The Plane Margarita – An Old Family Frozen Margarita Recipe

The Plane Margarita - An Old Family Frozen Margarita RecipeAbout 25 years ago, while on a flight returning from a business trip to Mexico City, I was having the usual get-to-know-you, pre-flight conversation with my seat mate on the plane. At some point, I mentioned the fact that I really didn’t know how to make a real margarita. I told him I thought that typical recipes and mixes in the U.S. were too sweet and how I’d love to be able to make a margarita like the ones I had during my brief visit to Mexico City. He sympathized and told me that his family in Mexico had a frozen margarita recipe that they had used for as long as he could remember and he would be happy to share the recipe with me if I was interested.

I don’t remember my response, but I’m fairly sure it was something like, “hell yes!”

I tore a piece of paper out of my notebook and he scribbled it down. I was so excited to try it out, then, unfortunately, I lost the recipe before I ever had a chance to make it. Fast forward roughly 25 years and guess what I found? Yup, what I have referred to as the Plane Margarita for years. Now, just in time for Cinco de Mayo 25 years later, I not only finally made the Plane Margarita, but also documented the process with detailed, step-by-step instructions for Consumatorium readers.

Here’s the original recipe from the plane ride.

The Plane Margarita - An Old Family Frozen Margarita RecipeOK, yeah, the “makes ten gallons” thing is a bit scary. When I made it, I cut the recipe 20-fold, resulting in a total of 1/2 a gallon (64 oz). I’d suggest you make a smaller batch like this at first. If you like it, then go wild. You know how to multiply, right?

The Plane Margarita Recipe

  • 2 Cups (16 oz) Water
  • 3-3/4 oz Lime Juice (See How Much Juice Comes From a Lime?)
  • 1 Egg White
  • 4-1/4 oz Granulated Sugar (Rounded down a little from original recipe)
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 8 oz Tequila (I used Reposado)
  • Ice

You’ll also need something to beat the egg whites and sugar – a hand mixer of some type, electric or manual – and a blender.

As the recipe above says, you’re going to make a lime juice mixture containing water, lime juice, sugar and an egg white. This mixture will sit overnight in the fridge. To make the lime juice mixture, start by pouring the water in a pot and heating until just before the boiling point. Your goal isn’t to boil off the water, but simply to make it hot.

Bring Water to Near Boil

While you’re heating the water, set aside the other ingredients. The sugar, egg and lime juice. 

Ready the Ingredients

Once the water has reached a near boil, add the lime juice. You’ll want to take the mixture off the stove and let it cool to the touch.

Stir in Lime Juice

While you’re waiting for the lime juice mixture to cool down a bit, you can work on prepping the rest of the mixture. Separate the egg white from the yoke. You’ll only need the white for the mixture.

Add Egg White

Beat the egg white(s) for a minute or two to get them nice and frothy.

Beat Egg White

Fold in the sugar and keep beating the mixture. 

Fold in Sugar

The volume increases a lot.

Frothy Margarita Goodness

Finally, add the egg white/sugar part of the mixture to the lime juice and water combo.

Combine Egg, Sugar, Water and Lime

Mix the two together by hand. 

Store Mixture in Fridge Overnight

There’s a critical point missed in the writing of the recipe. Perhaps the guy on the plane gave me the detail many years ago, but I had forgotten . . . How much, by measure, of the “lime juice” (that is, the combo of water, lime, egg and sugar) do you put in the blender? What I figured out through some experimentation is that he uses “blender” as a measurement and most blenders are 6 cups. So, once you fill the blender to the 6 cup level with ice, you pour in the “lime juice” to fill around the ice, but only up to the level of the ice. If you have a 6 cup blender, this is obvious. If you have a larger blender, as I do, it’s not quite as clear.

So, you will not be making a 1/2 gallon of the margarita at once. You’ll be making it in 6-cup batches. Really, it makes total sense when you’re doing it . . . I hope 🙂

With that all cleared up, I filled the blender with 6 cups of ice, then added 1 ounce of Cointreau and 8 ounces of Tequila. I then poured in the refrigerated mixture until it just covered all the ice. The blender does all of the heavy lifting. Make sure you run the blender long enough to get rid of any chunks of ice. You know you’re done when the final product is smooth and almost creamy in texture. 

