When it comes to making a quality margarita, it all starts with the right ingredients. I didn’t believe that until I visited La Plancha on St. Simons Island.
After being here in the Golden Isles a year, I had yet to find a margarita that met my standards until La Plancha general manager Tanner Rogers broke down what makes their house margaritas so special.
Most of the time, if I’m in the mood, a house margarita isn’t what I usually choose because the tequila isn’t the best. I will usually pay for the more expensive tequila.
However, that’s not the case with La Plancha as their well-tequila is Altos, a 100 percent blue agave tequila owned by a smaller company that strives to provide high-quality tequila.
“What we’re able to do with the price point is be able to give people something that’s affordable and of quality,” Rogers said. “Altos is really good about wanting to be on premises and adding brand representation on premise. They tend to cut restaurants a pretty good deal on carrying the product. It’s not like you’re going to go in the liquor store and find this bottle for a very low price.”
The public seems to like it too as Rogers said it was their top-selling margarita. La Plancha doesn’t use the standard sweet-and-sour mix. Instead, they’ll use two to three cases of freshly squeezed lime juice daily.
“Just quality honestly,” Rogers said. “You can’t replicate the flavor of fresh lime; you just can’t.”
The acidity of the fresh lime mixed with the tequila and other liquors in the drink, creates a pleasant and refreshing margarita.
“You have good ingredients, so you don’t need to do anything special to it. It’s a classic for a reason,” Rogers said.
Since the restaurant opened, fresh ingredients are what owner Dave Snyder wanted for his restaurants. Without the quality of ingredients, then it would just be another margarita.
He said that their margarita mixture took time to perfect, but thankfully Snyder was willing to work with the recipe until it was just right. People enjoy it so much that when the pandemic hit, they started selling it by the gallon, though devoid of tequila to comply with the law. They sold 17 gallons of it for Cinco de Mayo this year.
“We’re fortunate to have such a loyal customer base. People were so excited when we started selling it even when we were selling it at Halyards — like we were flying through it over there. People would say, ‘we love your margarita so much. They’re the best margaritas on the island.”
A margarita isn’t hard to make, but as Rogers said, quality is key, and La Plancha has it down to a science. Luckily they passed along their recipe for the strawberry margarita they make.
La Plancha is planning on opening by the end of the week with limited seating, so customers can order those famous margaritas and delicious food.
2 oz Altos Tequila
1oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz Tres Agaves Strawberry margarita mix
1 oz Triple sec
1 oz simple syrup
2 fresh strawberries
Start by putting tequila in the mixer on ice. Then dip the rim of the glass into lime juice and then salt. Throw in the fresh strawberries and muddle those up in your glass that you’ll pour the margarita into. Add ice. Go back and add the lime juice, triple sec, simple syrup and margarita mix into the mixer and then just shake it up and pour it into the glass. Garnish it with a strawberry or lime.