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Quick: simple syrup, and then a margarita recipe.

You can burn 20 minutes making simple syrup. Or you can burn just two. I prefer two, as I can then spend those other 18 minutes drinking.

Most people will have you bringing water to a simmer, adding the sugar, stirring occasionally until it's fully dissolved, letting the syrup cool, and then putting it in a container for storage. It the grand scheme of things, this is not much of a hassle. But when you can just put water and sugar into your squeeze bottle, and shake it, why go through the boiling/cooling process?

Here's what you should be doing:

  • Fill your squeeze bottle halfway with sugar.
  • Fill up the rest with water.
  • Add a splash of vodka, as this will help preserve the syrup and keep stuff from growing in it.
  • Shake the heck out of it for a minute or two. If shaking is something that you don't care to do, then you are likely making cocktails incorrectly to begin with and should pack everything in.

Simple syrup

And that's it. The sugar, I assure you, will dissolve. Some may settle to the bottom, but you've still got plenty of syrup to use until you get around to another quick shake. This will keep in the fridge for months.

Simple syrup comes in handy for a variety of cocktails and applications. I sometimes mix a bit in with cut-up tomatoes when they aren't up to par. And, of course, a bit of simple in a margarita rounds out the drink and makes it more approachable, especially for morning drinking. And also for your friends who may not be as enamoured of the acidic zing of margaritas as you and me.

Put away that sauce pan and get shakin'.

Margarita recipe.

In a shaker filled with ice, add

  • 3 ounces silver (100% agave) tequila (please, people, only 100%'ll say so right on the label).
  • 1 ounce Cointreau (accept no substitute).
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice (that's juice, from a lime, that you squeezed).
  • A squirt of simple syrup if it's before noon, or skip it if it's after noon.
  • Perhaps a pinch of salt.
  • Shake the balls off of it. At least 20 shakes. You want the water to incorporate into the cocktail.
  • Strain over fresh ice (or up in a cocktail glass if you're sophisticated).
  • Enjoy.
  • Repeat.