We'll be making this classic margarita recipe all summer long. With just 5 ingredients, it’s so simple to make—break out the tequila and limes ASAP!

Margarita Recipe

This classic margarita recipe is our favorite cocktail to make at home. We love it for two reasons. First, because it’s so simple—if you have tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur on hand, you can make it in under 5 minutes! Second, because it’s so delicious. The lime juice gives it a tart, refreshing kick, which the sweet orange liqueur (and a touch of agave) balance nicely. On a warm spring or summer evening, there’s nothing I’d rather drink.

If you’re new to making cocktails, this recipe is a great place to start. Mix it up for a happy hour, Cinco de Mayo, or anytime you’re in the mood for a fun drink. You won’t believe how easy it is to make a margarita at home—no margarita mix required! Pass the tortilla chips, and enjoy.

Margarita recipe ingredients

Margarita Ingredients

Margarita means daisy in Spanish. While we’re not certain who invented this Mexican drink, it may have evolved from daisy cocktails, which are made from citrus juice, a liqueur, and a spirit. If that’s true, it makes sense that the key ingredients in a margarita are lime juice, orange liqueur, and tequila!

Here’s what you’ll need to make this margarita recipe:

  • Tequila – Use any good-quality blanco tequila in this recipe. We like this brand, but feel free to use your favorite!
  • Orange Liqueur – We like Cointreau. Triple sec or Grand Marnier would work here too.
  • Lime juice – For the best results, squeeze fresh lime juice right before you make your cocktails. I like my margarita to be pretty tart, so I use an equal amount of lime juice and tequila.
  • Something sweet – I sweeten mine with agave syrup or homemade simple syrup.
  • Salt – For the rim of your glass. I recommend coarse sea salt or kosher salt.
  • And ice! Because a great margarita is always on the rocks.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Pouring a classic margarita into a rocks glass with a salted rim

How to Make a Margarita

Making an awesome margarita at home is easy! Here’s what you need to do:

  • First, salt the rim of a margarita glass. Rub it with a wedge of lime and dip the top of the glass in a small plate of salt. Big tip: Your glass needs to be empty in order to do this step, so always remember to salt the rim of the glass before you pour your cocktail! After you salt the rim of the glass, fill it with ice.
  • Next, shake up your drink! Add the tequila, orange liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice, and agave to a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake to combine. Then, strain the mixture into the glass with the salted rim.
  • Finally, taste and adjust. In order to make a cocktail you really love, you’re going to have to taste and adjust. If you like stiffer margaritas, mix in more tequila and Cointreau. For more sweetness, stir in extra agave, simple syrup, or even a splash of orange juice. If you want a tangier flavor, squeeze in a bit more lime juice. Garnish your glass with a lime slice, and enjoy!

Oh, and if you don’t have a cocktail shaker, don’t worry about it! You can just as easily stir together this cocktail in a glass.

Recipe Variations

I love this classic margarita recipe as written, but there are lots of fun ways to change it up. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Let me know what variations you try!

Best Margarita Recipe

What to Serve With a Margarita

Tortilla chips, of course! AND a tasty dip. Here are a few of my favorites:

You could also enjoy this cocktail with a full meal. Pair it with Mexican or Tex Mex fare like veggie tacos, enchiladas, nachos, or taquitos. Bottoms up!

More Favorite Cocktail Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these popular cocktails next:

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Margarita Recipe

rate this recipe:
5 from 20 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves 1
This classic margarita recipe is zesty, refreshing, and SO simple to make! It's perfect for Cinco de Mayo, summer gatherings, or any happy hour.


  • 1 ounce blanco/silver tequila
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur, Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice, plus lime slices for garnish
  • ½ ounce agave nectar or simple syrup, plus more to taste
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge and coarse salt, for the glass rim (optional)


  • Salt the rim of the glass (optional): Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass. Fill a small plate with coarse salt. Dip the glass into the salt to coat the rim. Fill with ice.
  • Place the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the glass. Taste and stir in more agave nectar, if desired. Garnish with lime slices and serve.




5 from 20 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Alicia

    5 stars
    Wow. Seriously the best margarita I think I’ve ever had. My husband can’t stop raving about it. I doubled everything, minus the simple syrup- I kept that at about half an ounce. Phenomenal.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Alicia, I’m so glad you both loved the recipe!

  2. Sally

    5 stars
    Well-balanced margarita recipe!! Everything was delicious!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you loved it, Sally!

  3. Gaby

    5 stars
    Doubled the recipe and used lemons instead of limes. Packs a punch. Excellent!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you loved them!

  4. Nancy Daley

    Don’t you remember Guero’s? No sweetener needed, imo. I save the simple syrup for mojitos.

  5. Dani Line

    5 stars
    Couod I batch make this a hour in advance then serve over ice?

  6. Molly Clark

    This is delicious & simple,Thank you! Saving this as my go to margarita recipe. 🙂

  7. Nadine

    5 stars
    This is absolutely perfect and so easy to make! Delicious.

  8. C.g.

    5 stars
    Foolproof. Topped it off with a bit of sparkling water. So good.

    • Holly King

      5 stars
      That’s what I do too!

  9. Devon G.

    5 stars
    As an avid margarita fan, I have tried a lot of margarita recipes. This is one of my favorites and is always a hit when shared with family and friends. Thanks for being a blog with consistently great recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Oh yay, I’m so happy to hear that.

  10. Elaine

    5 stars
    Lovely drinks recipes❗😊
    I will certainly be trying them out on family and friends.🌱

  11. Julie Harkey

    Would love to have this recipe adjusted for a pitcher of margarita’s. Can you help?

  12. Jessie @Straight to the Hips, Baby

    These margaritas look amazing & so delicious! Perfect for the soon-to-come warm weather!

  13. Christine Whittington

    5 stars
    We use “sal de gusano” mixed with sea salt on the rim–dried maguey worms. It is standard in Oaxaca! If you aren’t going to Mexico anytime soon, Rancho Gordo has it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’ll check it out, thanks for the tip!

  14. irene from

    I know the name margarita, what i did not know is how simple and faster it takes to make.. thank you.

  15. Steve

    Just made this and it was perfect. I used Grand Mayan Ultra Aged Tequila ( which may have been cheating). What I did differently just because I like sours, was that I added an egg white and 3 ice cubes with the other ingredients to a cocktail shaker; shook until the rattling stopped and then poured over a large cube in an Old Fashioned glass. No salt.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Steve, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  16. Chelsa

    5 stars
    I made this for my BF and now he understands my love for a simply perfect margarita. Just what I was looking for. Thank you!

  17. Sabrina

    5 stars
    now I know what was missing in my life, at least for today, yes I think I’ll think I’ll have a margarita, thank you

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.