How to Make a Great Margarita

Updated on April 20, 2019
Anthony Altorenna profile image

Anthony enjoys spending time in the workshop, the kitchen, the garden and out fishing. Many of his projects are featured in his yard.

Simple margarita on the rocks
Simple margarita on the rocks | Source

When Life gives you limes, it's time to make margaritas!

Start with the basic margarita, then let your creativity flow!

There are many ways to mix and enjoy a margarita, with nearly as many variations of this classic cocktail as there are TexMex restaurants that serve them. Frozen and fruit-flavored margaritas are very popular, and mixing up batches of frozen margaritas has worn out many a blender.

The traditional margarita is composed of just basic three ingredients: tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice. Mixed in a 3:2:1 ratio and served "on the rocks," many Tequila aficionados prefer this simple margarita over the sweeter frozen drinks.

Whether served frozen or on the rocks, flavored with fruit and mixed in a blender or shaken and poured into a salt-rimmed glass, there are many variations to this timeless cocktail to suit every taste bud. Starting with the basic ingredients, try mixing different combinations or adding a few more flavors to increase the fun and make some great-tasting margaritas—or at least makes for good fun in taste-testing margaritas. Creativity is rewarding!

Here's how to make margaritas. Enjoy responsibly.

To get you started, here are five of our favorite classic margarita recipes.

How to Make a Classic Margarita

The Super Simple Margarita Recipe

Straight forward and to the point, this basic margarita recipe really lets the full taste of a good tequila shine through.

For parties, multiply the ingredients to make margaritas by the pitcher.


  • 2 parts quality tequila (Think Jose Cuervo Gold. Jose Cuervo 1800 is even better.)
  • 1 part triple sec (Raise the bar by using Cointreau or Grand Marnier instead of a generic triple sec.)
  • 1 part fresh lime juice (Squeeze your own lime juice—no concentrate or bottled juice here.)


  1. Pour the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously.
  2. Strain and pour into an ice-filled rocks glass.
  3. Garnish with a slice of lime.
  4. Enjoy responsibly!

Here's to living life with a grain of salt, a wedge of lime, and a shot of tequila.

The House Favorite Margarita Recipe

After working in the yard or kicking back at the beach, this simple margarita recipe is quick, easy and deliciously refreshing.


  • 3 oz. quality tequila
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 2 oz. quality margarita mx


  1. Fill a large shaker with ice, and pour in tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice, orange juice and margarita mix. Shake vigorously.
  2. Rub the rim of a rocks-style glass with a lime wedge, and invert the glass into a small bowl of coarse sea salt, coating the rim of the glass with salt. Fill the glass with ice. Using a strainer, pour the shaken margarita into the ice-filled glass. Serve with a garnish of lime.

There's booze in the blender

And soon it will render

That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

— Jimmy Buffett

Frozen Strawberry Margarita Recipe

This recipe for a frozen strawberry margarita uses concentrated limeade and packaged strawberries from the freezer. It's easy to make, the ingredients are available year round and best of all, it tastes great!


  • 6 oz. tequila
  • 3 oz. triple sec or Cointreau
  • 1 (6-oz.) can frozen limeade
  • 1 small package frozen strawberries (about 1 cup)
  • ice cubes and a little cold water


  1. Add all of the ingredients (except the water) to the blender, and then fill with ice. Blend until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick, add just a little cold water and blend some more.
  2. Serve in a stylish margarita glass!

Forecast: Bright and sunny with a chance of flip-flops and a sprinkling of margaritas.

Frozen Lemonade Margarita Recipe

This refreshing frozen concoction substitutes lemonade concentrate in place of the more typical limeade. Using a silver Bianco tequila and upgrading the triple sec to orange-flavored Grand Marnier makes this margarita stand out.


  • 6 oz. blanco tequila
  • 3 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1 (6-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional; to taste)
  • Ice cubes and a little cold water


  1. Pour the tequila, Grand Marnier, lemonade concentrate and fresh lime juice into the blender. Fill the blender with ice and blend until smooth. If the margarita is a bit too tart for your liking, add the sugar. If the mixture is too thick, add a little of the water (or a little more tequila!).
  2. Blend to mix, then pour into a stylish margarita glass.

It's 4:58 on Friday afternoon. Do you know where your margarita is?

The Epicurious Margarita Recipe

  • 2 oz. Herradura brand tequila (or any other quality Reposado tequila)
  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tsp. super-fine sugar
  • 1 oz. Cointreau


  1. Fill a shaker with ice, add the ingredients and shake vigorously.
  2. Pour the margarita into a properly prepared glass.

Which Classic Margarita Recipe Do You Like The Best

Which Classic Margarita Recipe Do You Like The Best

See results

A quality cocktail needs quality ingredients.

Blue Agave (Public Domain)
Blue Agave (Public Domain)

What Is Tequila?

Tequila is the distilled product made from the blue agave plant (agave tequilana). The sugary juices are extracted from the heart of the blue agava, fermented and distilled into tequila.

All tequila branded spirits are distilled in the western Mexican region of Jalisco. Mexico staunchly protects their tequila industry, and according to Mexican law, if it's not produced in Mexico, it cannot be called tequila.

