Out of margarita mix? It’s your lucky day because this recipe is a REAL margarita from scratch. Now, before you freak out and leave this page. I will tell you that the classic margarita recipe is just as easy to make as those artificial margaritas using sour mix or margarita mix—and it’s even better.
The original or classic margarita is a classic cocktail made with 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
Your 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 3/4 ounce of 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 (The One In Your Cabinet)
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 without breaking the bank. Miligro, Espolòn, Altos, Hornitos, Corralejo to name a few. Save the Casamigos and Don Julio for sipping.Print
- 2 ounces blanco or reposado tequila
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce triple sec or Cointreau
- For the salted rim, take a lime wedge and coat the rim of a margarita glass or double old fashioned glass. Dip in margarita salt, rotating until coated.
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a cup of ice. Shake vigorously and pour straight into a chilled glass with the (now crushed) ice from the shaker. Garnish with a lime wheel.
You can make these in a giant pitcher but the perfect margarita is shaken.