How Using Tiny Pieces Of Ice Could Ruin Your Margarita

As warmer weather begins to slowly make a welcome return, what's the first sign that people are getting ready for summer? The shedding of heavy winter clothes for Hawaiian shirts and khaki pants? The splashing of swimming pools or the hum of an air conditioner? The smell of fresh cut grass and barbeque grills? Or perhaps it's right around the time restaurants like Applebee's and TGI Friday's start to advertise their latest tropical cocktails, mixers, and of course, that classic summer drink: the margarita.

Drinks Digest places it in the top five of the biggest-selling cocktails of last year, and Decanter calls it the "most popular cocktail in the world." However you personally feel about it, it's undeniable that the margarita is a renowned summertime drink. With a salted rim and a pretty basic list of ingredients — lime juice, tequila, simple syrup, and Cointreau or triple sec — this highly popular cocktail doesn't require a lot of bartending skill to make. But simplicity can be deceptive! There's a few margarita mistakes you may make without even noticing it. For example, that ice you're using may help to chill your drink, but it also might be ruining it.

Smaller chunks of ice melt faster

Now, obviously you don't want to deal with huge chunks of ice taking up most of the glass while you're trying to sip your margarita. That's why you used crushed ice to keep your drink cool. But it's this ice, according to Food & Wine's Ray Isle, that could be ruining your cocktail. Smaller chunks of ice, Isle explains, melt faster than larger chunks of ice, causing all the excess water to quickly dilute your drink. It's the same as getting a cup of soda from a drive-thru, and the ice inside waters it down. Isle recommends using those large pieces of ice after all, so your drink won't dilute as fast.

But let's say you're serving frozen margaritas. What can you do to keep them from becoming watered down? According to Bon Appetit, there's a simple solution you can try to keep your frozen drink as flavorful as ever. Simply add a bit more alcohol than you usually would to help offset the dilution from the ice — though, if you do this, it's a good idea to pace yourself a bit more, since the drink will have a stronger alcohol content.

However and whenever you enjoy a margarita, be sure to do so responsibly — and rest easy knowing you'll never deal with a diluted drink again.