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I was headed out to get ingredients to make margaritas. “Can you make sugar syrup?” I politely asked my wife.

“Oh, good God, buy some agave,” Suzen said with force. I don’t think this was her finest day, but it turned out to be so fortuitous.

First, I did buy agave nectar, that sweetener you may have seen in your grocery store. Made from agave plants in Mexico and in South Africa, the nectar is sweeter than honey but less viscous. It is ideal for drinks.

At the liquor store, I needed by orange component and, of course, would not consider plain old Triple Sec. I wanted something upscale and I found a new orange liqueur that provides flavor and power. O3 Premium Orange Liqueur is produced by John DeKruper & Son in Cincinnati. I did, when I got home, ask two people to taste test O3 by itself. “Too sweet,” said one person. “Cough medicine,” another contributed. In short, it is perfect.

The O3 bottle has a recipe for margarita, which features using agave. I read their recipe, an untypical 1-1-2 [lime, orange liqueur, tequila] and instead did a classic 1-2-3. The agave is also a 1 in my recipe [half that in theirs but I do like my sweet things and personally I don’t sense agave is that more sweet than honey].

The reaction from my drinking audience that night? “This is strong.” “This is perfect.” “More please.” I got my brother-in-law a little tipsy, and I had to give him the recipe on the spot. All in all, this is a lovely success.

Agave Margaritas

Yield: scale to the volume you need [a total of 4 ounces of liquid, pre ice, is a serious size


  • 1 part agave syrup
  • 1 part lime juice
  • 2 parts O3 orange liqueur
  • 3 parts premium dark tequila


Place the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, or in a plastic container if making a larger volume, then add ice and really, really shake vigorously. The agave nectar is viscous and will sink to the bottom. You need to shake for a full minute to integrate the fluids.

Serve in glasses filled with ice cubes. Crushed ice will chill the beverage quicker — that’s the upside — but it melts faster and dilutes the drink — the downside. For those who find the drink too strong, that melting ice can be a benefit.

Source: Brian O’Rourke