The Arkansas Times, along with Don Julio Tequila, will be hosting the inaugural Little Rock Margarita Festival on May 4. It’s a salute to the salt-rimmed perfection of a great margarita. Guests will sample takes on the classic cocktail from the city’s best bartenders, vote for the favorites and crown one frozen concoction best to the ‘fest. Buy tickets here.

We’ve got a great line-up on the way, including local favorites like Cajun’s Wharf, Cache Restaurant, The Pizzeria, Loca Luna, Ernie Biggs, Copper Grill, Big Whiskey’s, Taco Mama, O’Looney’s & Loblolly, Agave Grill, Boulevard Bistro, Trio’s, Samantha’s, Revolution Taco and Tequila Bar and Bleu Monkey Grill. There will also be some good eats on hand from Loca Luna and Taco Mama — plus great salsa music and good times.


To celebrate this new festival — and to get you all in the mood for some margarita madness, we here at Eat Arkansas would like to revisit our margarita primer from last Cinco de Mayo. Get your taste buds tingling, and get your tickets soon — they’re only $25.

The margarita includes three important components – the tequila, the citrus, and the orange liqueur. There are numerous recipes out there on the internet and in cocktail books giving different proportions for each, but they all boil down to variations of on this theme – meaning quantities can be scaled up or down as needed. The necessary bar gear for combining ingredients are:  a cocktail shaker, a measuring jigger, a citrus juicer (optional, but can make things easier).


To get everything going, get everything in the shaker and shake the drink to get it to combine – fresh juice nearly always wants shaking in a cocktail. For plan-ahead types, you can make your own sour mix by combining the lemon juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in even proportions.

Basic Margarita

  • 2oz Don Julio Tequila
  • 1.oz Cointreau – I use the name brand Cointreau as the orange liqueur because I like the dry quality it brings – it prevents it from being too sweet. For a sweeter drink, use a less “dry” liqueur or modify the amount of simple syrup
  • .5 oz Lime Juice
  • .5 oz Lemon Juice
  • .5oz Simple Syrup – This is just heated sugar water. To make, use equal parts sugar and water and heat until sugar dissolves. Alternatives include agave or honey syrup.



Combine your ingredients in a shaker tin 2/3 full of ice and shake. Strain it into a serving glass. For a salt rim, take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of the glass before turning it upside down into a plate full of salt. Lo, and behold, a salt rim! Enjoy responsibly.