Dec 01, 2023
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Margarita! The classic margarita is a delicious party staple that everyone should know how to whip up. My recipe is easy to make (and easy to remember the ratios), and doesn’t have any added sugar. Enjoy this classic margarita on the rocks or frozen.
Margaritas are the ultimate party cocktail. But they’re especially popular when Cinco de Mayo hits. The beautiful spring weather in May is a good reminder that it’s time to sit outside, drink a margarita, and relax.
Then when summer arrives, it’s time to grill up some carne asada (or make a large batch of carnitas) and whip up a pitcher of margaritas for the family. That’s how we roll in Southern California in the summer.
To make this classic margarita you’ll need tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur (also known as triple sec). While a classic margarita is quite easy on its own, I wanted to simplify the recipe even further with an easy to remember 2-1-1 ratio.
- 2 oz of tequila
- 1 oz of lime juice
- 1 oz of orange liqueur
How to Make a Classic Margarita
Salt the rim of your margarita (if you’d like). You can purchase a coarser salt online or at the grocery or liquor store. Generously spread the salt on a plate large enough for the rim of the glass. Run a slice of lime around the rim of your glass. Then place the rim in the plate of salt.
Mix the ingredients together. Shake or stir the tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur together. Alternatively, you can triple or quadruple the recipe in a blender along with ice to make a slushy, frozen margarita.
Pour and enjoy! Pour your classic margarita into your glass over some ice (on the rocks), and you’re all set!
I use a reposado tequila which is aged in a barrel two months to just under a year. Reposado is often considered the perfect tequila for margaritas. Two other types of tequila are joven and añejo. Joven is lighter, aged less than reposado, and cheaper. While añejo is darker, aged over a year, and is more expensive.
Orange liqueur is essentially vodka sweetened with sugar and orange peels. There are many brands of this liqueur on the market, but the most common brands are Cointreau, Curaçao and Grand Marnier.
For this margarita recipe I used Cointreau. It’s the most commonly used, and best orange liqueur for margaritas.
The other two brands are a little different despite their orange liqueur label. Cointreau is considered a triple sec liqueur due to its French origins and mix of sweet and bitter oranges. Curaçao comes from the Dutch Caribbean island of the same name and is considered both a brand and type of orange liqueur. Due to its tropical origins, the oranges for this liqueur are sweeter which is why its not considered a triple sec. Also, from France, Grand Marnier is considered a triple sec and Curaçao hybrid. Unlike the previous brands mentioned, its orange flavor is mixed with cognac.
Delicious Recipes to Enjoy with Margaritas
- Shrimp Tacos – Pan seared shrimp is topped with the tastiest cilantro lime bacon slaw.
- Barbacoa – This slow cooker recipe delivers tender shreds of juicy, spicy beef.
- Carne Asada Tacos – Diced carne asada is topped with guacamole, cilantro, onions, and cotija cheese.
- Steak Fajitas – Sizzling steak and veggies is always a one pan winner.
- Grilled Fish Tacos – Grilled white fish is topped with a light and fresh citrus carrot slaw.
More Margarita Flavors
Looking to switch up your margarita recipe? Give these flavor variations a try. They’re perfect for every season!
- Strawberry Margarita – One of the most popular blended margaritas.
- Mango Margarita – The fresh mango takes this over the top!
- Pomegranate Margarita – A festive holiday margarita.
I hope you enjoyed this margarita recipe! If you give it a try, let us know in the comment bow below how it turned out. Your review will help other readers!
Classic Margarita Recipe
- Cocktail Shaker A must for the best margaritas!
- Salt the glass. If you'd like a salt-rimmed glass, slice a lime into quarters and rub one of the quarters along the rim of a glass. Spread margarita salt onto a small plate and turn the glass upside down into the salt. The salt should stick to the rim.
- Mix it together. To make the margarita, add the tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Give it a few shakes. Alternatively, you can stir all of the ingredients together in a glass.
- Serve. Add ice to your glass, then pour the margarita into the glass. Garnish with lime wedges.
- Make sure to use fresh limes for the lime juice and not bottled lime juice. The flavor difference is huge.
- If you’re making a large batch and serving margaritas outdoors, I recommend this break resistant pitcher (and it’s big!).
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Recipe originally posted May 2019, but updated to include new photos and information for your benefit!