will make it uniquely your own. This may seem like a lot of alcohol, but the ratio is lessened significantly because of a full tumbler of ice. Be somewhat careful, though, because the heavy concentration of the lime will mask the alcohol, and teetotalers can be easily overwhelmed when power-drinking four of these an hour for three hours.

Cheap tequila is all you ever need for Margaritas. Good tequila is a waste because the lime will mask the flavor of the tequila. Cuervo Gold is perfect for margaritas and really bad for shots.

The Alcohol portion (½):
The alcohol portion of the margarita should be ⅔ cheap tequila and ⅓ triple sec, Cointreau or any citrus-based liquor.

The Lime Juice Portion (¼):
If you really want to make the best margaritas, you need to squeeze limes—a gazillion of them—to produce enough fresh lime juice. It is very hard work. Regular limes are fine, but “Mexican limes,” often called “Key limes,” are best. A good alternative to this is bottled lime juice or concentrated frozen lime juice. The net-net is you need a lot of lime juice: a full ⅓ of the concoction. A margarita in many places in Baja is simply a bartender squeezing limes into a glass of tequila.

The remaining mixer Portion (¼):
This is the most important part of the margarita and the portion that will make your margis rock. My favorite recipe is fresh orange juice and lime-flavored seltzer water in equal proportions, and a dash of fresh lemon juice. I believe orange juice and some form of carbonated beverage is a must because it backs the bite off the tanginess of the lime. You can use a myriad of options for the carbonated beverage, from a lite beer (I use Coors Light quite frequently) to Hansens soda. A strawberry soda and/or cranberry juice works well here too.

Recipe compliments of: Tim Huckaby
Microsoft RD and MVP
Founder/Chairman, InterKnowlogy and Actus Interactive Software
Tim Huckaby is focused on the Natural User Interface (NUI). He has been called a “Pioneer of the Smart Client Revolution” by the press. Tim has been awarded many times for the highest-rated technical presentations and keynotes for Microsoft and many other technology conferences around the world. Tim has done keynote demos for many Microsoft executives, including Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

Tim founded InterKnowlogy, experts in .NET, in 1999. He serves as its Chairman and as the Chairman of Actus Interactive Software. Tim has 30+ years’ experience, including serving on a Microsoft server product team as a dev lead in architecture. Tim is a Microsoft RD and MVP and serves on many Microsoft councils and boards.