The Last Margarita Recipe You Will Ever Need. Period.

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Just because I'm from a Texas border town does not necessarily mean that I've been automatically equipped with a kick-ass margarita recipe. I was given the task of not only finding a recipe (apparently my mom didn't have one, either), but also to making a decent margarita. The pressure was on.

With time running out, I hopped on my laptop and did a couple of quick Google searches, using "margarita recipe" as my keyword. (Lame, I know.) Since I was so pressed for time, I was only able to skim through the results on the first page, therefore choosing the recipe that sounded the tastiest and easiest to make. The winner was the Sauza Rita. Why? Because the recipe only called for four ingredients, two of which I had on-hand.

Trust me when I say that this is the last margarita recipe that you will ever need. It's easy to make, tastes fresh, tart, and goes down as smooth as water. Worried about the calories? Do you normally drink those nasty "skinny margaritas?" (Sorry Bethenny.) Chillax, as the Californians would say. Because this recipe does not contain a corn syrup-laden mixer or sweet 'n sour mix.

Until we drink again,

The Lunch Belle


  • One 12-ounce can frozen limeade, thawed to room temperature (preferably Minute Maid Limeade)
  • 12 ounces water
  • 10-12 ounces Sauza Silver Tequila
  • One 12-ounce can light beer (we used Bud Light)
  • Ice
  • Sliced lime wedges
  • Salt, for rimming


Pour all ingredients into a pitcher and stir to blend. Serve over ice in salt-rimmed glasses (optional, of course), topped with a lime wedge. Enjoy and thank me later!

30+ Best Margarita Recipes to WOW Your Guests

If I’m going to enjoy a grown-up beverage, nine times out of ten it involves tequila — and there’s little better than a well-made classic margarita!

However, if you’re feeling adventurous, then it’s definitely worth going off the beaten path to try some of these fun spins on the “usual” margarita recipe. There’s something here for every taste bud!

Whether it’s an unexpected ingredient, or even a twist on texture, you can find a margarita recipe here to fit any occasion and any menu.

(21+ only for these recipes please enjoy responsibly)

The history

When I worked at that Mexican restaurant all those years ago, this was the best margarita that you could purchase. It had a few mid range ingredients and it came with a side shot of Grand Marnier, which is considered premium. I wanted to recreate that delicious cocktail for the blog, but instead of using the liquors they did, I upped the game and use the ingredients I love the most.

The above photo shows the empty side shots. I floated them in the cocktails, although the Grand Marnier doesn&rsquot stay afloat it delicately slinks down into the glass.

But if you stir the Cadillac margarita, it will turn a lovely golden color!

Back in the day, the Cadillac car was considered premium and the car everyone wanted to own. The Cadillac margarita is the premium margarita made with premium ingredients. The combination of these ingredients is perfect and delicious. Everyone I&rsquove served this margarita to, says it&rsquos the best.

This truly is, and continue to be, the best margarita of all time.

Do I make it on the rocks or can I have it frozen?

If I had my druthers, I&rsquod tell you to only have this margarita on the rocks. I have seen someone drink a frozen caddy (my nickname of the margarita) but I think that having it frozen doesn&rsquot really highlight how delicious it is. It also tends to water the margarita down because blending the ice causes the water to disperse quicker than with ice cubes.

And did you know that people drink frozen drinks much faster than cocktails made on the rocks?

They do. It&rsquos because people see the separation that occurs in a frozen drink, so they take their straw and stir it around and take a healthy slug each time they stir, which is often.

When you drink the Cadillac margarita on the rocks, you can savor the drink by sipping it at your own rate.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you click the link and buy something. You can read my disclosure here.

How to Make a Margarita

For a slighter sweeter version, add agave syrup before shaking. And of course, if you prefer them frozen (though that's not the traditional way to make a margarita), simply add the ingredients to a blender and then blend until smooth.

It's Margarita season. Drinks menus everywhere are bombarded with two-for-one Marg deals, Marg pitcher deals, and just plain dirt-cheap Marg deals. It wouldn't be summer without them. But the first Margarita of the season is a treat built on tradition, and tradition calls for simplicity: good tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and salt for good measure. We don't need our Marg to be blended into a slushie, or doused in mango-pomegranate-spicy-hibiscus-strawberry syrup. At least, not until we're three deep.

The Margarita is perhaps the most easy-drinking, enjoyable cocktail ever invented. The key to a great one is using good, 100 percent agave tequila (blanco is most common, but añejo can add a dash of smokier flavor). Anything less and you'll have a subpar cocktail that will give way to a world-class hangover. You can also add agave syrup for a sweeter Margarita with less pucker. Just don't use triple sec as your orange liqueur, as it tastes like artificial sweetener.

A Little Background

Many years ago, the United States made it illegal to drink alcohol within its borders, and so thirsty Americans went elsewhere for their cocktails&mdashmainly, south of the border into Mexico. (The irony is not lost on us.) The Margarita was invented in Mexico, possibly at the Kentucky Club in Juarez, where they called it the Daisy margarita means "daisy" in Spanish. Prohibition tourists fell in love with it and brought it back to the U.S. after the alcohol ban had lifted.

