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How to Make a Margarita Drink

Updated November 21, 2016

The margarita is thought to have originated in Mexico, and is now among the most popular of all mixed drinks. Although margarita mixes are widely available, the results bear only a passing resemblance to a real margarita made with freshly squeezed lime juice and orange liqueur. Classic margaritas use the standard bartender's recipe and may be served frozen or poured over ice (on the rocks). Party margaritas are simpler to make and have less alcohol, making them a good choice if you plan to serve them to a large group.

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  1. Wet the rim of a glass by rubbing a slice of lime on it. Press the rim into a plate of salt.

  2. Combine 44.4ml tequila, 22.2ml orange liqueur and 14.8ml lime juice. If you like your margaritas sweeter, add 14.8ml simple syrup.

  3. Shake the mixture in a cocktail shaker until thoroughly blended.

  4. Pour over ice into the prepared glass and serve with a wedge of lime.

  5. Follow steps one and two above.

  6. Pour the mixture and 1/2 cup of ice into a blender, and blend using the pulse setting until frothy.

  7. Pour into the prepared glass and serve with a wedge of lime.

  8. Prepare the frozen limeade in a pitcher using the amount of water the package calls for.

  9. Stir in 1 1/2 cups tequila and 3/4 cup orange liqueur.

  10. Store in the freezer until ready to use. Scoop the frozen mixture into salt-rimmed glasses and garnish with a lime wedge to serve.

  11. Tip

    Typical margaritas are made with triple sec, but some people prefer the taste of Grand Marnier. Cointreau is mainly used in top shelf margaritas. Any tequila can be used to make a margarita, but reposado or anejo tequila produce the best results. Use less tequila in the party margaritas if you suspect your guests may overindulge.


    The lime juice in margaritas can mask the taste of alcohol and may make them seem less strong than they really are. A single classic margarita is equivalent to almost two servings of beer or wine. Drink responsibly. Just one full-strength margarita may be enough to impair your ability to drive.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tequila
  • Fresh limes (regular or key)
  • Orange liqueur (triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
  • Simple syrup (optional)
  • Ice
  • Blender (for frozen margaritas)
  • Cocktail shaker (for margaritas on the rocks)
  • Kosher or margarita salt
  • Frozen limeade (for simple margaritas)

About the Author

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