The Classic Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world, and it's one of the easiest drinks to make at home. Skip the bottled margarita mix and grab some fresh limes for the best flavor!
I think of a margarita as kind of the "beginner" craft cocktail. Lots of people enjoy them, but they're usually made with margarita mix or sour mix. But once you try them with fresh ingredients, and a good quality tequila, there's no going back!
Tequila is a type of alcohol that originated in Mexico, and is made from the agave plant. There are several types of tequila, but for this drink, it's traditional to use blanco tequila. Blanco means that it is not aged, and its fresh flavors work perfectly with lime.
Triple Sec is an orange flavored liqueur that adds alcohol, flavor and sweetness to the margarita. I used Cointreau, which is a triple sec style of orange liqueur. For a milder version, you can try orange curaçao liqueur.
If you can find any Key Limes, they are really the best to use in a margarita. They're the most common limes in Mexico, and they have a deep acidity and lime flavor that is unmatched. In the U.S., the most common type of lime is called the Persian lime, which I've used here.
For added sweetness, I've used simple syrup. You could choose to add additional triple sec instead, or use agave nectar, which goes well with the tequila flavor.
It's so easy to play around with the classic margarita recipe and make it your own! Try adding different types of fresh fruit puree, like berries or mango. Or, try substituting some (or all) of the tequila for its smokier counterpart, mezcal.
You can make it a frozen drink by blitzing everything in a blender with lots of ice. Or, use frozen fruit, like in this frozen Smoky Peach Margarita.
It's pretty easy to make a margarita at home from scratch. The first step is to rim your glass with salt. Just take a lime wedge and rub it all around the rim of the glass, and dip the glass into a small plate of salt that you've prepared. The salt will stick only to the wet parts of the glass.
To mix the cocktail, all you need to do is squeeze ¾ oz of fresh lime juice, which you can get from one Persian lime or around two Key limes. Add that to a cocktail shaker along with 2 ounces of tequila, ½ oz of Cointreau or other orange liqueur, ½ oz simple syrup and some ice. Shake it up to dilute the mixture.
Add a large piece of ice to the glass you rimmed with salt. Then, strain the cocktail into the glass.
Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!
You can add some flavor to your salt rim by rubbing it with some grated lime zest before adding it to the rim. Or, use a spice mix like Tajín for a little extra kick.
- 1-2 lime wedge for salt rim and garnish
- coarse salt
- 2 oz blanco tequila
- ½ oz triple sec - I used Cointreau
- ¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice - from approx 1 Persian lime or 2 Key limes
- ½ oz simple syrup
- Use a lime wedge to wet the rim of the cocktail glass. Dip the rim of the glass into the coarse salt and set aside.
- Add the tequila, triple sec, lime juice and simple syrup to the cocktail shaker along with ice.
- Shake to dilute, about 15-20 times.
- Add fresh ice to the cocktail glass and strain the cocktail into the glass.
- Add a lime wedge to the glass and serve immediately.