Bright, citrusy and refreshing, the Margarita is a classic cocktail with a delicious tequila base. Whether you’re gathering with friends, sipping a marg after a long day of work, or enjoying this tequila tipple alongside nibbles, the tang of lime and the sweetness of orange is always a favourite.
While the popularity and deliciousness of the Margarita cocktail is rarely debated, what is included often is. There are many variants of the classic cocktail, however the three main Margarita ingredients that always appear are tequila, orange liqueur and lime. If you’re opting to make this iconic cocktail from scratch, be sure to choose a tequila blanco made from 100% blue agave. To create that pure, fresh taste that we all know and love, your Margarita will need to avoid any mystery sugars that appear in mixto tequilas.
Without further ado, we’re introducing you to the most simple and delicious Margarita recipe to create from scratch in your home.
Classic Margarita Cocktail Recipe
When it comes to making a classic margarita, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the best tequilas to use. For our pre-mixed margarita we use the delicious Exotico Blanco tequila which is made from a family recipe by the Gonzalez Distillers who are one of the most respected producers of tequila in Mexico. Crisp and herbal, this tequila is perfect for mixing into a fruity cocktail.
What’s In A Margarita?
If you’re wanting to make a classic margarita, you will need:
- 60ml blanco tequila
- 15 ml orange liqueur
- 30ml lime juice, freshly squeezed
For the garnish:
While it’s become normal to serve a Margarita in other glasses such as a martini glass, a lowball or even in a pint glass, nothing can compare to serving it in a traditional Margarita glass.
A cocktails shaker
A traditional cocktail shaker will do the trick, as long as you’re able to feel how cold the drink is getting so you know your Margarita will be served cold.
The jury’s out on whether to use crushed or cubed ice, but we think cubed is ideal for a traditional margarita, while crushed is best for a frozen margarita.
- Add tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with cubed ice.
- Shake for 30 seconds until the cocktail shaker is difficult to hold due to being so chilled.
- Strain the liquid into a margarita glass that is pre-garnished with lime and salt.
Margarita Recipe tips
Rim your cocktail glass with salt
Rimming your cocktail glass with salt is a simple way to add a bit of decoration and it’s easy to do too. To rim a cocktail glass with salt, which is a common garnish for Margaritas, you’ll first want to run a quarter of a lime around the edge of the glass until it’s wet. Then, turn the glass upside down and twist it in a plate of salt ensuring that the rim is completely covered.
Use premium spirits
It goes without saying that the better the quality of the spirits, the more delicious your drink will be. This is especially true for the Margarita as it is minimalist in nature. The minimal ingredients mean that each one really stands out, so using a premium tequila and orange liqueur will go a long way.
Garnish with dried lime or orange
If you want your Margarita to have a vintage touch, why not garnish your cocktail with dried lime and orange? The classic garnish for this cocktail is fresh lime and a salt rimmed glass, but dried fruits add a lovely twist, boosting both flavour and aesthetic beauty.
What glass is best for a margarita cocktail?
Knowing which glass is best for cocktails can be a challenge, however with a Margarita it’s very simple! The best glass for a Margarita is a Margarita glass (!), despite many venues serving them in other glassware. There is no shame in not having a Margarita glass in your arsenal, however investing in a few will make your home bar complete.
There are different versions of the Margarita glass, but the most common one features a welled bowl which is narrow at the stem and broader at the rim. The rim of the glass is also often garnished with salt to aid the flavour of a standard Margarita or Tommy’s Margarita cocktail. These types of glasses are rare to find in the average home but will definitely add a touch of class to your at-home bar. Plus, they can be used to serve food such as a shrimp cocktail.
Margarita cocktail variations
The margarita is incredibly versatile and works well with a variety of fruits. Here’s the best variations of the margarita cocktail:
A frozen margarita uses all of the same ingredients as the classic margarita, however the addition of crushed ice makes the texture of the cocktail thicker. You can either use crushed ice and a firm hand to shake the cocktail up in a traditional cocktail shaker. Or, if you have a blender, the best method by far is to put all of the ingredients into the blender and blitz your drink until it is smooth, frozen and delicious. Dress with the traditional salt rimmed glass and lime.
The best part about the frozen margarita is that it’s so versatile. You can replace ice with almost any fruit you like. This means that you can have an array of different flavoured margaritas on a hot day! Some of our favourite variations of the frozen margarita are:
- Frozen strawberry margaritas
- Frozen berry margaritas
- Frozen mango margaritas
- Frozen peach margaritas
- Frozen pineapple margaritas
Frozen Strawberry Margaritas
One word: yum. With summer fast approaching, knowing how to create the perfect strawberry margarita will make your at home bar complete. The frozen strawberry margarita is a real favourite and is so simple to create! All you need to do is add a cup of frozen strawberries to your frozen margarita mix in the place of ice and blitz until smooth.
We all know the classic Margarita. So who is Tommy? And what makes his drink so different? Well, it was actually created by Julio Bermejo. He named it after his family's Mexican bar/restaurant in San Francisco - the self-proclaimed premier tequila bar on earth. Now also a destination for many of the premier bartenders and bar flies on earth as well. Tommy's adds a Mexican twist by replacing the triple sec of a classic Margarita with sweet agave syrup. Tommy’s margarita can be created at home, or delivered in Nio’s perfectly pre-crafted packages.
If you’re watching your weight and want to create a lower calorie cocktail, then a skinny margarita is the ideal choice. Created using fresh orange juice and a small amount of agave nectar as opposed to an orange liqueur, the cocktail contains less alcohol than the standard margarita and chops the margarita calories down significantly. A fresher, healthier alternative to the classic.
Similarly to the other fruit based cocktails mentioned, the watermelon margarita simply includes the addition of watermelon. You may choose to use frozen watermelon in place of ice, or fresh watermelon juice and add a cup to your cocktail mix. This variation adds a deliciously fresh twist that is perfect for those thirst-quenching summer days!
Why not try adding a cup of diced mango to your margarita mix to add a sweet twist? Mango is one of the most fresh and delicious fruits to enjoy in the summer, and adding it to your margarita mix will make this classic cocktail zing with freshness. Try frozen mango for an even icier treat.
Passion Fruit margarita
Passionfruit is such a sweet and vibrant flavour, so you only need to add the pulp of one passionfruit to your original mix to pack a big punch. This variant can tend to come out a little pulpy, so be sure to drain your mix fully before serving. A delightful, bright variation on the classic margarita.
This take on a much loved favourite is perfect for entertaining guests as it’s simple to make and feels a little luxurious. If you’re after something that will taste delicious and keep you boogieing into the early hours, then a champagne margarita is a winner. To create this margarita twist simply top your traditional margarita with champagne once it is shaken.
If you loved learning about how to create a perfect margarita, why not discover the cocktails you can create with tequila like our Tommy’s margarita? Plus, explore our premixed tequila cocktails, margarita cocktail guide and cocktail mixing hacks for more inspiration!