- 1 cup sugar
- 4 lemons, zest peeled
- 1½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups lemon simple syrup, chilled (recipe above)
- 12 ounces tequila, chilled
- 6 ounces orange liqueur, like Cointreau, chilled
- Orange rounds, coarse sea salt, and frozen lemon wedges or ice, for serving
Mix up a pitcher of this make-ahead margarita for a cookout. Mezcal, tequila's smoky cousin, gives the drink its signature flavor.
Swap option: For a version without smokiness, use silver tequila in place of mezcal.
For the lemon simple syrup:
In a saucepan, combine sugar, lemon zest, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Strain, discard zest; stir in lemon juice.
Cover and refrigerate in an airtight container until cold, at least one hour and up to two weeks.
For the cocktail:
In a pitcher, stir together syrup, tequila, and liqueur. Cover and refrigerate up to one day, if desired. Run an orange round along the rim of each serving glass; dip each rim in salt. Add orange rounds and frozen lemon wedges to pitcher.
Pour drinks into prepared glasses; serve with more orange rounds and frozen lemon wedges.