Tommy’s Margarita


Updated: 01/21/24

Tommy's Margarita
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The Tommy’s Margarita is made with tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar. It is Recognized by the International Bartenders Association (IBA) as a new era drink and earned its place as a unique and flavorful variant of the classic Margarita.

The Birth of Tommy’s Margarita:

The tale of Tommy’s Margarita begins in San Francisco in 1987, within the walls of a Mexican restaurant named Tommy’s. Julio Bermejo, the creative mind behind this cocktail, was related to the restaurant’s owners and worked at the bar. Bermejo, who was inspired by a newfound ingredient – agave nectar – set out to create a Margarita that would redefine the classic recipe. This moment marked the inception of Tommy’s Margarita, a cocktail that would later gain international recognition for its distinctive twist on tradition.

Tommy’s Margarita Ingredients

Tommy’s Margarita distinguishes itself by its unique combination of ingredients, deviating from the traditional Margarita recipe. The three essential components that form the backbone of this cocktail are tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar. The choice of tequila is crucial, as it contributes not only to the alcoholic content but also to the overall flavor profile. The use of fresh lime juice adds a zesty and citrusy note, balancing the sweetness of the agave nectar.

Agave nectar was a groundbreaking addition to the cocktail scene in the late 1980s. Bermejo’s decision to incorporate agave nectar was driven by a desire to intensify the agave flavor in the cocktail without relying on the traditional triple sec to enhance the citrus notes. This departure from convention marked a pivotal moment in mixology, as Tommy’s Margarita became a pioneer in utilizing agave nectar as a primary sweetener, setting a trend that would be emulated in various modern cocktails.

The Significance and Impact of Tommy’s Margarita

The cocktail’s significance goes beyond its unique flavor profile and innovative use of ingredients. In 2008, it achieved a milestone by becoming the first venue-specific cocktail to be added to the IBA Manual. This recognition solidified its place in the canon of international cocktails, showcasing its enduring popularity and influence.

The choice to include Tommy’s Margarita in the IBA Manual reflects the evolving landscape of mixology, acknowledging that innovation and creativity have become integral aspects of the craft. Bartenders worldwide now have a standardized reference for recreating this iconic cocktail, ensuring its legacy continues to thrive across diverse cultures and locales.

This Margarita variation has not only influenced the world of mixology but has also made a significant impact on cocktail culture. Its popularity has transcended borders, becoming a go-to choice for cocktail enthusiasts seeking a modern twist on a beloved classic. The widespread adoption of agave nectar as a sweetening agent in cocktails owes much to the success of Tommy’s Margarita, showcasing the lasting influence of this innovative cocktail.

Tommy’s Margarita Recipe

  1. 60 ml Reposado or Blanco tequila

  2. 30 ml fresh lime juice

  3. 15 ml agave nectar

  4. Ice

  5. Garnish: salt rim and lime wedge

Tommy's Margarita recipe

How to Make Tommy’s Margarita

  1. Rim the edge of an old-fashioned glass with salt, and set aside.

  2. Add the tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar into a cocktail shaker.

  3. Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds, until chilled.

  4. Strain into the prepared old-fashioned glass.

  5. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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