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, every margarita recipe is pretty darn good!
The classic margarita recipe is fairly simple, and it tastes wonderful. You can’t go wrong with it.
It’s basically a blend of orange and lime with tequila. Over the years, bartenders have come up with so many ways to create that flavor profile.
The recipe we’re featuring is one of the classic old standards for making this drink.
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.
The Margarita has kept its popularity for so long because the recipe has been perfected over the years. With good quality tequila and fresh squeezed lime juice, it’s always wonderful.
It’s the perfect accompaniment for a meal of Mexican food. But it’s also great with just about any seafood or chicken meal.
Try it with these Santa Fe Chicken Foil Packets, cooked with peppers, tomatoes, corn and beans and all sorts of deliciousness.
If you’re intimidated by the thought of rimming a glass with salt, fear not. And we have a whole tutorial on how to rim glasses. You can also just use a saucer, and it’s not nearly as hard as you might think.
Or you can just watch the video down below.
What makes the Margarita so refreshing is the combination of orange and lime with that little bit of salt. The salt makes the fruit flavors pop by contrast.
It enhances both sweet and sour flavors, and suppresses any bitterness from the tequila. And the very best way to improve it is by simply using better quality ingredients.
For example, “Cadillac” margarita recipes use top-shelf spirits, so the orange liqueur will be Grand Marnier or Gran Gala.
You can try using Patron for the tequila, or even Altos, which is very affordable but very delicious. I like Patron Citronge in place of Triple Sec, but Cointreau, curacao and Grand Marnier are also great choices.
Fresh squeezed lime juice is ideal, and I like to use a little more than the recipe calls for because I love lime juice. But you may find you like lemon juice better, or a mix of the two.
If you can’t get fresh limes, then bottled lime juice at stores can taste almost as good.
You can technically leave off the salt. Some bartenders believe it was introduced to the cocktail to disguise the bad taste of cheap tequilas.
But salt can also help you retain fluid in hot, sweaty weather. So it may just be a way of keeping hydrated.
As long as the tequila you’re using is of good quality, you shouldn’t feel the need for salt – just add it if you like the flavor. For many people, salt is essential to the margarita, but it’s not for everyone.
It’s a good idea to serve with a straw so people can taste the drink without the salt.
And if you’re worried about the effects of salt on your health, you can stop now. It turns out salt isn’t bad for us, so you can enjoy it unless a doctor has specifically told you to avoid it. You actually need a certain amount of it each day.
If you don’t want salt, you should still consider adding a small pinch of it to your shaker. It will enhance the other flavors without adding a noticeable salty flavor.
If you love the Margarita…
And then there’s the White Lizard, with tequila, grapefruit juice and lime. This is a great cocktail for reviving you after a long day.
And definitely check out our 49 Margarita Recipes to see all the variations you can enjoy.
Gear We Used
- Shake all ingredients with cracked ice.
- Rim a margarita glass with salt.
- Strain the cocktail mix into the glass.
See how to rim a glass - two different ways!