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The Perfect Margarita

Ditch the limeade: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a perfect margarita

Margarita Pico's
Pico's beverage director Monica Richards showed CultureMap food writer Eric Sandler who to make the perfect margarita. Photo by Joel Luks

The margarita may be Houston's favorite cocktail, and no one knows more about what makes a good one than Pico's Mex-Mex. For 30 years, the restaurant has been serving its signature perfect margarita to hordes of happy Houstonians. 

In order to get some advice about how to make the drink properly for Cinco de Mayo, CultureMap turned to Pico's beverage director Monica Richards, the daughter of chef/owner Arnaldo. In the video above, she takes us through the importance of freshly squeezed lime juice and the value of high-quality tequila. Shaken together with agave nectar and orange liqueur and served straight up, the ingredients come together with the perfect balance of sweet and tart. 

Over the four days Houstonians will celebrate Cinco, Richards estimates the restaurant will serve 10,000 margaritas. What to pair with it? Well, Texas Monthly recently named the chilorio pork one of the city's best dishes, and Pico's signature fried soft shell crabs are always a good choice. 

Pico's Perfect Margarita Recipe

  • 1 1/2 ounce Herradura Silver tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar

Fill a shaker with ice. Add lime juice, agave nectar, liqueur and tequila. Shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass, salt rim optional. 

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