How to Make a Margarita

Seven Methods:Making a Classic MargaritaMaking a Simple 3-ingredient MargaritaMaking a Frozen Margarita from ScratchMaking a Frozen Limeade MargaritaTrying a Corona AlternativeChoosing the Best IngredientsSalting the Rim of Your Glass

Nobody seems to know exactly who invented the margarita. [1] The drink has many origin stories, so it’s only fitting that it also has many forms. Its myriad variations make the margarita a drink worth experimenting with!

Method 1
Making a Classic Margarita

  1. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 1
    Gather the following ingredients:
    • 1 to 2 parts 100% agave tequila
    • 1 part freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 1 part triple sec
    • coarse kosher or sea salt
    • lime for garnish
    • ice
    • Tabasco sauce (optional)
  2. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 2
    Wet the rim of your glass with a lime. Cut a small slit into a slice of lime and place the lime on the rim of your glass. Run the lime around the rim of your glass to wet it.
  3. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 3
    Salt your glass’s rim. Pour some coarse (kosher or sea) salt onto a plate. Holding your glass parallel to the plate, let its rim touch the salt and then slowly turn it.
    • Don’t just place the glass face-down into the salt like a cookie cutter. You want to make sure the salt is only on the outside of the glass.
    • Alternatively, you can use sugar instead of salt to rim the glass.
  4. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 4
    Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 to 3/4 full with ice. Use large ice cubes, as smaller ones will melt more quickly and dilute your drink.
  5. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 5
    Pour 1 to 2 parts tequila into the shaker. For 1 margarita, you’ll add 1 to 2 shots of tequila. How much tequila you use will depend on your own personal tastes.
    • You may want to start with 1 part tequila and, if that doesn’t taste strong enough for you, you can always add more.
  6. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 6
    Add 1 part triple sec to the shaker. For 1 margarita, you’ll add 1 shot of triple sec.
  7. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 7
    Add one part fresh lime juice to the shaker. For 1 margarita, you’ll add 1 shot of lime juice.
  8. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 8
    Shake vigorously. Do this for at least 15 seconds to ensure that the ingredients are fully mixed.
  9. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 9
    Pour the drink from the shaker into your glass. If you’d like to add ice to your margarita, be sure to add the ice cubes to your glass before pouring the drink (just to avoid splashing).
  10. Image titled Make a Margarita Step 10
    Garnish with a lime and enjoy! If you’d like, you can also add a splash of Tabasco sauce.
  11. 11
    Experiment with other ratios. If you’re unsatisfied with the suggested ratios in this recipe, consider trying some of the following ones (tequila: triple sec: lime juice):
    • 3:2:1
    • 3:1:1
    • 7:4:3
    • 8:1.5:3 (to reduce the triple sec flavor)

Method 2
Making a Simple 3-ingredient Margarita

  1. 1
    Gather the following ingredients:[2]
    • 1 to 1.5 parts freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 2 parts water
    • 1 to 2 parts 100% agave tequila
    • 1/2 to 1 part agave nectar, to taste
    • ice
    • kosher or sea salt
  2. 2
    Salt the rim of your margarita glass. To do this, wet the rim of the glass with a lime, then place the cup in a shallow saucer filled with a coarse-grained salt such as kosher or sea salt.
  3. 3
    Add lime juice to your cocktail shaker. For 1 margarita, you’ll want 1 to 1.5 shots of lime juice, which equals roughly 2 medium to large limes.
  4. 4
    Add water to the shaker. For 1 margarita, you’ll add 2 shots of water. To ensure that any dissolved minerals or additives don’t interfere with the flavor of your drink, use filtered or bottled water.
  5. 5
    Add tequila to the shaker. For 1 margarita, you’ll use 1 or 2 shots of tequila, depending on how boozy you want the margarita to be.
  6. 6
    Add agave nectar to the shaker. For 1 margarita, you’ll need between 1/2 of a shot and 1 full shot of agave nectar, depending on your taste.
  7. 7
    Add a generous scoop of ice to the shaker. You’ll want to add more ice than fluid: aim to fill the shaker between 2/3 and 3/4 full of ice.[3]
  8. 8
    Shake vigorously. Do this for at least 15 seconds so that the ingredients are well mixed.[4]
  9. 9
    Remove the lid from the shaker. If the lid is stuck on, tap the bottom of the shaker with the heel of your hand.
  10. 10
    Pour the margarita into your glass.
  11. 11
    Add any final garnishes to the glass, and enjoy! If you want to add a lime garnish or a tiny umbrella to your margarita, now’s the time to do it. Once that’s done, enjoy!

