My friend and local food celebrity Nancy Mock hosts an annual taco/margarita gathering in the summer. Naturally, my wife put me in charge of our margarita contribution. Strawberry season coincided nicely this year.
Fortunately, I had time for tinkering before the big day. I got my basic recipe from The New York Bartender's Guide: silver tequila, triple sec, strawberry syrup, lime juice (4:1:1:4 proportion). I went with a simple strawberry garnish and skipped the salted rim - as previously discussed, not a fan. My strawberry simple syrup recipe came from Fifteen Spatulas. My first attempt was too limey which suggested toying with the proportions.
One needs to be careful in experimenting with recipes. Lime is an essential flavor in a margarita. Without it, the drink would really need to be called something else. But if the strawberry is bringing only color, why not just use a splash of grenadine instead - same flavor, same color, less fuss? Injecting enough strawberry without killing the basic character of the root cocktail was the challenge.
Testing the syrup on its own was step one. Thank goodness I have a daughter who likes Italian sodas. She did note the first one didn't have enough syrup so I added a little more - 2 oz. total - and more ice to the second. Winner - with distinct strawberry flavor, not just sugar.
Still, I felt more strawberriness wouldn't hurt. Per my wife's suggestion, I left the strawberries in longer during the cooling stage for the second batch of syrup. Then for the pitcher, I adjusted the proportion of the ingredients above to 4:1:2:2. I also tossed in chopped berries at the end.
Reviews at the party were good.