I am someone who measures booze pretty carefully in cocktails, even when I am making a big batch of the same thing all at once at a party. Cocktail recipes are exacting things, generally, and not forgiving. Yes, I always taste (use a spoon or a straw) before I serve and add a titch more lemon juice or triple sec or some such when necessary. But all of those formulas got written down for a reason!
There is one place, however, where I pour a bit more freely, and that's in making frozen drinks. By the way, I've been on record in this blog and my old one at Rando Radio both about the topic before. I think frozen drinks are just fine. They don't have to be big nasty fake Hurricanes slopped all over the front of a drunken college kid on spring break. Made right, they are refreshing, fun, and a fine sip on a warm evening--or even in the dead of winter when you want to remember summer. I have more of a general recipe than a specific formula, and I will hereby share it.
All Purpose Frozen Marg-y or Daiquiri
For each drink:
1 and 1/2--2 oz tequila or rum--can be light or dark, depending on your mood. I wouldn't use the uber, uber-fine spirits here, but your drink is only as good as what goes in it.
2 oz or a little more of fruit puree or juice--peach, strawberry, passionfruit, pineapple--what do you have? Either puree the fresh fruit yourself or buy the good tropical fruit juices you often see aseptically packed in the Latin section of the mega mart. My health food store has all kinds of juices from Turkey, some of which are fabulous--a sour cherry, a mango, and a peach. Seeded melons puree GREAT in home blenders and make wonderful drinks. I've found good prepared watermelon juice in gourmet and health food stores, too.
1 oz lemon or lime juice (unless the juice you are using is very sour already)
1 oz or more of a liqueur that goes with the fruit flavor you are using. Triple sec and Curacao always work. If the drink doesn't have much color, and you want a giggle, try blue curacao; it's very tiki, and you can end up with some startling hues. Consider peach brandy with peach or mango, falernum with anything rum, Midori with anything melon (but consider the color and use something clear with watermelon)! You can also go uber-Tiki and use a little of two different liqueurs.
Taste. You want a drink that is considerably more intense than one you'd serve straight up because you are about to dilute it with lots of ice. Add more citrus or liqueur if you need to. And I'd do these maybe four or five at a time if you've got guests--easier that way, and most home blenders can handle that much.
Put in the blender with about two cups of ice per drink. If your fridge crushes ice, yay--use the crushed. If not, most blenders can handle the job, so use your cubes. Cover the blender tightly and turn it to high. Run it for way longer than you think you need to -- several deafening minutes. You'll hear the blender's racket change pitch just before you've got the drink at the ideal place. Sometimes you need to stop the blender, give it a stir with a bar spoon, add a little more ice and whirl it again for a bit. You want the ice to be smooshed down enough so that it won't clog the straw of the happy person about to drink this concoction.
Taste for balance again--you may need another splash of liqueur if it seems flat--and serve in an interesting glass of your choosing. Garnish with whatever looks like Carmen Miranda's head dress or a paper umbrella.
In the event of Margaritas, you salt the rim of whatever you're using to serve the drink in by running the hull of the lemon or lime you just squeezed over it and dipping the glass gently into a saucer of kosher salt. Tap the excess off before filling the glass; you're not making frozen Gatorade.
Voila!! See you at 4, on the air.