Classic Margarita

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 & limes ASAP!

Margarita Recipe

This classic margarita recipe is our favorite cocktail to make at home. We love it in part because it’s so simple –  if you have tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice on hand, you can make it in under 5 minutes! – and in part 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 craving 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.

Classic Margaritas with mango salsa

Classic Margarita Recipe Ingredients

To make this classic margarita recipe, 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 – 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 use fine sea salt, but kosher salt could work here too.
  • And ice! Because a great margarita is always on the rocks.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Classic Margarita Recipe in glasses with limes

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. 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 prefer a sweeter drink, stir in more agave, simple syrup, or even a splash of orange juice. If you like a stiffer drink, mix in more tequila and Cointreau. I like mine really tangy, just as the recipe is written. 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 margarita recipe in a glass.

Best Margarita Recipe

What to Serve With A Margarita

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

For more appetizer ideas, check out this post!

You could also enjoy this margarita recipe with a full meal. Pair it with Mexican or Tex Mex fare like veggie tacos, stuffed poblano peppers, nachos, or taquitos. Bottoms up!

More Favorite Cocktail Recipes

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

Classic Margarita

rate this recipe:
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Serves 1
This homemade margarita recipe is zesty, refreshing, and SO simple to make! It's perfect for Cinco de Mayo, summer gatherings, or any happy hour.

Ingredients

  • Sea salt, for the glass
  • 1 ounce 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, more to taste
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Salt the rim of a glass by rubbing a lime wedge around the edge and dipping it onto a small plate of salt. Fill the glass with ice.
  • Place the tequila, Cointreau, 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.

Notes

For a spicy margarita, add a few jalapeño slices to your cocktail shaker.

 

 

12 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Devon G.
    05.01.2022

    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
      05.04.2022

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

  2. Elaine
    05.01.2022

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

  3. Julie Harkey
    10.05.2021

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

  4. Jessie @Straight to the Hips, Baby
    05.01.2020

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

  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. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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

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.