Classic Margarita Recipe

Stop using margarita mix. A classic and “real” margarita recipe made with tequila, fresh lime juice, triple sec, and simple syrup.

Out of margarita mix? Consider it your lucky day because this recipe is a real margarita recipe from scratch. A fresh margarita is just as easy to make as those artificial margaritas using a sour mix or margarita mix—and it’s even better!

Classic Margarita Recipe

These margaritas pair nicely with my fresh homemade guacamole or chicken enchiladas, carne asada tacos, and flank steak fajitas!

Margarita Ingredients

The original or classic margarita is a classic cocktail made with tequila, fresh lime juice, simple syrup (melted sugar in water), and triple sec. You can taste the tequila’s natural flavors so it’s best suited for a better tequila. It’s not sickly sweet or full of artificial sweeteners like store-bought margarita mix. It’s real sugar and fresh lime juice.

How to Make a Margarita From Scratch

Store-bought margarita mix is actually a modern-day shortcut, the classic margarita recipe (created nearly 100 years back) called for freshly squeezed limes and sometimes agave (simple sugar will do). I like a ratio of 1/2 ounce of simple sugar to 1 ounce of fresh lime juice.

Higher-end restaurants and bars are finally starting to catch on and ditching artificial mixes/sweeteners, opting for fresh ingredients. You can really taste the difference.

But enough with the history, I prefer my margaritas made a little stronger, and always with a Blanco or Reposado tequila and triple sec—sometimes Cointreau if you’re looking to step it up even further. Served on the rocks with a salted rim.

Best Tequila for Margaritas

A quick note on top-shelf tequilas. I love them for sipping on the rocks or neat with a lime, but I’d skip them when it comes to a margarita. There are several mid-range tequilas that are really good for margaritas without breaking the bank. I like:

  • Milagro
  • Espolòn
  • Altos
  • Hornitos
  • Corralejo

Other Margarita Recipes You’ll Love

Classic Margarita Recipe
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Classic Margarita Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: Mexican


My favorite margarita recipe made with tequila, fresh lime juice, triple sec, and simple syrup.


  • 2 ounces blanco or reposado tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec or Cointreau

Margarita pitcher (serves 10)

  • 2 1/2 cups blanco or reposado tequila
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup simple syrup
  • 2/3 cup triple sec or Cointreau


  1. For the salted rim, take a lime wedge and wipe the rim of a margarita glass or double old-fashioned glass. I like to only do half of the rim. Dip in margarita salt, rotating until coated.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake vigorously and pour straight into the glass with the (now crushed) ice from the shaker. Garnish with a lime wheel. Class this recipe up further by serving it over a giant ice cube.


If making a pitcher, mix without ice and pour over ice as served. This prevents dilution or ice from melting in the pitcher. Store in the fridge to keep chilled. If too strong, add 1-2 ounces of water to the pitcher.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 215
  • Sugar: 6.4g
  • Sodium: 11mg
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.7g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: margarita recipe, how to make a margarita, classic margarita