The Classic and Delightful Margarita Recipe

Published October 19, 2021
Classic Margarita


  • Lime wedge and salt for rim
  • 1¾ ounces blanco tequila
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce agave nectar or syrup
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge for garnish


  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the rocks or margarita glass with the lime wedge.
  2. With the salt on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the salt to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, blanco tequila, lime juice, and agave.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with lime wedge.

Variations and Substitutions

The margarita can withstand a few changes, both with its ingredients and proportions, without altering the spirit of the cocktail.

  • Use lemon juice in addition to the lime juice for a tarter flavor.
  • If you don't have agave readily available, simple syrup or honey will work as well.
  • Try an aged tequila instead of blanco.
  • Add an egg white for a foamier, thicker margarita, being sure to dry shake first.
  • For a flavored margarita, consider coconut, grapefruit, or pineapple tequila.
  • If you want a subtle smokey flavor, try equal parts blanco tequila and mezcal.


Garnishes aren't an afterthought; they add a visual portion to cocktails as well as scent and additional flavor that would otherwise be lacking from the overall feel. After all, garnishes are an extension of the cocktail experience.

  • Use sugar instead of salt on the rim.
  • If you wanted a slightly spicy margarita, chili powder or tajin can be used instead of salt.
  • A sweeter rim can be made by using honey instead of a lime wedge before dipping in the desired rim garnish.
  • An orange or lemon wheel adds a pop of color.
  • Dehydrated citrus wheels add a new look to a traditional drink.
  • Citrus peels can also be used for a fun garnish.
  • Pineapple leaves give a tropical vibe.

About the Margarita

The origin of the margarita is much debated. Some claim it came to be as a result of changing around the ingredients in a brandy daisy, a cocktail made up of gum syrup, curaçao, lemon, brandy, and Jamaican rum. While it can be difficult to trace the exact transition, the core of a sour citrus juice, a tropical liqueur, orange flavors, and a sweetener make up the modern margarita. Another easily explained source is that tequila was readily available across the border in Mexico when Prohibition had the United States short on spirits.

However margaritas truly came to be, today there are a multitude of flavors and styles, frozen and on the rocks, sweet and salt, the classic margarita is no less important than any other. In fact, it might be the most important margarita to start with.

Sugar, Salt, However, You Want

The margarita is easily customizable, even the classic margarita has several different recipes to achieve that distinctive flavor. Be it simple syrup instead of agave, or homemade sour mix, the best classic margarita is the one you return to again and again.

The Classic and Delightful Margarita Recipe