Classic Margarita Recipe: Simple Secrets & Tips!
When you love spending time at the lake, you quickly learn that some things are downright essential. Having a quick and easy, Classic Margarita recipe is one of them.
Margaritas are a cocktail made from tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. They’re the perfect summer drink that can be whipped together in a variety of ways. Learn to make them yourself with this easy recipe!
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Simple Recipe for a Classic Margarita
Margarita, sweet Margarita… Oh, how I love you! And friends – I’m not alone. A good old-fashioned margarita is one of the most popular drinks in America, year after year. With its bright, tart citrus and sweet, earthy tequila, a classic margarita hits all the right notes. And it just makes us happy!
So what’s in a classic margarita? Really, it’s so simple, even our cat Jaxon could make one. (But we don’t let him because, well… cat hair.)
A basic margarita has just three ingredients: white tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur. Just mix ’em together and BAM! Almost like magic, it’s a margarita. Serve ’em right up, and you’ve got a party.
Or continue reading and keep that shaker handy. We’ve got more amazing cocktails coming up!
Simple Classic Margaritas
Margaritas are a delicious cocktail that can be made in many different styles. Some people like them cold and sour, while others prefer their tequila virtually straight up with almost no mixer. You decide how you want your Margs! Let's get started on this easy recipe now so we've got plenty of time for fun tonight...
- 2 ounces blanco tequila
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice
- 1 ounce orange liqueur OR 1/2 oz orange liqueur & 1/2 oz agave nectar
- Shake together with ice in a cocktail shaker and pour over ice in a salt-rimmed glass.
- Ta-da! That's it! Cue the applause and let the party begin.
There are a million variations on this classic recipe. Start here and then tweak to fit your taste buds. Get creative and switch up ingredients till you find your own Classic Margarita!
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Delicious Variations on the Classic Margarita
There are all sorts of margaritas out there, beyond just the basic recipe. And it’s human nature to add our own little spin on perfection. So let’s get crackin’!
You can make frozen margaritas, margaritas with fruit flavors, and even margaritas with a kick!
For a frozen margarita, you’ll need to blend all of your ingredients together in a blender. (If you do this a lot, invest in a Vitamix and you’ll never look back. Our overworked Vitamix is going on 14 years!) Add more ice if you want it to be really icy, or less if you want it to be more like a slushy. Serve in a frosty margarita glass for the full experience!
Margaritas with Fruit Flavors
If you want something a little different than just lime and orange, try adding some fruit flavors to your margarita. Strawberry margaritas are huge favorite. You can even add a margarita rim of sugar with your favorite fruit flavors if you want a fun twist on an old classic.
Tommy’s Margarita was created to spotlight the flavor of truly good and interesting tequilas. It’s sort of an “enlightened” margarita, if you will. It’s made with agave nectar instead of orange liqueur. The bite of lime and tequila are balanced by the sweet, smooth agave nectar, without a hint or orange to obsure the nuances of tequila’s flavor. The result is a brisk, clean margarita that salutes the tequila. Like standing in a beautiful, bracing wind!
Margaritas with Vodka
If you really want to change up your margarita, try replacing the tequila with equal parts vodka. (Although technically, you’re now drinking a Kamikaze.) The flavor is a crisp, bright citrus that’s delicious over lots of crushed ice.
Margaritas with Rum
And if you want to enter Mai Tai territory, substitute the tequila for some light or dark rum. You’ll be transported instantly to tropical islands and steel drums. Add a splash of pineapple to really get creative. Yum!
Margaritas with a Kick
Are you feeling adventurous? Want to turn up the heat? Add a 1/2 ounce of chili liquor (Ancho Reyes is good) and mix well. The mixture of sweet, tart, icy and hot together is party in a glass! Your mouth won’t know what to think – but it’ll be smiling.
What’s the Secret to a Good Classic Margarita?
It’s pretty dang easy to make a good margarita.
That being said, there are a few tips to making a GREAT one.
First, use top-notch ingredients. With such a small ingredient list, each one is important and adds a lot of flavor to the final product. The better each ingredient tastes alone, the better your margarita will taste with everything together.
Make sure your tequila is 100% blue agave; it’ll say so right on the label. (If they’re not bragging about it, it’s not 100% blue agave.) Use fresh lime juice from fresh limes. Not the liquid from those little plastic grocery store limes.
Likewise, just skip the pre-made margarita mixes. Yes, they’re fast and simple – and some of them taste pretty good! (I personally like Jose Cuervo Classic Lime and Master of Mixes.) They’re fine in a pinch, but not why you came here. Besides, most premade mixes are loaded with calories and use high-fructose corn syrup. If you’re going for an authentic classic flavor, stick with fresh lime juice, orange liqueur and/or agave syrup.
Finally, you want this drink COLD, oxygenated and well blended. Shake the livin’ daylights out of it in a cocktail shaker, then strain out the ice as you pour it into a salt-rimmed serving glass with its own ice.
You can also make it by the pitcher and refrigerate, but don’t add ice to the pitcher. The ice will just melt and water down the margaritas while they’re waiting to be served.
Different Ways to Serve Margaritas
There are many different ways to serve margaritas, depending on your preference. You can either make them frozen or on the rocks. By the pitcher or by the glass.
For a classic margarita, you can rim the glass with salt and lime juice. Just wet the rim with lime juice, then roll the glass edge in margarita salt or kosher salt. They both have a mild flavor, without the acrid bite of table salt. NEVER use table salt to rim your margarita glass!
And instead of using a standard margarita glass, why not try a frosted mason jar? Or a tall cocktail or highball glass? Get creative. It’s fun!
Another popular way to serve margaritas is with a Corona beer floater – known as a “CoronaRita.” This adds a fun twist to the cocktail, and beer drinkers love it.
Finally, you can also garnish margaritas with different items, such as a slice of lemon or lime, a strawberry or watermelon spear, or even some chili powder for a bit of a kick.
Conclusion: The Best Classic Margarita Recipe for You
So, what’s the best margarita recipe for you? It depends on your taste. If you want a classic margarita, try using fresh lime juice, orange liqueur and/or agave syrup. You can rim the glass with salt and lime juice or use a frosted mason jar. Add a wedge of lime to the drink or garnish with different items such as a slice of lemon or lime, a strawberry or watermelon, or even some chili powder for a bit of a kick!
Start with the classic recipe, and then get adventurous.
Whatever type of drink you’re looking for, there are many different ways to make your dream margarita taste exactly how you want it.
* Please enjoy responsibly and never drink & drive.