The Five Categories of Tequila

Blanco: ("White" or "Silver") Blanco tequila is aged for less than two months and is typically bottled immediately following the distillation process.

Reposado: ("Rested"): Reposado tequila is aged in oak barrels for at least two months, but for no longer than one year.

Joven: ("Young") Joven tequila is a blend of Blanco and Reposado tequilas.

Anejo: ("Aged") Anejo tequila is aged in small oak barrels for at least one year, but no longer than three years.

Extra Anejo: ("Extra Aged") Extra Anejo tequila is aged in small oak barrels for more than three years.

Jimmy Buffett Performs "Margaritaville"

Margarita time! It's 5:00 PM somewhere!!

Margarita Recipe Sign
Margarita Recipe Sign

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Anthony Altorenna

    Tell Us About Your Favorite Margarita. Cheers!

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      • tonybonura profile image

        Tony Bonura 

        7 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

        Great lens about a great drink. I'm not an official parrothead, but Jimmy Buffet has long been a favorite of mine. Now he's a writer too, and I like his work.TonyB

      • RetroMom profile image


        7 years ago

        I want to sit back and relax with some margarita right now.

      • kevkev227 lm profile image

        kevkev227 lm 

        7 years ago

        Great lens...thanks for the recipes to help me get through this hot, hot summer in Oklahoma :)

      • WriterJanis2 profile image


        7 years ago

        I'll take one now please. :-) Blessed!

      • chas65 profile image


        7 years ago

        hard to beat a cold frozen margarita on hot summer day, especially right before a great Mexican dinner.

      • Close2Art LM profile image

        Close2Art LM 

        7 years ago

        love the bit with Jimmy Buffett, seen him many times...great lens, Blessed!

      • dahlia369 profile image


        7 years ago

        Fun lens, very useful, even though I don't drink margaritas... :)

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Margaritas are my summer favorite. What a great job on this lens... displayed well and I'll just have to try a couple of your recipes! ~blessed~

      • flycatcherrr profile image


        7 years ago

        Book me a ticket to Margaritaville! :)

      • Wendy Gillissen profile image

        Wendy Gillissen 

        7 years ago

        I love frozen strawberry Margaritas and was wondering how to make one myself.. now I know! Thanks!:-)

      • jaredsgirl profile image


        7 years ago

        Wonderful lens! I love margaritas and your recipes look so delicious! The frozen strawberry margarita is my absolute favorite. Thanks a bunch for sharing.

      • TheresaMarkham profile image


        7 years ago

        On the rocks, and it's only 1/2 made if the rim isn't well salted.

      • Diana Wenzel profile image

        Renaissance Woman 

        7 years ago from Colorado

        A margarita always tastes best the closer you get to its birth place. I haven't had a good one since I lived down south. Your recipes sound delicious. Too bad the only thing I have in the house are limes and ice. Given the extreme heat wave the past couple of weeks, a margarita would sure hit the spot. Congrats on your front page feature!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Sounds delicious.

      • Lady Lorelei profile image

        Lorelei Cohen 

        7 years ago from Canada

        I have never had a margarita but you sure make them look appetizing on a hot summer day. Love the lanterns mixed with margaritas. They go together so very attractively.

      • TK2012 LM profile image

        TK2012 LM 

        7 years ago

        Although I do love a frozen margarita on a hot day, I have to say on the rocks is my go-to choice!

      • Keith J Winter profile image

        Keith Winter 

        7 years ago from Spain

        Never tried a Margarita. I always drink Tequila straight with salt and lemon or lime.

      • kburns421 lm profile image

        kburns421 lm 

        7 years ago

        I'm not a huge fan of basic margaritas, but I do like them with added flavors. The strawberry one sounds delicious! And I agree that you have to have stylish glasses no matter you're drinking :-)

      • StomachPain LM profile image

        StomachPain LM 

        7 years ago

        I'm a huge fan of Grand Marnier in my Margarita!

      • Steph Tietjen profile image

        Stephanie Tietjen 

        7 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

        I didn't know about the classifications. I have a bottle of Patron and I thought it was special, but I'll try Anejo next time. Thanks

      • CCTVwebmaster profile image


        7 years ago

        Never had a margarita, but sure wants to try one now!

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        I had The frozen lemonade bianco last saturday at the club. Great drink.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        I've heard of some recipes made with beer. I've had them too and taste ...interesting. But nothing like an original. Thanks for other recipes.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        I would like to take a try of all the types of tequila. Yikes!

      • markadamdouglass profile image


        7 years ago

        I will have a Frozen Strawberry Margarita in a Parrot Head Glass Please... :-)

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Just noticed it's 5 o'clock.........somewhere.

      • alina nicoleta92 profile image

        alina nicoleta92 

        7 years ago

        Haha, really need one of those margaritas. :))) Great lens.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        What a yummy Margaritaville delight and wonderfully presented as a backyard party, congratulations on front page honors!

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        I am known to go back to restaurants with good margaritas.

      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Very refreshing stopover... Cheers! :)


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