Riesler Morales knows the secret to better Margaritas, and he wants to share it with the world. Morales, a bartender from Mexico City and the man behind Patron’s Margarita of the Year, swears by putting a layer of red wine on top of his Margaritas — and if you try it for yourself you’ll understand why.
Morales’s award winning Margarita, the Coralina Margarita, is made with Patrón Reposado, Patrón Cintrónge Orange, lime juice, simple syrup, and a topping of a big red wine like a malbec or a carménère made in Mexico. Then the glass is rimmed with a salt, sugar, and hibiscus mix. It is, as Morales tells me shortly after making one for me to try, “simple and elegant.”
If this is elegance in a glass, then everyone needs to taste elegance. The red wine floats on top of the lemon-lime-colored Margarita. Each sip is a combination of both liquids, with the wine giving body and balance to the drink while the tart lime and tequila backbone hold everything together. It’s a similar effect the hibiscus sugar-salt rim has, with sweetness and salt balancing each other out.
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Morales says that the Coralina “reflects my Mexican traditions and folklore,” but it was also inspired — as all great things are — by a love story.
“A couple are watching the sunset on the beach in Mexico,” Morales says, using a translator on his phone to better tell his story. “Coralina is the name of the girl. When she is on the beach, a man comes and touches the girl’s shoulder. She sees him and she says, ‘wow, I think you are my dream boy.’”
The colors of the Coralina represents the Mexican sunset over the water, the hibiscus represents the flowers surrounding the couple, and the touch of salt represents the ocean.
Perhaps Morales is just playing it up for the romantics he serves drinks to, but it’s a story fitting for the Coralina Margarita.
The Coralina Margarita
- 1.75 ounces Patrón Reposado
- .75 ounce Patrón Cintrónge Orange
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- .75 ounce simple syrup
- .5 ounce of a big red Mexican wine
- Salt and sugar rim
1. Combine Patrón Reposado, Patrón Citrónge Orange, simple syrup, and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously.
2. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe rimmed with sugar-salt rim*.
3. Carefully float Mexican red wine over the surface of the cocktail, using a bar spoon to keep the wine layered on top.
*For the sugar-salt rim: Grind .25 cup of dried hibiscus in a spice grinder. Add .25 cup of sugar and .25 cup of salt until combined.