El Tercero Cinco de Mayo


The third Cinco de Mayo. Yes, this year on May 5th, Brandon and I celebrated our third anniversary. We did so by also running our third Broad Street Run (Philadelphia’s annual 10 mile race) together. And when I say together, I mean that after Mile 3, Brandon left me in the dust since I hadn’t trained at all for the race. Brandon beat his best time, finishing in 81 minutes, and I did well considering my unpreparedness, crossing the elusive finish line in 93 minutes.


While the run doesn’t usually fall on our anniversary, we always need a drink- or ten -to help recuperate.  It has become our anniversary tradition to make (at least) a pitcher of Ina Garten’s “Real Margaritas” with which to celebrate, so this year we combined the two. These margaritas are easy, delicious, pack a punch, and don’t hold a candle to anything that comes pre-made in a bottle.



“The keys to this recipe,” Ina writes, “are to use fresh lime juice and inexpensive tequila.” and that’s just what we do. We start by squeezing limes and a lemon with a small citrus juicer from the 70s that I stole from my mother. It really makes quick work of all the juicing. While it doesn’t make a difference when juicing with an electric juicer, roll the citrus on the board before cutting to make manual squeezing a bit easier.


Next, either combine the ingredients over ice or in a blender. We prefer our margaritas on the rocks, so we just pour everything into a pitcher and give it a stir.



A margarita in our book is also not complete without a well-salted glass. I cut a piece of the squeezed lime and run it around the rim of the glass before dipping it in a small dish of kosher salt.

We served our margaritas alongside grilled shrimp with homemade mango salsa this year One ice cube goes in each glass and a big pour of this faintly green elixir sends us south of the border.

¡Buen provecho (Bon appétit!)


REAL MARGARITAS (from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Parties)

Serves 6 (or just the two of us!)


  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 cup Triple Sec
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1 cup white tequila
  • Kosher salt


  1. Combine the lime juice, lemon juice, Triple Sec, and tequila over ice in a  pitcher.
  2. Dampen the rim of serving glasses with juiced lime rind and dip in salt.
  3. Serve in salted glasses over ice.

If you prefer frozen margaritas, halve each of the ingredients, double the ice, and blend in two batches.



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