Top Shelf Margarita {without breaking the bank}

April 25, 2014
Ah, there's not much I love more than a good Margarita on the rocks ... with the key word there being GOOD!  Margaritas, if not made well, can certainly be a disappointment.  But this Top Shelf Margarita ... actually crafted with 'middle class' tequilas to not break your bank ... most certainly will NOT disappoint!

So there's lots of fuss out there about Margaritas ... classic, crazy-flavored, frozen, on the rocks, top shelf ... right?  And in my opinion, all this fuss is with good reason.  'Cause a good Margarita is ... well ... just plain good.

When it comes to a 'good' Margarita for me, I'm a very classic girl ~ just a classic Margarita, top shelf, straight up or on the rocks.  No crushed up ice, whirred-in-a-blender frozen concoctions for me.  No crazy fruit flavors.  And top shelf all the way ~ there's no other way.

But what does that mean to be top shelf, and how do you make top shelf at home without it costing an arm and a leg?

'Top shelf' is an adjective used to mean 'of high quality' or 'excellent.'  When it comes to liquor, it refers to those higher quality liquors typically stored on the higher shelves {or top shelf, if you will} of a bar or bartender's station.  See, the lower quality ... hence, less expensive ... liquors are ordered more often ... which means bars are set up for those to be within quick reach of the bartender, so they're on the lower shelves.  The top shelf stuff is the expensive stuff ... that gets ordered less often, so can be stored where it's a tad of a stretch to reach.  Make sense? 

When I'm out and about, I don't mind splurging to have my Margarita be full-on top shelf.

But when it comes to buying full bottles of liquor to make my Margaritas at home, that truly top shelf stuff adds up quick!  What's a top shelf girl to do?

Well fortunately, you don't have to break the bank to make a delicious Margarita worthy of top shelf status.

Nope.  A little trick to get top shelf taste without top shelf price is to use what's sometimes referred to as 'middle class' tequilas to craft your Margaritas, while being sure to use high quality, truly top shelf ingredients for the rest of the stuff in the drink ...

... like high quality orange liquor, freshly squeezed lime juice, and Rose's sweetened lime juice {found in the drink mixers section of the grocery store, in case you're not familiar with it}.  Not skimping on the quality of these ingredients is key!

Yes, higher-end orange liquor ... such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau ... is pricey.  If you don't drink this regularly enough to want to spend the price of a full bottle, my suggestion is to buy one or two of the little mini bottles.  Since only a splash is used in each Margarita, a couple of mini bottles will suffice for making several of these yummy top shelf cocktails.

And of course, we're all familiar with the signature Margarita salted rim, right?  Soooooo easy to do ... simply run the cut side of a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and dip the wet rim in a bit of kosher salt.  I like to pour a bit of salt out on a flat plate ... that way I can dip about half the glass's rim at a time.  Easy, peasy.

Now, if you {or someone you know} would like to enjoy wonderful Margarita flavors without the alcohol, my good friends at Tastebuds Popcorn have gotcha covered ... with Margarita popcorn!

Aren't they nice?

Yes, Tastebuds' Margarita popcorn is fully loaded with the lime zing we know and love in our Margarita cocktails.

But hey, with over 200 flavors in their line-up, they've also got you covered with non-lime Margarita flavors, too! ... including Raspberry MargaritaPineapple Margarita, Mango Margarita, Strawberry Margarita, and Pomegranate Margarita.

Visit Tastebuds Popcorn today to choose from their over 200 scrumptious flavors!

Each of Tastebuds' 200+ unique flavors has been tested and perfected in their popcorn kitchen, and is produced in micro batches to deliver the freshest, highest quality product.  'Pop' on over to visit and order Tastebuds' popcorn online to give your  taste buds a real treat!

And now I think I may be in the mood for a Margarita ~ a classic, on the rocks, top shelf Margarita ... that won't break my bank.

Top Shelf Margarita {that won't break the bank}
Source:  A family friend
(Printable recipe)
For each Margarita:

  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • 3 oz. Sauza white/silver tequila 
  • 3/4 oz. Cuervo Gold tequila
  • 1 T. Triple Sec
  • 1 splash Grand Marnier {or Cointreau}
  • 3 oz. Rose's sweetened lime juice
  1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for about 20 to 30 seconds.
  2. Strain into a chilled margarita or cocktail glass with a salted rim.

Please enjoy these other yummy cocktails from The Kitchen is My Playground ...


  1. I'm stopping over from Strut your Stuff link party. I am glad to know the brands and ingredients to have on-hand for real margaritas. Will be having all this on-hand for summer. Thanks :)

  2. This looks crazy delicious and I love all your fabulous tips!!

  3. I love, love, LOVE margaritas. They are my kryptonite. I'm definitely going to try this recipe! :)

  4. Yum! I shared this today on my Best of the Internet series on my blog!


I love your comments ~ I read and appreciate each and every one. When you choose to leave a comment, we collect and display your name, as provided by you. Clicking "publish" to submit your comment indicates your explicit consent for name collection. If you click the "notify me" checkbox {which is optional}, your e-mail is also collected. Clicking the "notify me" checkbox indicates your explicit consent for e-mail collection. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground!

Blog Design: Powered by Blogger.