It's Time To Start Clarifying Your Margarita Cocktails

clarified margarita with ice
clarified margarita with ice - SergeUWPhoto/Shutterstock

The classic margarita is a favorite of many cocktail drinkers. Crafted with tequila, triple sec (or another orange liqueur), and fresh lime juice, it's a straightforward cocktail that's easily mixed at home. But if you're craving a margarita with a twist, it's time to contemplate clarifying it. Maybe you've seen this trend in upscale cocktail bars. By employing one of several techniques, the cocktail becomes crystal-clear, devoid of any floating pulp or residual heaviness from certain liqueurs. Clarifying the ingredients reduces bitterness from the lime juice and imparts a clean flavor that's simply astounding. The best part is you can clarify a batch and have the perfect cocktail ready for any party.

While this may seem like the magic of an expensive centrifuge or some other exorbitant kitchen gadget, it's actually not. You can achieve this result at home with a common ingredient and a few items likely already stashed in your cabinet. The traditional method of clarifying cocktails involves using milk, a technique that originated in the 1800s for making milk punch, often with rum. Also known as milk-washing, this method removed impurities from beverages in an era when refrigeration was scarce. Nowadays, however, it's used to create Instagram-worthy cocktails with a smooth flavor and finish.

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How To Use Milk To Clarify A Margarita

clarified mango margarita
clarified mango margarita - historiacantina/Instagram

The margarita is an ideal candidate for this method because it inherently possesses what milk needs to clarify. Citrus, or any acid, is necessary to curdle the milk, which then filters out the drink's impurities. Whole milk is recommended because it contains more milk solids than lower-fat options. Additionally, the milk should be warmed a little to encourage curdling. Don't be alarmed if your mixture starts looking like ricotta cheese; this is similar to the technique used to make it!

Typically, a ratio of one-part milk to four parts cocktail is used, with the mixture strained slowly through cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Once strained, the perfectly clear cocktail can be chilled for later or served immediately. This ratio can be adjusted for larger batch preparations for parties. When done correctly, the mixture can be refrigerated for a few months, though it's unlikely to last that long!

Other Cocktails You Can Clarify

Clarified milk punch cocktail
Clarified milk punch cocktail - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

The best cocktails for milk-washing are the ones that have a citrus element, as margaritas do. A classic mojito is perfect for this technique because, after muddling the mint, you're left with lime juice pulp and bits of green floating around. Sours, like the standard whiskey sour, will also benefit from clarification. The classic daiquiri -- not the blended fruit version -- with its combo of rum, lime juice, and simple syrup is another sure bet. Cosmopolitans, which are a mix of vodka, cranberry juice, and lime juice, are another fun option.

If you're wary of the milk method, another way to clarify citrus-based cocktails is to strain the juice -- before adding it to the cocktail -- slowly through a coffee or other fine filter. This removes unsightly pulp and leaves it clearer (though not as clear as the milk method). A third option involves using agar-agar to quickly clarify the citrus juice, though beware that this may impart a metallic flavor.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.