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!
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:
Other Margarita Recipes You’ll Love
- Watermelon margarita
- Mango margarita
- Grapefruit margarita
- Spicy jalapeno margarita
- Grand Marnier margarita
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
- 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.
- 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