How to Make the
Best Margarita Cocktail Recipe
at Home

Written by Christopher Menning | August 26, 2021

Margarita cocktail recipe with salt rim

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How to Make a Margarita Cocktail

A good margarita recipe depends on choosing the right ingredients. So stay away from that margarita mix and let us show you what you need to make this tasty Tequila cocktail at home!

Agave love has now spread across the world with a number of celebrities even putting their name to their own Tequila bottles. We’re looking at you Elon Musk.

The Margarita cocktail is definitely one of the most popular cocktails in the world. However, many people still don’t know how to make it! 

There are many variations out there but we will teach you how to make the classic perfect margarita.

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Margarita Ingredients

Using the best quality ingredients is necessary for any good recipe. Although good quality doesn’t mean breaking the bank! Here is our recommendation for each element so you can make a margarita for one or for all your friends. 

Tequila: Thankfully, there are a lot of really well-made agave spirits on the market now. Make sure to choose one that is 100% Blue Weber Agave. A Blanco (un-aged) is best for cocktail recipes but if your budget is a little bigger going for an aged Tequila like a Reposado or likewise an Anejo will really elevate your recipe! Personally, we love Ocho Tequila for its versatility in Tequila cocktails. 

Orange Liqueur: Triple sec is a clear orange flavoured liqueur used in margaritas. Cointreau is probably the most famous in addition to Bols triple sec and Grand Marnier following behind. Alternatively, to really show off you could use Solerno, a blood orange liqueur!

Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice: With any citrus fruit, fresh is best. Find some nice juicy limes for this recipe and using a Mexican elbow can help squeeze a bit of extra juice out.

Natural Agave Syrup or Simple Syrup: A trend for using agave syrup in margarita recipes did make its way around many cocktail bars and some still do. In fact, you can buy a bottle in most stores although check the label because sometimes it will be mixed. Likewise, you can make a simple syrup recipe at home easily enough. Some bartenders do not add any sugar element to the drink. 

Margarita Salt: We can’t forget the salt rim on our glass! I like to use Morton coarse kosher salt for its texture and flakes.

Instructions

  1. Prep the glassware: Start by preparing your glass with the salt rim garnish. You can choose an  80’s style of margarita glass but we prefer to use a coupette or a martini glass. You can do this by adding the salt to a small plate and run some lime flesh along the rim of the glass. Then rub the glass in the salt until it’s covered enough. I recommend just half the rim.

  2. Shake it up: Pour your Tequila, agave syrup, Cointreau and lime juice into a cocktail shaker and then add ice. Shake hard for a good 10 – 12 seconds.

  3. Pour your mix: Hold your tea strainer above the glass to catch the ice shards. double strain over ice in a rocks glass or in your coupette glass without ice.

  4. Garnish and drink: Place a lime wedge or wheel to your homemade margarita and you’re ready to serve!

Margarita

The Classic Margarita recipe to make at home.
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: classic cocktails, Margarita
Servings: 1 Cocktail
Calories: 167kcal
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Shaker
  • Jigger
  • Tea Strainer
  • Hawthorn
  • Coup Glass

Ingredients

  • 45 ml Silver or Reposado Tequila (Ocho)
  • 20 ml Orange Liqueur or Triple Sec (Cointreau)
  • 20 ml Freshly squeezed Lime Juice
  • 5 ml Natural Agave Syrup or simple syrup (Optional)
  • 1/2 Pinch Coarse Kosher Salt (For Garnish)

Instructions

  • Start by preparing your glass with the salt rim garnish. You can do this by adding the salt to a plate and run some juicy lime flesh along the rim of the glass. Then rub the glass in the salt until it's covered enough. I recommend just half the rim.
  • Add your Tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur and agave syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard for a good 10 - 12 seconds.
  • Using your tea strainer to catch the ice shards, double strain over ice in a rocks glass or in your coup glass without ice.
  • Add a slice of lime to your drink and you're ready to serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Best Tequila

The base spirit is the most important part of any Tequila cocktail and for this nothing less than 100% Blue Weber Agave should be chosen. Generally, all Tequila has to be made this way. If for instance, your bottle is not then it’s more than likely a Mixto (only 49% agave and the rest other sugar).

There are plenty of great Tequilas on the market and we suggest choosing a Blanco or Reposado for your cocktail.

My personal favourite is Ocho Tequila. It’s a fantastic agave spirit and is consistently rated as one of the best in the market. 

In episode 10 of On The Back Bar Podcast I had Jesse Estes, the global brand ambassador of Ocho Tequila, tell me about the brand and its production. 

Margarita Variations

Now we know how to make the original margarita recipe we can look at some simple twists. Taking out the triple sec and pouring over ice will give you a Tommys Margarita recipe. 

Some people like a splash of orange juice for a fruity twist too. Finally, If you want a frozen variety get yourself a good blender and some good quality ice and chuck everything in for a spin. 

Next, If you are looking to build up your classic cocktail recipe skills we recommend learning about The Last Word cocktail next! 

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