Slip Into Summer With This Classic Margarita Recipe

Every day can be Cinco de Mayo when you've got this tasty margarita recipe on hand.

Updated February 20, 2024
Classic Margarita

While tequila may not get as much love as other spirits like whiskey or vodka, the margarita is its claim to fame. Flavored, blended, spicy, or over ice, making a margarita is like entering an ice cream shop — you can have it however you want. The unofficial cocktail of the summer, there's nothing as refreshing as this citrusy sipper. 

How to Make a Classic Margarita 

Whether you like it frozen or on the rocks, with a sweet or salted rim, the iconic margarita is there to brighten up your day. A spring break favorite, this flavorful drink will make you believe in Jimmy Buffet's claim that "it's five o'clock somewhere." 


  • Lime wedge and salt for rim
  • 1¾ ounces blanco tequila
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce agave nectar or syrup
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge for garnish


  1. To prepare the rim, rub the rim of a rocks or margarita glass with a lime wedge.
  2. With the salt on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the salt to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add the ice, blanco tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into the prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Need to Know

Whether you're on a sober journey or want something nonalcoholic, there are a ton of booze-free margaritas you can try. From virgin strawberry margaritas to classic variations, you can enjoy a margarita any day of the week. 

Related: 25 Margarita Recipes so Delicious You'll Want More

6 Margarita Variations to Try 

Everyone's got a favorite margarita twist that they ask the busy bartenders to accommodate. If you haven't already discovered yours, give these variations a try. 

  • Add lemon juice in concert with the lime juice for a tarter flavor.
  • If you don't have agave readily available, simple syrup or honey will work just as well.
  • Try an aged tequila instead of blanco for a fresh twist. 
  • Add an egg white for a foamier, thicker margarita, being sure to dry shake first.
  • For a flavored margarita, consider infused tequila like coconut, grapefruit, or pineapple.
  • If you want a subtle smokey flavor, try equal parts blanco tequila and mezcal.

Garnish Ideas to Dress Things Up 

Where ingredients add flavor, garnishes add style and they should never be an afterthought. Expand the sipping experience with these fun margarita garnish ideas. 

  • Use sugar instead of salt on the rim for a sweet finish. 
  • If you want a slightly spicy margarita, you can use chili powder or tajin instead of salt.
  • Make a sweeter rim by using honey instead of a lime wedge before dipping in the desired rim garnish.
  • Add a pop of color with an orange or lemon wheel. 
  • Dehydrated citrus wheels can give the traditional margarita a new look.
  • Add a citrus peel for an elevated effect. 
  • A few pineapple leaves will add a lovely tropical vibe.

Have It Anyway You Want It 

For many people, the margarita is the first drink that introduced them to the wonderful world of boozy cocktails. As a highly customizable drink, margaritas are massively popular for a reason. Whether you make yours with simple syrup instead of agave or with homemade sour mix, this margarita is one that you can make anyway you want it. 

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Slip Into Summer With This Classic Margarita Recipe