Classic Margarita Recipe

Classic Margarita Recipe - Speaking Easy Podcast - Cocktails and Home Entertaining - Bartending (1)

A Margarita cocktail is probably the most popular tequila cocktail in the United States – it is at least in our experience. Like many classic cocktails the origin story of the first margarita is uncertain, although with the number of origin stories out there it is probably known—but who knows which one is the true story. Discussing margaritas is a great time to remind you of the Speaking Easy toast, “to being a better drinker,” because it is all too easy to see margarita mix at the grocery store and think that you can skip a few steps in mixing the drink. You can, and it’ll be terrible. USE FRESH JUICE. As is our preference, we recommend mastering the classic, and using it to adapt to your guest’s and your own preferences.

The Classic Margarita Recipe

  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. Cointreau, Triple Sec, or other orange liqueur
  • 1 ½ oz. blanco tequila
  • Kosher salt to rim the glass (optional)
  • Garnish with a lime wheel (a wedge works just as well)


Combine lime juice, orange liqueur, and tequila in shaker, add ice, and shake well. Stain into chilled cocktail glass or rocks glass[i]. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Exercising the option: If you like salt with your tequila, and we do, rub the edge of the glass with a lime wedge along the rim of the glass to leave a trace of juice, dip the rim into a plate or bowl of kosher salt so that the salt sticks to the rim. This should be obvious, but do this before straining the drink into the glass.

Note: For a sweeter drink, add ½ to 1 bar spoons of agave syrup (1 part water, 2 parts agave nectar). Simple syrup works too; we’d recommend limiting it to ½ bar spoons, but you know better what you like best.

[i] Up vs. On the rocks: Jordan prefers his margaritas up (meaning without ice) but also cold, so the chilled glass and vigorous shake are important. Alex likes them “on the rocks” in which case you’d strain the shaken ingredients over fresh ice (we prefer rocks glasses for drinks served “on the rocks,” surprisingly enough).


Have any favorite margarita variations? Share them below!