2 minutes with Rhonda Withers
Occupation: Chief Margarita Mixologist
Business: The Margarita Mum
The Margarita Mum, aka Rhonda Withers, began her Instagram account to share her love of margaritas with the world. It’s quickly grown to over 40,000 followers. Her sumptuous photography and straight-forward recipes have cemented her place as a most modern mixologist.
The Margarita Mum features gorgeous imagery. How do you create that?
Thanks so much. I shoot all of The Margarita Mum imagery myself. I like to shoot all my photography outside with natural light. The photographs are mostly taken with an iPhone, however, I do sometimes use an Olympus camera.
How long before The Margarita Mum brings out a recipe book?
Not long – I am working with a Melbourne juice company, The Juice Lab, and our first collaborative recipe book will be out soon.
What’s the most exciting/enjoyable thing about being The Margarita Mum?
Every day is exciting and enjoyable being The Margarita Mum. It is a wonderful thing when a passion and career come together. I love the creative side of the business and I also really enjoy working on the business. There are always special days to celebrate and milestones to enjoy. I really enjoy meeting people from all over the world both virtually and in person.
Are you bringing back cocktail hour?
Did it ever go away? There is currently a worldwide phenomenon of home cocktail enthusiasts known as drinkstagrammers. We are collectively changing the way that things are done – changing cocktail and alcohol consumption culture without working in a bar. The Margarita Mum reaches people that might not have the time, money or desire to go to bars. Most of my recipes are really simple to create and can easily be replicated at home.
What are your top tips to making the perfect margarita?
To make the perfect margarita, it is important to mix it up according to the customer’s taste. You often hear people say ‘it’s too sweet’ or ‘it’s too sour’ so it’s not their perfect Margarita. Personally, I like mine on the sour side, so I use less orange liqueur, more lime juice and hold the simple syrup. Traditionally, margaritas are mixed with blanco (silver) tequila, however, I like to mix mine up with a with a slightly more rested or aged tequila such as reposado or anejo.
What are five essential items for someone wanting to start a cocktail cabinet?
Alcohol-wise, my five essential items for a cocktail cabinet would be tequila, Cointreau, mezcal, amaro (either Campari, Aperol etc) and a good bottle of gin. For cocktail equipment, you will need great glassware (I buy the majority of mine from op shops), a cocktail shaker that works for you, bar spoon, mixing glass, strainer and jigger. Oops, that’s six.
Are there times when you just crave a cold beer?
Yes, that’s the Queenslander coming out in me.
Strawberry Chipotle Margaritas
30 ml reposado tequila infused with dried chipotle chilli
15 ml Cointreau
15 ml strawberry liqueur
30 ml lime juice
30 ml coconut cream
100 gm frozen strawberries
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and whiz until combined. Serve with chilli and lime seasoning (Tajin brand) on rim, lime wedge and dried chipotle chilli. Paper straw, of course!
You can enjoy more of Rhonda’s drinks and recipes on Instagram @the_margarita_mum
Interview by Amanda Kennedy. Amanda is an artist currently doing a writing degree. You can find her on Instagram @artbyamandakennedy