It's hardly lost its popularity since, with Esquire in part to thank. In 1953, this magazine named the Margarita the Drink of the Month, calling it "exciting and provocative." Back then, our recipe called for triple sec, but we've since changed our ways. And it seems like the Margarita will never fade from cocktail culture&mdashat least not until every living being who's ever hummed the tune to "Margaritaville" has passed to the next life.

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If You Like This, Try These

There are enough variations on the Margarita to last a lifetime. Any involving jalapeño or habanero spice are the best. Try rimming the glass with chili mix. For a slightly sweeter version with agave syrup, check out the Kentucky Club Margarita. Hell, make one with beer. La Paloma is another classic tequila cocktail with few ingredients, as is the Tequila Sunrise.

What You Need

Here&rsquos what you need to do a Margarita justice, beyond what you might be able to dig out of the fridge or cupboard.

The Secret to a Perfect Margarita

It’s generally agreed that the components of a classic margarita are tequila, triple sec, and fresh lime juice. But how much of each? The secret is proportions balance accounts for the difference between a good drink and a bad one.

Having made many, many margaritas according to all sorts of proportional directives, I have finally determined (for my own tastes, at least) that the very best margaritas are concocted as follows:

For one drink:
1 ½ oz. tequila (100% agave a must, preferably a reposado)
1 ½ oz. triple sec or Cointreau
1 to 1 ¼ oz. of lime juice
Salt for the rim of the glass

Shake all the ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker until the exterior frosts. Strain into a glass over rocks, or “up” into a cocktail glass. A slice of lime as a garnish, while not strictly necessary, is a civilized touch.

I think the reason these proportions work so well is the way I enjoy a margarita—as an accompaniment to food as opposed to a stand-alone cocktail. Were I to drink margaritas in the same time and place I drank, say, a martini or a Negroni, I would probably prefer a different—possibly more assertive, tequila-forward—mix. Instead the tequila should be dialed back into harmonious equilibrium with the other ingredients for a more quaffable potion. For the same reason I prefer them on the rocks, rather than up.

A few notes on the ingredients.

Since the principal flavor of the margarita is the tequila, it’s important to make sure you’ve got the best stuff you can get your hands on, so look for the “100% de agave” legend on the label of your bottle. If it isn’t there, then up to 49% of your tequila is actually fermented cane sugar. And don’t let the “gold” in the name or in the liquid fool you it's caramel coloring added to make the colorless tequila more appealing. I like to use a reposado, which is (usually) a 100% agave tequila that has been aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two months (and up to a year). Unlike the silver tequilas, it has a mellower flavor, which I prefer.

Then there’s the question of whether to use triple sec or Cointreau. Triple sec, a liqueur made from the skins of oranges, ranges in alcohol content from 15% to 30%, depending on the brand. Cointreau, a proprietary orange liqueur made from sweet and bitter orange skins, is stronger, at 40%. In a margarita the flavors are quite similar it really comes down to how boozy you want your drink to taste (bearing in mind that a stronger-tasting drink may be less likely to be heedlessly guzzled). There is also Grand Marnier, but to my tongue its brandy base is a distraction, so I avoid it. I like the lush, perfume-y orange note in my margarita, so I add an amount equal to the tequila.

And finally, to the limes. Unlike the reliable lemon (which can be substituted in a pinch, at the higher quantity), the flavor of limes can vary considerably depending on the variety, season, weather, and origin, so I have provided a quantity range. You should try to taste your lime juice first before you mix your drink. If you have an aggressively sour, caustic batch of the stuff, use the smaller quantity. The addition of lime should be a refreshing one, not something to make your throat burn.

(What was that insane bit in BA’s recipe about using key limes (rather than the standby Persian limes)? Key limes, first of all, are about the size of a large gumball, and it takes ages (and many, many key limes) to get the smallest amount of juice from them. And the flavor difference? None.)

One last note: if you’ve gone to the trouble to find all the best ingredients for your margaritas, you owe it to yourself to shake them with ice rather than toss it all in the blender. But a frozen margarita so effectively dulls the tongue with cold that it’s practically impossible to taste it (which is why it’s such a cash cow for the big Mexican food chains). Pour your margarita over ice, or strain it and drink it up (if you’re feeling elegant), to get the very most out of your labors.

  • 1/2 cup tequila silver (or blanco)
  • 4 tablespoons (about two limes) freshly squeezed Lime Juice, strained
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey (or Agave if that's your jam)
  • A couple handfuls of ice
  • Additional lime wedges, for rubbing on the rim and for garnish
  • kosher salt
  1. Rub a lime wedge along the rim of two small glasses and then dip them into a small plate with kosher salt. Fill with ice.
  2. In a cocktail shaker combine tequila, lime juice, honey and ice. Secure the lid and shake until most of the ice is gone. Be sure to shake well enough so the honey mixes itself into the drink.
  3. Pour into prepared glasses.

