Classic Margarita

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

Margarita Recipe

Over the years, I’ve shared a watermelon margarita and 2(!) jalapeño margaritas, but in truth, this classic margarita recipe is the one I make most often. It’s super simple to make, it calls for just 5 ingredients, and it’s totally delicious.

If you’re new to making cocktails at home, this recipe is a great place to start. You don’t need a cocktail shaker or any other special equipment, and it’s easy to taste and adjust your drink to make something you really love. Mix it up for a happy hour, Cinco de Mayo, or anytime you’re craving a fun drink, and pass the tortilla chips! I hope you love this margarita recipe as much as I do.

Classic Margarita Recipe

Margarita Recipe Ingredients

To make a classic margarita, you need 6 simple ingredients:

  • Tequila – Use any good-quality blanco tequila in this recipe. We like this brand, but feel free to use your favorite!
  • Orange liqueur – You’ll see recipes that call for Grand Marnier and triple sec, but Cointreau is my #1 pick.
  • 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 nectar or homemade simple syrup.
  • Salt – For the rim of your glass. I use fine sea salt, but kosher salt could work here too.
  • And ice! Because a great margarita is always on the rocks.

Find the full recipe with measurements below.

How to Make the BEST 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. Just a heads up, it’s super easy to forget to do this step before you start mixing up your cocktail (I speak from experience). But in order for you to get a good salt rim on your glass, it has to be empty. You need to be able to turn the glass upside down so that you can dip it in the salt, so always remember to do this step first!
  • Next, mix up your drink! Add the tequila, Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lime juice to the glass, and stir to combine. Top the glass with ice cubes or crushed ice, and add a splash of agave nectar or simple syrup.
  • Finally, taste and adjust. In order to make a cocktail you really love, you’re going to have to taste and adjust. If you prefer a sweeter drink, add more agave, simple syrup, or even a splash of orange juice. If you like a stiffer drink, add more tequila and Cointreau. I like mine really tangy, just as the recipe is written. Garnish your glass with a lime slice, and enjoy!

Find the full recipe with measurements below.

Classic Margarita Recipe in glasses with limes

What to Serve With A Margarita

Enjoy your margarita with your favorite Mexican or Tex Mex fare. If I’m making these for a party or happy hour, I always serve them with tortilla chips, salsa, and lots of guac. They’d also be fantastic with mango or pineapple salsa or my seven layer dip. For more appetizer ideas, check out this post!

If you’re enjoying your margarita for dinner, pair it with veggie tacos, stuffed poblano peppers, grilled avocado, taquitos, or nachos. Bottoms up!

Best Margarita Recipe

More Favorite Cocktail Recipes

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

Classic Margarita

rate this recipe:
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Serves 1
This homemade margarita recipe is SO simple and delicious! Remember to taste and adjust your drink to create a balance of flavors you love.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice, plus lime slices for garnish
  • ½ ounce

    agave nectar (or simple syrup)

    , or to taste
  • Sea salt, for the rim

Instructions

  • Salt the rim of the glass by rubbing a lime wedge around the edge and dipping it onto a small plate of salt.
  • Mix the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice into the glass and fill the remainder of the glass with crushed ice. Stir and add the agave nectar, if desired, to sweeten. If it’s too strong, wait a little bit for the ice to melt.

 

 

8 comments

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  1. Sabrina
    05.02.2019

    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

  2. Chelsa
    05.03.2019

    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!

  3. Steve
    07.16.2019

    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
      07.19.2019

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

  4. irene from swa.uonbi.ac.ke
    07.18.2019

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

  5. Christine Whittington
    05.01.2020

    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
      05.03.2020

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

  6. Jessie @Straight to the Hips, Baby
    05.01.2020

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

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.