Top Shelf Margarita Recipe for a Top Shelf Experience

Published November 16, 2021
Margarita Recipe



  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe 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,
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  6. Garnish with lime wheel.

Variations and Substitutions

The top shelf margarita has some wiggle room if you want to go big on a medium budget rather than roll spare change to make it happen. The most important thing to look for is a tequila that uses 100% agave and not a blend.

  • A few top shelf brands that deliver a similar experience include Patrón Roca Patrón Silver Artesanal Tequila ($70), Casamigos Blanco Tequila ($50), Avión Silver Tequila ($50), Milagro Silver Tequila ($30), and 1800 Tequila Silver Tequila ($30).
  • If you can't locate Patrón Citrónge, use Grand Marnier or Cointreau instead.
  • Should you not have agave readily on hand, honey or homemade simple syrup makes an excellent substitute.
  • You can use a well-made lime cordial, such as Rose's or Fee Brothers, instead of lime juice.
  • If you prefer aged tequila, opt for an añejo that also uses 100% agave.


Consider a few of these suggestions if the lime wheel doesn't suit your top shelf taste.

  • Use sugar instead of salt for a sweeter rim.
  • Skip the rim altogether if you want.
  • Use a lime wedge or slice instead of a wheel.
  • Garnish with a lemon or orange instead of a lime; consider a citrus wheel, wedge, or slice.
  • Citrus peels or ribbons add extra color without altering the flavor.
  • Likewise, a dehydrated citrus wheel adds an unusual but distinguishing look.

About the Top Shelf Margarita

Top-shelf ingredients weren't the focus of the margarita when it became a prominent cocktail in the American bar scene as Prohibition trickled to an end and the floodgates of bars opened. As the years have passed, more and more styles of margaritas have appeared on bar tops and kitchen tables, including the Italian margarita, skinny margarita, and spicy margarita. However, the splurge-worthy margarita didn't stroll onto the scene until recently.

Understandably, the bill for the top shelf margarita may be alarming. Still, when priced out, it's overall a cheaper endeavor to enjoy at home, especially since you can easily customize the flavors, ingredients, and garnish.

The Tip Top

The big price at the checkout counter can make the top shelf margarita feel intimidating. But good spirits will never let you down and, after all, it'll cost a lot less to shake one of these up at home. So move some numbers around so you can get shaking.

Top Shelf Margarita Recipe for a Top Shelf Experience