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The Classic 3-2-1 Margarita

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An easy way to remember how to mix a classic margarita is to memorize the ratio 3-2-1: three parts tequila, two parts good triple sec (like Luxardo Triplum, Cointreau, or Combier), and one part lime juice. Serve it on the rocks with salt, as pictured, or serve it up in a chilled glass. If you like your margaritas on the sour side, try our Perfect Margarita. Mixing for a party? Check out our Pitcher-Perfect Margarita for how to please a crowd. And for those times when you crave a good old frozen margarita, mix up a batch of Strawberry Margaritas.

What to buy: Make sure to use a good-tasting triple sec (we like Luxardo Triplum—for a primer, see Jordan Mackay’s “Something Orange”).

Make it easier on yourself by using one of these five easy drink delivery apps.

What to buy

Zulay Metal Citrus Press/Juicer

A manual citrus press is all you need for small amounts of juice this one is sturdy metal that doesn't take up much space or require much force to get every last drop from your fruit.

Creamy Margarita Popsicles

I learned a lot in college. Because I couldn’t decide on a major for the longest time, I took classes in pretty much every subject out there. Everything from linguistics to psychology to art have been in my arsenal of “things I know from school”, and my friends can attest to the fact that I remember a lot (maybe too much?) as a result of extreme exam-time cramming (which is surprising, because I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday.) Every time I tie some obscure fact into conversation, my friend Wesley teases, “Oh yeah? Did you take a class on that?” Yes. Yes, in fact, I did.

Honestly, though, some of my favorite things I learned in college were learned outside of the classroom. I’ll tell you what, knowing how to make Boozy Water Ice (or Italian Ice for you non-South-Jersians) will probably come in handy more often in the future than anything I learned in college math courses. Yay for calculators!

As you probably have guessed already, I also learned how to make cocktail popsicles while I was in college. Mind you, I have tweaked the recipe a lot since then, and I’ve experimented with different flavors to see what I like best. The hands-down winner? Margarita Popsicles.

They’re creamy, they’re lime-y, they’re salty, and they’ve got tequila in them. Who can go wrong on a hot day with a glass of lemonade in one hand (or Strawberry Basil Spiked Lemonade— we don’t judge here) and a Margarita Popsicle in the other?

Surprisingly enough, even my boyfriend couldn’t stop raving about them when I made them last time, saying, “You should sell these, Morgan you could make a lot of money. They’re so good!” and telling me about how people would line up around the block for tasty, tequila-filled popsicles. Maybe so, but I’d rather share the recipe with you, for free.

I like to consider myself a philanthropist. I give the people what they need. What better way to increase the well-being of humankind than to give them a recipe with tequila in it?

I’m just kidding of course, but here’s the recipe anyway. Feel free to experiment by mixing in muddled fruits for, say, a strawberry margarita or a watermelon margarita after you get the basic recipe down. Enjoy, and make sure you take a picture and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram or Twitter!

Oh, and while you’re here, you might want to check out my other boozy popsicle recipes: Boozy Red, White, and Blueberry Cheesecake Popsicles and Blue Moon Orange Creamsicles!

Aloe Vera Margaritas Recipe

Don’t you love how I can make a margarita healthy? Continuing the theme of healing margaritas like my cold fighter Rosemary Ginger Margarita I thought I’d bring you a drink that’s the perfect digestive elixir.

Along with boosting your immune system Aloe Vera is an awesome at calming an upset stomach and aiding in the digestion of food. Tequila does the same. Sometimes if I’m feeling particularly bloated after a meal I’ll drink about an ounce of tequila and I notice a difference immediately. Adding aloe to the mix just ups the powerful calming effects as it contains numerous amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that soothe and protect your digestive tract.

Plus this margarita is just the bomb. Slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and slightly smoky is the perfect after dinner cocktail.

I love an interesting cocktail and this one will sure get the conversation going at your next dinner party. Also, if you’re wanting the presentation to be extra special simply purchase a medicinal grade aloe plant and snip off a small leaf for garnish. Be sure to squeeze most of the gel out of it before using or you’ll end up with a swirl of gel in your margarita.

Blue Margarita

Adapted from Ben Reed | Punch Parties | Ryland Peters & Small, 2012

Named after the oranges grown on the island of Curaçao, the lahara fruit is inedibly bitter—it’s the peel that’s used to flavor the curaçao. The use of blue curaçao in this blue margarita instead of the clear variety adds a touch of fun. [Editor’s Note: We’d have chosen “intrigue” in place of “fun,” but hey, that’s just us. It’s certainly fun, too!]–Ben Reed

LC Blue Margarita Mystique Note

Let’s talk for a moment about the lahara. (And no, not the faucet manufactured by Delta, in case you just Googled the term.) We’re talking about the lahara fruit (which the author mentions in passing in the note above). It isn’t something you’ll typically see in the grocery store. Though the lahara is inherently and noxiously bitter, curiously, when its peel is dried, the essential oil contained within becomes sweetly fragrant. The peels are steeped in alcohol to extract the elixir and mingled with sugar to make it palatable, thus creating the boozy beverage we know as Curaçao. Curaçao is naturally colorless, though the well-known and almost luminous version of it used here takes its brilliant blue hue—blue as the blue lagoon—from artificial dye. We gotta confess, it does lend a little mystique to the cocktail. While we’re not certain who first thought of this crazy concoction, we’re grateful they did.

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