Updated Aug 12, 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.
Whenever Cinco de Mayo hits I’m reminded that spring is here and the weather is warming up. That means it’s time to sit outside, drink a margarita and relax.
Summer will be here before you know it and I’ll be hanging out at my brother’s house, grilling some Carne Asada and whipping up a batch of margaritas for the family. That’s how we roll in Southern California in the summer.
How To Make a Classic Margarita
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
Shake or stir these ingredients together and then add ice (on the rocks). Alternatively, you can triple or quadruple the recipe in a blender and add ice to have a frozen margarita as well.
What type of tequila should you use? I used a reposado tequila which is aged in a barrel 2 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.
You many also want to include salt on the rim of your margarita. 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. Pour your classic margarita in a glass and you’re all set!
Which Orange Liqueur is best to use in a Classic Margarita?
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. Its 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. While traditionally rum-based, Curaçao produces a grain version too. 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
- Carne Asada Tacos
- Citrus Shrimp Ceviche
- Steak Fajitas
- Shrimp Tacos (with Cilantro Lime Bacon Slaw)
- Grilled Fish Tacos (with 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!
Margarita Recipe Video
While it’s super easy to make this margarita recipe, it always helps to watch a quick step-by-step tutorial video. Give it a watch below!
Classic Margarita Recipe
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1 ounce orange liqueur (triple sec)
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 1 lime, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon margarita salt (optional)
- 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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