Dispense into your favorite margarita glassware and enjoy. 

Why You’ll Like the Plane Margarita 

This recipe has all the great taste you’re looking for in a margarita without any of that synthetic sweet and sour gook that gets caught in the back of your throat. While I’m not partial to frozen margaritas, many people are. With a little preparation, you can make a ton of this stuff in batches for a party or even for just a handful of guests. It’s very smooth and tasty and entirely worth the extra effort.

Consumatorium Reviews: New York City Craft Cocktail Bars – Dutch Kills and BlackTail

Dutch Kills Bar in Queens

It’s just hard to beat New York City when it comes to excellent craft cocktail bars. It’s not that every bar is outstanding, but the fact that there are a couple of dozen truly world class cocktail bars in the City makes the tide rise for all the bars. So, more than passable drinks can be found almost anywhere.

Still, why go for passable when a quick Uber, taxi or subway ride can take you to an establishment that serves unique and delicious cocktails? A couple of weeks ago, we hit a bar that we’ve been planning to get to for a while, Dutch Kills in Long Island City, Queens, and a new entrant on the scene, Blacktail in Lower Manhattan. Not surprisingly, both were great.

If you’re downtown in Manhattan, as we were, Dutch Kills is a little bit of a trek. There’s plenty of transportation in NYC, though and we got there plenty fast. In fact, we got a little lucky arriving there a little after 5 and grabbing the last table in the small, dark place. The bar is a little hard to find since it’s all but unmarked. There is a small neon “Bar” sign, but other than that, you could walk right by it and not know it was there. We did just that.

Once you get inside and let your eyes adjust – it’s pretty dark – it has a speakeasy feel. The bar is in the back and you walk by the tables on your way to it. The menu is basic – just a short, typewritten sheet, with their seasonal drinks and their classics. Of course, they’ll make anything you like.

I had a Second Marriage. A great mix of Bourbon, Calvados (apple brandy) and Pedro Ximenez Sherry. If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you know we use Pedro Ximenez as a sweetener in some of our drinks. You need to be gentle with it though. It doesn’t take much to have your drink taste more like sherry than your primary liquor. The Second Marriage had no such problems. Just a hint of the sherry taste sweetening the Bourbon and Calvados. It was excellent.

We then got in an Uber and made the long trek down to Battery Park at the base of Manhattan. Well, it was long because of typical NYC traffic, but it wasn’t too bad. Blacktail is in an old Pier building in Battery park. The bar was created by the same people that did Dead Rabbit, another incredible bar in the City. Blacktail has the same great service, knowledgeable wait staff, and incredibly helpful doorman as Dead Rabbit. Combine those with the great drinks they serve, and people line up in the cold and rain to get in, which happens all the time. It’s worth it, especially since the doorman will work to get you in or tell you realistically how long you’ll have to wait. 

Black Tail - New YorkBlacktail is a Cuban-Themed cocktail bar. Well, that is, the theme of Cuba as it was in the middle of last century. As we wrote about before, the current Cuba cocktail scene is really weak. The bar is decorated like old Havana and the drinks are definitely tropical in nature – plenty of rum and juice. That said, their menu is broken into sections labeled, Highballs, Punches, Sours, Old-Fashioneds and Cocktails and each section contains Cuban-inspired drinks, the classics and some exclusive drinks created by the bartenders there. If Carribbean-style drinks are not your thing, there are plenty of other choices including, of course, making up your own for the excellent bartenders there to mix for you.

I had a Mary Pickford, a classic done with the bar’s Cuban flair. It’s made with a few different Cuban Rums, Cherry, Pomegranate, Lime, Pineapple, Burlesque Bitters. Drier than it sounds, it was quite good. I finished the night with a Sazerac, my go-to drink to test out a bar. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very good. Perhaps they ran out of Absinthe? It didn’t taste like they used any. I’m partial to ours. Trust me, you won’t mistake the fact that Absinthe is an ingredient in our recipe.

Both bars are highly recommended as are the other NYC bars in our map below. Remember to check out our growing list of favorite cocktail bars here when you travel to a new place. And please, drop us a note when you come across a killer bar that we should check out.

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