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Margarita

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A good Margarita needs no frills: just high-quality tequila, triple sec, and the freshest citrus juice. Simple syrup is optional, and use a blend of lemon and lime for deeper flavors.

Two margaritas in blue-rimmed hand-blown Mexican margarita glasses.

On the rocks, blended, straight up: yes please! The classic combination of tequila and lime goes back ages, but the Margarita is always my favorite way to enjoy them. Here, we use a blend of lemon and lime because it tastes delicious.

The simple syrup is a personal preference. Purists will say that a good margarita needs no additional sugar, but I say, make the drink you will enjoy the most!

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Margaritas.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Tequila: Tequila blanco is lighter in body and perfect for making cocktails like this one. Tequila reposado (which means “rested” and is aged in oak for at least 2 months) is ideal for sipping.
  • Triple sec: Or any orange-flavored liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
  • Simple syrup: To make it yourself, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from heat and cool before adding 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) to your cocktail shaker with the other ingredients. Store leftover simple syrup covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
  • Margarita salt: Homemade margarita salt is fun to make when you’re feeling extra. Or, use kosher salt or even sugar.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a small pitcher, add tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, lime juice, water, and simple syrup. Stir to combine. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Stirring up a pitcher of margaritas.
  1. In a shallow dish as wide as your serving glass, add Margarita salt (or kosher salt) to 1/4-inch deep. Run a lime wedge around the top of each glass, then dip the top of the glass upside-down into the salt and turn to coat.
Rimming a glass with coarse salt.
  1. Fill each rimmed glass about half full with ice and add margarita mixture.
Someone pouring a margarita in a glass.
  1. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.
Two Margaritas on a wooden cutting board next to a lime.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes a batch of 4 cocktails, 8 ounces each.
  • Glassware: A Margarita glass is the classic choice, but I love how approachable a lowball glass is for happy hour.
  • Bigger batch: To make a larger batch of 8 cocktails, combine 16 ounces (2 cups) tequila, 16 ounces (2 cups) triple sec, 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) lemon juice, 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) lime juice, 8 ounces (1 cup) water, and 4 ounces (½ cup) simple syrup in a pitcher. Have ice, glassware, a salt-rimming station, and garnishes on hand so guests can help themselves.
  • Frozen margarita: Add ice to your blender to taste and blend until slushy (I like about 5 cups of ice).
  • Strawberry margarita: An icy blended margarita with a bright red hue.
  • Margarita slush: The ultimate big-batch frozen(ish) Margarita is made in an ice cream pail.
  • Cadillac margarita: Substitute Grand Marnier for the triple sec.
  • Blue margarita: Substitute Blue Curaçao for the triple sec.
  • Skinny margarita: Omit the triple sec and simple syrup.
  • Kamikaze: Substitute vodka for tequila.
Two margaritas in blue-rimmed hand-blown Mexican margarita glasses.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best alcohol to use in a margarita?

Tequila blanco (sometimes called “silver” tequila) is great for cocktails because it has a light, crisp taste.

What is the best tequila for no hangover?

For your best shot at skipping a hangover from tequila, choose a bottle that says “100% Blue Agave Tequila.” Anything else is a mixture of different agave plants and may also add sugar during processing.

More tequila cocktails to try

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Two margaritas in blue-rimmed hand-blown Mexican margarita glasses.

Margarita

A good Margarita needs no frills: just high-quality tequila, triple sec, and the freshest citrus juice. Simple syrup is optional, and use a blend of lemon and lime for deeper flavors.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 cocktails (8 oz each)
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, Mexican
Calories 369

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a small pitcher, add tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, lime juice, water, and simple syrup. Stir to combine. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • In a shallow dish as wide as your serving glass, add Margarita salt (or kosher salt) to 1/4-inch deep. Run a lime wedge around the top of each glass, then dip the top of the glass upside-down into the salt and turn to coat.
  • Fill each rimmed glass about half full with ice. Add margarita mixture, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Tequila: Tequila blanco is lighter in body and perfect for making cocktails like this one. Tequila reposado (which means “rested” and is aged in oak for at least 2 months) is ideal for sipping.
  2. Triple sec: Or any orange-flavored liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
  3. Simple syrup: To make it yourself, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from heat and cool before adding 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) to your cocktail shaker with the other ingredients. Store leftover simple syrup covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
  4. Margarita salt: Homemade margarita salt is fun to make when you’re feeling extra. Or, use kosher salt or even sugar.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes a batch of 4 cocktails, 8 ounces each.
  6. Glassware: A Margarita glass is the classic choice, but I love how approachable a lowball glass is for happy hour.
  7. Bigger batch: To make a larger batch of 8 cocktails, combine 16 ounces (2 cups) tequila, 16 ounces (2 cups) triple sec, 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) lemon juice, 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) lime juice, 8 ounces (1 cup) water, and 4 ounces (½ cup) simple syrup in a pitcher. Have ice, glassware, a salt-rimming station, and garnishes on hand so guests can help themselves.
  8. Frozen margarita: Add ice to your blender to taste and blend until slushy (I like about 5 cups of ice).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 369kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 16mgPotassium: 139mgFiber: 1gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 33IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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