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How to Make a Great Margarita

This article will provide five different recipes for making a refreshing, tasty margarita.

This article will provide five different recipes for making a refreshing, tasty margarita.

Best Margarita Recipes

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 three basic 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—at the very least it'll make for good fun in taste-testing margaritas. Creativity is rewarding!

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

The Super Simple Margarita Recipe

Straightforward 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!
There's nothing like a simple margarita on the rocks.

There's nothing like a simple margarita on the rocks.

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 ounces quality tequila
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 2 ounces quality margarita mix


  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.
  3. Invert the glass into a small bowl of coarse sea salt, coating the rim of the glass with salt.
  4. Fill the glass with ice.
  5. Using a strainer, pour the shaken margarita into the ice-filled glass. Serve with a garnish of lime.

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

The 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 ounces tequila
  • 3 ounces triple sec or Cointreau
  • 1 (6-ounce) 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.

The Frozen Lemonade Blanco 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 ounces blanco tequila
  • 3 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 1 (6-ounce) 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.

The Epicurious Classic Margarita Recipe

This last recipe calls for in Herradura tequila and Cointreau.


  • 2 ounces Herradura tequila (or any other quality Reposado tequila)
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons super-fine sugar
  • 1 ounce Cointreau


  1. Fill a shaker with ice, add the ingredients, and shake vigorously.
  2. Pour the margarita into a properly prepared glass.
Tequila is derived from the blue agave plant.

Tequila is derived from the blue agave plant.

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 agave, fermented, and distilled into tequila.

All tequila-branded spirits are distilled in the western Mexican region of Jalisco. Mexico staunchly protects its tequila industry. 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.
  • Añejo ("Aged"): Añejo tequila is aged in small oak barrels for at least one year but no longer than three years.
  • Extra Añejo ("Extra Aged"): Extra añejo tequila is aged in small oak barrels for more than three years.
Margarita recipe sign

Margarita recipe sign

More Classic Margarita Recipes

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Anthony Altorenna