The margarita has always been my go-to summer drink, but this year I'm making it my fall drink, too, with five autumnal takes on the classic cocktail.
A classic margarita will never steer you wrong. But to make my go-to summer cocktail fit in with fall, I adapted this traditional recipe by Erika Kotite and brought one of the season's most popular herbs, sage, into the mix. The easiest way to incorporate sage is to infuse it with the tequila; all you need is a day or two to steep the tequila with the herbs. I tried infusing it with both silver and reposado tequila, and preferred the reposado. The final product has an earthy, almost savory aroma that elevates this drink way above your average margarita.
To make the sage-infused tequila: Combine the sage leaves and tequila in an air-tight container. Shake vigorously. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days. (More than three days and the flavor will be a bit overpowering; you may want to cut your cocktails with half regular tequila after that point.) Keeping the same ratio, batch up as needed.
When you're ready to make the cocktail, if you'd like a salt rim, dump the salt onto a small plate. Prepare an (empty) rocks glass by rubbing a lime wedge around the edge of the glass, then dipping the wet glass rim in the salt and moving it around until the rim is well coated. Fill the rimmed glass with ice.
Combine the infused tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and agave nectar in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
Double strain (pour over a mesh strainer) into the ice-filled glass. Garnish with a sprig of sage, if you like.
Erin Alexander is the Associate Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.