Method 3
Making a Frozen Margarita from Scratch

  1. 1
    Gather your ingredients:
    • 10 to 12 medium to large limes
    • 6 to 8 medium to large lemons
    • 1.5 parts tequila
    • 1/2 part triple sec
    • coarsely ground salt or sugar
    • ice
  2. 2
    Make your own bar (sweet and sour) mix. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of warm water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Next, add 1 cup of fresh lime juice and then 1 cup of fresh lemon juice.
    • Another way to combine the sugar and water is to put them together in a jar and shake them vigorously until the sugar has dissolved into the water.
  3. 3
    Prepare your glass. Use a freshly cut lime to wet the rim of a chilled glass, then dip that glass into a saucer of coarsely ground salt. For a sweet-savory taste, dip the glass into a salt-and-sugar mixture.
  4. 4
    Add 1.5 parts tequila to a blender. For 1 margarita, you’ll add 1.5 shots of tequila.
  5. 5
    Add 1/2 part triple sec to the blender. For 1 margarita, you’ll add 1/2 a shot of triple sec (Cointreau is the most popular recommendation).
  6. 6
    Add 3 parts bar mix to the blender. For 1 margarita, you’ll add 3 shots of bar mix.
  7. 7
    Add ice and blend. Add just enough ice that it sits just barely above the liquid. Blend until the mixture reaches a smooth, slushy consistency..
  8. 8
    Serve and enjoy! You can garnish your glass(es) with a lime wedge. You can also add a splash of fresh lime juice (or simply squeeze the fresh lime garnish into your drink) before drinking.

Method 4
Making a Frozen Limeade Margarita

  1. 1
    Get a tupperware container that can hold 66 ounces of fluid. Make sure that the container has a tight-fitting lid, and that it will fit in your freezer.
    • This recipe is based on the use of 6-ounce Limeade cans. if you’re using 12-ounce cans, the ratios still work; you may just want to cut them in half if you don’t want to wind up with 132 ounces of margarita.
  2. 2
    Mix your ingredients together in the tupperware container. You’ll use the empty Limeade cans to measure out your other ingredients (hence the use of “cans” as a measurement). What to add to the container:
    • 2 cans frozen Limeade concentrate
    • 6 cans water
    • 2 cans tequila
    • 1 can triple sec
  3. 3
    Wait for it to reach a slushy consistency. This can take 4 or more hours. You can keep the mixture in the freezer overnight; the alcohol content will keep it slushy — it won’t freeze solid.[5]
  4. 4
    Prepare your glasses. Before serving your drinks you’ll want to prepare your glasses by wetting their rims with fresh lime juice and dipping them in coarse salt.
  5. 5
    Remove the mixture from the freezer. Remove the container from the freezer. If it has a tight lid on it, you can shake it vigorously to break up the ice and ensure that all the ingredients are properly mixed.
    • If you’re unable to tightly seal the container and shake it, open it up, place it on the counter, and stir it with a whisk.
  6. 6
    Serve with a ladle. The recipe makes 66 ounces: you should be able to make roughly 8 to 12 margaritas from it, depending on the size of your drinks.

Method 5
Trying a Corona Alternative

  1. 1
    Gather your ingredients:
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup light beer (Corona is a good choice)
    • 1 cup gold tequila (the white versions don’t mix well with beer)
    • triple sec to taste (the sweeter the better)
    • juice from 1/4 to 1/2 of a lime
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • carbonated water
    • chipped ice
  2. 2
    Prepare your glass(es). Use a freshly cut lime to wet the rim of chilled glass. Dip the glass rim-first into a saucer of coarsely ground salt or sugar.
    • Note that this recipe will make enough for at least a couple of drinks.
  3. 3
    Add tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar to a cocktail shaker. Give it a stir and let it sit for 30 seconds to help dissolve the sugar.
    • How much triple sec you add, if any, will depend on your tastes. Try starting with a 1/2 cup of triple sec.
  4. 4
    Add ice and shake vigorously. Fill the shaker 2/3 to 3/4 full with ice, close the lid, and shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds.
  5. 5
    Pour the shaken mixture into your glass. Once the ingredients are well mixed, remove the lid from the shaker and pour the mixture into your chilled, salt-rimmed glass.
  6. 6
    Add beer to the glass. Add 1/2 to 3/4 a cup of beer to your glass. You may want to start with 1/2 a cup of beer and then give the drink a taste before you add more.
  7. 7
    Stir and taste. Stir the ingredients together and give the drink a taste. Adjust it to your liking and stir.
    • At this point, you may want to add some carbonated water to the mixture to make it more fizzy.
  8. 8
    Add chipped ice to your drink, stir, and enjoy. Once you’re happy with your drink's flavor, add some chipped ice, give it a stir, and enjoy!

