The Classic Margarita

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If you’ve ever looked at the margarita list at a chain Mexican restaurant, you know there are endless variations on this classic drink. And as far as I’m concerned, they’re all pretty dang good! The classic margarita recipe is incredibly simple, and it tastes wonderful. You can’t go wrong with it. But you can also tweak the recipe until you come up with your own personal signature margarita! Try different fruit juices and different liqueurs to find what you’re looking for.

Classic Margarita Recipe: Tequila, Triple Sec, lime, salt


  • 1 jigger (1.5 ounces) tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
  • 1 ounce fresh lime or lemon juice
  • Salt (optional)

Shake all ingredients with cracked ice. Use the fruit rind to moisten the rim of the glass, then spin the glass around upside down in salt to salt the rim. Strain the cocktail mix into the glass. You can also serve it over the rocks.

You can leave off the salt. Some bartenders believe it was introduced to the cocktail to disguise the bad taste of cheap tequilas. As long as the tequila you’re using is of decent quality, you shouldn’t feel the need for salt – just add it if you like the flavor. But it’s a good idea to serve with a straw so people can taste the drink without the salt.

You can also use pretty much any orange liqueur in place of the Triple Sec – Cointreau, Patron Citronge, or blue curacao are popular choices. “Cadillac” margarita recipes use top-shelf spirits, so the orange liqueur will be Grand Marnier or Gran Gala.

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  1. Great write up. I’ve made lots of these. The big problem is if you let the salty rim reach the drink. It’ll dissolve and become unpalatable. It’s for girls. Made 44 one night in two hours and it was all office girls.

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