Everyone loves a good margarita – many times here in the US, these come frozen … You know, blended with ice to the consistency of a “slushy.” These are good, but for me, they are not the best. The best margarita is a simple cocktail of lime juice, Cointreau or triple sec, and tequila served chilled.
Like many cocktails that have been around for generations, there are plenty of riffs on the original. Julio Bermejo, the owner of the legendary Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco (just down the street from where I grew up), is the expert behind Tommy’s Margarita, which swaps in agave nectar for the classic orange liqueur. It’s no wonder I find this to be the best margarita recipe.
For a drink this simple, you need to use the best ingredients. Most recipes call for “Blanco” tequila, which is bottled immediately after distillation. However, “Reposado” tequila, aged between 2 and 12 months in oak barrels, has a more mellow flavor and is what I use when making the best margarita.
Freshly squeezed lime juice is an absolute must, and while I like to use agave nectar, you can always use simple syrup.
Now that you know how to make the best margarita, you can enjoy a fresh margarita at home anytime with your favorite Mexican foods, like tacos, fajitas, and my enchiladas in red sauce.
5 Simple Steps To The Best Margarita
- Juice the limes
- Chill your margarita glass by filling it with ice cubes and set aside.
- Pour the lime juice, agave nectar, and tequila into the cocktail shaker, cover, and shake for 15 – 20 seconds.
- Add ice to the cocktail shake, cover, and shake for about a minute.
- Dump the ice out of your margarita glass. Then using the cocktail strainer, pour the margarita into the glass.
Items You Need To Make The Best Margarita
A refreshing margarita using the best ingredients
- 4 oz Reposada Tequila
- 2 oz Lime Juice
- 2 oz Agave Nectar
- Ice as needed
- lime wedges and salt if rimming glass
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar
- Cover and shake until mixed and chilled, about 30 seconds.
- If you like your glass salt-rimmed, place the salt on a plate. Rub the rim on the glass with a lime wedge and then press the rim of glass into the salt (on the outside only).
- Strain the margarita into the glass.
I like my margarita a bit on the sweeter side which is why I use 2 oz agave nectar. Please adjust to suit your taste.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 294mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 0g
Nutritional Information is an estimate and will vary depending on the specific ingredients used
What Is in a Margarita?
There are several variations of the margarita (see below). But a classic margarita contains blanco tequila, an orange liqueur like triple sec or Cointreau, lime juice, and a lime wedge for garnish.
How Do You Salt Rim the Glass for a Margarita?
Many people like their glasses rimmed with salt. This allows the distinct aromas to interact with complementary flavors and meld in the back of your palate.
Rub a lime wedge on the outside rim of your glass. Keep the inner edge dry so the salt doesn’t stick to it. Pour salt on a plate, then holding your glass at a 45-degree angle lightly roll it in the salt. It may take a few rolls to get the rim fully salted.
How Do You Make a Frozen Margarita?
In the 1950s, the frozen margarita became popular as blenders began to appear in bars. In 1971, Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez created the first frozen margarita machine and margaritas haven’t been the same since. The Smithsonian Museum is now the home of the original machine.
To make a frozen margarita at home, put all the ingredients in the blender. Next, add about twice as much ice as you have ingredients. Finally, blend until you reach a slushie-like consistency.
What Are Variations of the Margarita?
The spicy margarita is a tangy twist on this bar staple, adding cucumber, jalapeno puree, and a slice of cucumber for garnish.
Or you may want the refreshing “watermelon” margarita. Add about ¼ cup of mashed-up seedless watermelon to the mix when making your frozen margarita.
Last, but certainly not least, you can add a little “island” vibe to your margarita with fresh pineapple juice.