Learn how to make the BEST Margaritas! Made with just 3 ingredients, these margaritas on the rocks are just like what you get at your favorite restaurant… only better!
There’s no denying that some occasions just call for margaritas. Whether it’s Cinco de Mayo, Taco Tuesday, or happy hour with friends, when you need a margarita… you know it… and this recipe is our go-to.
It’s the perfect blend of just 3 ingredients – tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice – and has the BEST flavor ever. Between the sweet orange Cointreau and the fresh, tart lime juice, it’s everything you want in a margarita. Slightly sweet, perfectly tart, and strong enough that you can taste the tequila. Just the way I like it!
Of course, if you like your drinks a little sweeter, you can feel free to add a splash of simple syrup or agave. And if you like them flavored, you can add fresh or frozen fruit OR your favorite fruit juice. But if you’re looking for the ULTIMATE basic margarita recipe? Look no further. This. Is. It.
What you’ll need for this recipe
Tequila – When it comes to margaritas, tequila is clearly the star of the show. I used silver tequila in this recipe because silver tequila ages for the shortest amount of time, meaning it has the strongest, purest taste of any tequila and can hold up nicely to any other flavorings that are added. I always like to use a high quality tequila when I make margaritas, not just because it helps prevent hangovers, but also because it has a distinctly better flavor than lower quality brands.
Cointreau – Cointreau is an orange flavored liqueur that gives this margarita both flavor and sweetness. Cointreau is similar to Triple Sec, but has a stronger, smoother and more complex flavor than Triple Sec. It’s also similar to Grand Marnier, although Grand Marnier has an even stronger, more complex flavor than Cointreau.
Lime juice – Lime juice is an essential element in any margarita recipe. It’s the “sour” part of the sweet & sour. I always use fresh lime juice if at all possible, and using a citrus juicer works wonders.
Simple syrup (optional) – Simple syrup is an optional addition to this recipe, although I didn’t use it when I made my margaritas. If you like yours on the sweeter side, though, feel free to add a splash or two.
How to make a Margarita
Prep the glasses. Rub the outer rim of two rocks glass with a lime wedge. Tip the glasses upside down in kosher salt to coat the rims. Fill each glass halfway with ice.
Combine the ingredients. Combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled, about 10-15 seconds.
Strain into glasses. Strain the margarita into both glasses, dividing evenly.
Garnish. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!
- Use any variety of tequila in place of silver
- Substitute Triple Sec or Grand Marnier for Cointreau
- Add simple syrup or agave syrup for a sweeter margarita
- Substitute lemon juice for lime juice in a pinch
- Use bottled lime juice in place of fresh
- Add a splash of orange juice to the recipe
More delicious margaritas
- Jalapeño Margarita
- Grapefruit Margarita
- Frozen Mango Margarita
- Pineapple Margarita
- Orange Margarita
- Cranberry Margarita
- Use a fresh cut lime wedge to wet the glass before dipping it in salt or sugar (both are delicious!)
- Always use high quality ingredients, including fresh lime juice when possible!
- Shaking the ingredients with ice helps soften the flavors perfectly
- If mixing a pitcher, add some ice to the pitcher (but not too much) and stir vigorously to mimic shaking in a cocktail shaker
- Adding a lime wedge garnish goes a long way in presentation and flavor!
- Serve simple syrup on the side so guests can add it according to their tastes
What to pair with Margaritas
- 4 ounces silver tequila
- 2 ounces Cointreau
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
- salt, for the rim
- Rub the outer rim of two rocks glass with a lime wedge. Tip the glasses upside down in kosher salt to coat the rims. Fill each glass halfway with ice.
- Combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously until chilled, about 10-15 seconds.
- Strain the margarita into both glasses, dividing evenly.
- Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 293mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g