Method 6
Choosing the Best Ingredients

  1. 1
    Know how to select a good tequila. Tequila is the best when it is 100% agave. Tequila that isn’t 100% agave may contain corn syrup, sugar, and artificial flavors and colors. It should say 100% agave on the label.[6][7]
  2. 2
    Know which triple sec you want. Regular triple secs range in alcohol content from 15% (30-proof) to 40% (80-proof). For a boozier margarita, choose a triple sec with a higher alcohol content such as Cointreau (40% alc/vol).
    • Triple sec comes in a variety of brands — popular ones include Curacao, Grand Marnier (actually an orange-infused cognac), and Cointreau.[8][9]
    • For a simpler margarita recipe you can skip the triple sec all together.
  3. 3
    Choose the perfect limes. Ripe limes have thin, shiny, soft skin; when you rub them, they should be quite fragrant.[10]
    • For an authentic Mexican flavor, use key limes, which are more tart and bitter than the larger Persian limes.
    • Alternatively, use fresh lemon juice (try sweet Meyer lemons!) for a softer taste.
  4. 4
    Use a high-quality sweetener. Common sweeteners for margaritas include agave nectar (if it’s not available at your grocery store, check a health food store), simple syrup, and honey.
    • You can make simple syrup at home by mixing water and sugar in a jar and shaking it, or by heating the sugar and water together in a pan — in both cases until the sugar dissolves. Depending on your tastes, you can mix 1.5 to 2 parts sugar with 1 part water.
    • A sweetener isn’t 100% necessary — some people use no sweeteners at all, instead letting the orange liqueur do the sweetening.
  5. 5
    Use big ice cubes. Unless you’re making a blended margarita, use big ice cubes (i.e. when shaking one up in a cocktail maker). Big ice cubes won’t melt as quickly as crushed ice or smaller cubes; the less the ice melts, the stronger and more flavorful your drink will be.[11]
  6. 6
    Choose a high-quality salt to rim your glass with. Sea salt and kosher salt are the most commonly recommended types of salt for rimming your margarita glass. Kosher salt will make for a slightly saltier rim than sea salt.[12]
    • Avoid using table salt, which will create a fine-grained, clumpy rim on your glass, and make for an overly salty drink.[13]
    • You can also purchase pre-made salt mixes specifically for margaritas at grocery and liquor stores.

Method 7
Salting the Rim of Your Glass

  1. 1
    Pour salt into a small saucer. Recommended salts are kosher and sea salt, as the larger grains are more pleasing both to the taste buds and the eyes. Aim for a 1/4-inch thickness of salt.[14]
    • For a tasty savory-sweet salted rim, add some sugar to your salt mixture before salting the rim of your glass.
  2. 2
    Wet the rim of your glass. A popular way to do this for margaritas is to cut a slit into a lime wedge, place the lime on the glass as if to garnish it, and then run the lime around the glass’s rim.
    • Be careful not to squeeze the lime too hard as you move it around the glass’s rim, otherwise its juice may drip down into the glass. If it does drip down, it’s not the end of the world, it’ll just look a bit messy.[15]
  3. 3
    Salt the rim of your glass. There are two popular methods to salting the rim of your glass. One method is to simply place the mouth of your glass onto the saucer and give it a twist — as you would use a cookie cutter.
    • The other method is to hold the rim of the glass parallel to the saucer and, letting it lightly touch the salt, turn the glass in your hand so that only the outer rim is covered in salt. This method ensures that the salt only ends up on the outside of the glass so that no additional salt winds up in your drink. [16]


  • How good a margarita is depends greatly on the quality of the ingredients, so don’t skimp!
  • Chill your glasses beforehand to keep your margaritas cool and refreshing for a longer period of time.
  • To make a “blue margarita”, use blue curaçao (made from dried peels of the laraha citrus fruit, which are similar to oranges in flavor) in place of triple sec in your margaritas.
  • For reference, standard shot glasses range in volume from 1 to 1.5 ounces.
  • Consider experimenting by adding herbs like mint, basil or cilantro to your margaritas — though not all three at once.[17]
  • Some people recommend squeezing fresh lime juice 4 to 10 hours before you intend to use it; this can help reduce the juice's acidity and boost its lime flavor.[18]
  • Some margarita aficionados suggest trying the recipe without orange liqueur.[19]

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