Food

Mad for margaritas: 6 recipes to celebrate National Tequila Day

It’s National Tequila Day, a day to celebrate the precursor of both good times and maybe a few bad decisions.

While many reserve the liquor for Cinco de Mayo or Saturday night shots, we’re using this food holiday to reflect on the complexity of one of America's favorite cocktails: the margarita.

But how much do you really know about the drink's main ingredient?

True tequila must contain at least 51 percent blue agave, with purists believing it should be 100 percent. The agave plant itself is a succulent — not a cactus — that’s related to the lily family and it can take eight to 12 years before it can be harvested for tequila.

And though shots are a pretty popular way to consume it, high-quality tequila can be sipped and savored neat, just like a whiskey or bourbon. When you pop open a bottle, use it up within a couple months, as oxidation will affect the flavor. Try cooking up slow-cooker tequila lime chicken or tequila barbecue chicken nachos. Or, do like we do and make Margarita Mondays a weekly thing with 6 of our favorite margarita recipes.

Coconut Lime Margarita
Pati Jinich cooks up an authentic Cinco de Mayo feast, complete with coconut lime margaritas
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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Turn a case of the Mondays into a relaxing beach vacation with this creamy, delicious coconut margarita from chef Pati Jinich.

Ina Garten's Jalapeño Margarita
Make Ina Garten’s cranberry martini and herb feta for the perfect party
David Anderson / TODAY
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This mildly spicy margarita is the perfect blend of heat and sweet. Ina Garten’s recipe for the ice-cold drink will wake up your senses.

Mango-Sage Margarita
Cinco de Mayo cocktail recipes: Mango-Sage Margarita
Anise Global Gastrobar
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Most margaritas, especially when made with store-bought mixers, are one-note and overly sweet. Not this one! This mango-sage marg has layers of flavor that will have your friends praising your mixology skills.

Fresh Raspberry Margarita
Cinco de Mayo cocktail recipe: Fresh raspberry margarita
Maureen Petrosky / TODAY
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Add a hint of berry flavor and a pop of color to the traditional margarita for a summery sipper.

Coffee Margarita
Cinco de mayo cocktail: Coffee margarita with kumquat garnish
Trevor Pearson / Mother of Pearl
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Yes, you read that right. Two of our favorite party-starters together?! We’re in! But this concoction is not for traditionalists — it includes unexpected ingredients like toasted sesame oil and kumquats for a punch of umami flavor.

Frozen margarita tarts
TODAY Show: Christina Lane makes Valentine's Day "Dessert for Two" in Studio 1A -- February 12, 2015.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
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And for when you’d rather eat your calories than drink them, you might as well get a two-for-one with this delicious dessert.

Cheers!

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