Enjoy the refreshing taste of this classic margarita made with simple ingredients. No mix required! This simple margarita recipe is sure to become your favorite! Made with fresh lime juice, agave to sweeten, and a combination of tequila and triple sec. This cocktail is easy to make at home!
All about this margarita…
These Classic Lime Margaritas are the perfect cold, refreshing cocktail to serve with all your favorite Tex Mex meals! The fresh burst of citrus pairs perfectly with the rich flavoring of Cheese Enchiladas or Birria Tacos. These margaritas are:
- Quick: only 5 minutes is needed to shake the ingredients together for a restaurant quality homemade margarita.
- Fresh: using freshly squeezed lime juice makes all the difference!
- Easy: only 4 ingredients are needed to make the drink itself.
Notes on Some Ingredients:
- Tequila– silver or reposado are traditionally used in margaritas. However, you can use any type of tequila that you enjoy.
- Orange Liquor- either Triple Sec or Cointreau are good options.
- Lime juice– fresh squeezed is the best way to go!
- Simple syrup or Agave– this creates a sweeter margarita. It is optional, you can enjoy a margarita without it, but I much prefer my cocktails to have a bit of sweetness to balance the tart punch of the lime juice.
- Kosher Salt or Sugar– another optional ingredient. Use either to rim your glass.
How to Make (step-by-step):
- Step 1: Add some ice to your cocktail shaker. This will make your drink nice and cold. Then combine the ingredients into the cocktail shaker. Pour in the tequila, triple sec, and fresh lime juice. Give it a shake!
- Step 2: Taste and add sweetener as desired. Instructions for a simple syrup or agave follow.
- Step 3: Add some ice to your prepared glass and pour! Keep the strainer on your cocktail shaker so that the drink is strained while you pour it in. Then garnish with a lime wedge.
- Lime Juice: Fresh juice is always going to be best when making cocktails. Bottled juice has additional sweeteners and flavors added to it. Plus you want to have some limes on hand for using to rim the glasses and adding as a garnish.
- Rim: use what you would prefer, if you want a salted rim, use a good coarse salt. For a sweeter drink, a coarse sugar works well. Or you can of course not rim the glass if preferred.
- Prepare ahead of time: if you are expecting guests and want to pour margaritas all around, follow the instructions in the recipe card below for preparing a pitcher! Simply multiply the ingredients by the amount of servings you are wanting, this can then be stored in the refrigerator and brought out to pour when needed, simply give the pitcher a stir.
There are two types of alcohol in a classic margarita, tequila and an orange liquor. The most common ones used are Cointreau and Triple Sec. Tequila is typically a silver tequila, which is a clear option. Reposado is a great option for a margarita also.
A typical, sweetened margarita is made with approximately 3-3.5 ounces of liquid. Of which, 2.5 to 3 ounces is alcohol.
Margaritas are traditionally served as a strong cocktail in a small rocks glass rimmed with coarse salt and garnished with a lime wedge. Frozen Margaritas will be a blended version, of a slushy consistency traditionally served in a margarita glass.
More Cocktail recipes:
If you tried this recipe please leave a comment and a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below! Thank you so much!
- 1 ounce lime juice, approximately 1 lime
- 1 ½ ounces triple sec
- 1 ½ ounces tequila*
- ½ ounce agave, can sub with simple syrup*
- ⅛ tsp coarse salt
- lime wedges
- Combine the ingredients in a drink shaker already filled with ice, or a jar or glass if you don't have one.
- Shake, or stir if needed to mix the ingredients together.
- Rub a lime wedge over the rim of the glass and dip into coarse salt.
- Add ice into the glass
- Pour into a glass over ice.
- Garnish with a lime wedge on the edge.
- Serve immediately and enjoy
- Tequila: A good quality silver tequila is typically used in margaritas. But you can use a gold tequila as well. Use whatever you have on hand or prefer. Fewer ingredients does mean that the tequila you choose will stand out.
- To prepare a simple syrup (in place of agave): heat 1 cup of water to boiling. Stir in 1 cup of sugar. Stir until sugar completely dissolves and liquid is clear. Let cool to room temperature before using in cocktails.
- To make a pitcher: Multiply the amounts needed by the servings you are wanting to make (example 6 servings= 6 ounces lime juice, 9 ounces orange liquor, 9 ounces tequila, 3 ounces agave). Stir together, then pour into prepared glasses.
Recipe first published May 4, 2018. Updated March 11, 2021 with new images and information. Recipe is unchanged.
Photography by the talented @KJandCompany.co
Delicious! First time I followed the recipe to a T and it was good. Second time I didn’t use as much agave and I used 1.5oz lime juice because I like a little more pucker and it was perfect! For added fun, I suggest trying tajin on the rim! 😍 SO GOOD!
This is my go to recipe. On star taken because I have to increase the simple syrup a bit for perfection.
Being from Texas I do love margaritas. One thing I do that I really enjoy is I mix half tequila and half Presidente Brandy. I still get the alcohol but a much smoother taste.
While it is true you could use any tequila for this drink, I would strongly suggest that a true 100% agave tequila (blanco or reposado – the subtleties of anejo will be lost in a mixed drink) be used vs a cheaper mixto tequila.
You know your tequilas!! Thanks for your input Jim 🙂
Good point Jim. I want to add that you can find reasonably priced reposado tequilas at a decent liquor store. A knowledgeable clerk showed me how a good reposado was only slightly more than the huge national brand of tequila and the taste was far superior. Don’t be intimidated by the nomenclature!
Truly enjoyed this – added some sliced strawberries to the shaker for my little twist
This cocktail opened the door to try other cocktails awesome times infinity ?
Best easy recipe to make on a Friday evening! Thanks! Going to try the frozen version next.
I followed your recipe and it was really good but in your first instruction you don’t mention to add ice to the Shaker so it might cause confusion to someone who doesn’t make drinks often 🙂 just a suggestion! Thanks for the recipe.
Your website with recipes is the best! I like everything here! And your recipes are real masterpieces! Continue in the same spirit!
And yes, thanks for the recipe of Margarita. It seems I know that my husband and I will drink in the nearest romantic evening 🙂
Nothing beats a classic refreshing margarita! Love the use of agave over simple syrup.