Ditch the mix! This classic margarita uses only the freshest ingredients to make the tastiest version of everyone's favorite tequila cocktail. Best of all, it couldn't be simpler to make.
Ingredients for Classic Margarita
Sometimes you have to go with a classic. While I love getting creative with different flavors, herbs and spices, I believe in sticking to a particular formula when it comes to the classic margarita: tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice and optional homemade simple syrup. No margarita mix for this lady.
In fact, I have strong feelings against using margarita mix. A classic margarita calls for just a few simple ingredients. Why go for something that tastes artificial and sticky when you can make a much tastier drink in just a few minutes?
As for the tequila, I'm a sucker for reposado, specifically Corralejo. Most margaritas use the blanco variety, which is bottled immediately or shortly after distilling. Reposado tequila, however, is aged in oak barrels anywhere between two months and one year, making for a more mellow drink with subtle barrel characteristics. And that's not to say there aren't great blanco tequilas because there certainly are, but I prefer the smoothness that comes with reposado.
But it's pricey, and if you plan on drinking a lot of margaritas in your life --- and you probably should --- I completely understand using a more economical alternative. In that case, triple sec is the common go-to for margaritas.
And if you don't have much of a sweet tooth, the simple syrup is optional. Matt prefers his margaritas without simple syrup, but for me, the simple syrup helps meld everything together. If you're unsure, simply mix the margarita without the simple syrup, taste and then add simple syrup if you'd like additional sweetener.
So find a spot on the patio, shake up a few batches of margaritas and let me know what you think. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't get much better than that.
Obviously, these fresh margarita calls for Mexican food. Luckily for you, I have plenty of options you'll love. Try any of these dishes with this margarita, and they won't disappoint.
- Jerk chicken enchiladas with habanero-sour cream sauce
- Beer-braised Mexican shredded beef
- Tropical pico de gallo
- Colorado-style pork green chile
- Roasted chicken-butternut squash tostadas
- Spiced orange tres leches cake
When you're craving a fresh, simple cocktail, I hope you try this classic margarita.
Also Love a Unique Margarita?
- Strawberry-kiwi margarita
- Italian margarita
- Blood orange margarita
- Coconut margarita
- Raspberry-peach margarita
If you love this recipe, please leave a comment with a five-star rating — or simply hit the five-star button in the recipe card. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter, and you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.
- Coarse sea salt for garnish, optional
- Lime wedge for garnish, optional, slit cut in the middle
- 2 ounces tequila preferably reposado
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce orange liqueur preferably Grand Marnier or CointreauLime slices, for garnish, optionalCoarse sea salt, for garnish, optional
- 1 ounce simple syrup or agave nectar
- Lime wheel for garnish, optional
- If you'd like a salted rim, spread sea salt on a small plate. Run the lime slice around the rim of a glass to moisten and swirl the rim of the glass in the salt. Set aside.
- Pour tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice.
- Put the top on the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-30 seconds.
- Strain the shaken margarita into the salt-rimmed glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel if desired. Enjoy!
- To make your own simple syrup, simmer the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove from heat. Cool and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for several weeks.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.