Classic Margaritas

Our classic margarita recipe is the ONLY one you need. Just 4 simple ingredients and you’ll have a crisp and refreshing cocktail that rivals any restaurant!

Have your own Cinco de Mayo party at home!  For an alternative drink, try my Frozen Honeydew Jalapeno Margarita.  For some amazing food, try my Ultimate Beef Barbacoa, Chicken Chimichangas, Queso Dip, Salsa Verde, 7 Layer Dip, and Baked Mexican Rice!

2 margaritas on wooden tray

CLASSIC MARGARITAS RECIPE

If I had to pick one cocktail to have for the rest of my life… no hesitation… it’d be a margarita!  I love them on the rocks and frozen, big and small, and anytime.

There’s just something so amazing about the crisp, tart/sweet flavor, I can’t get enough of.

No lie, a local Mexican restaurant here has a grande sized margarita that is legit the size of a fishbowl.  I’ve conquered that bad boy, no problemo!

So I knew I needed to have a classic margarita recipe here on the site, but I wanted one that uses all fresh ingredients… none of that bottled mix stuff.  Nothing against it, but I think fresh always tastes best.

I found the winning combination!  This recipe is for 20 servings (basically a large pitcher), but can easily be downsized to whichever amount you need.

In the printable recipe card towards the end of the post, if you hover over the servings number, a slider will appear.  Toggle that slider any which way you choose, and the recipe card will automatically calculate how much of each ingredient you’ll need!

Bear in mind, it only changes the oz measurements, not the cups, as those were written in after the fact to make things easier for some readers.

So no need to head out to a Mexican restaurant for your margarita fix… let’s have a fiesta!

Holding margarita glass

HOW TO MAKE MARGARITAS

  1. Add tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and syrup to pitcher.  Stir well to combine, then chill until ready to serve.
  2. Rim glasses with lime juice and salt, if desired.  Alternately, you could do a sugar rim, or add a bit of lime zest… it’s up to you!
  3. Fill cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice.  Pour enough margarita mixture in so that it just covers the ice.
  4. Shake for about 10 seconds.  Don’t be shy, shake fairly vigorously!  Just make sure the shake lid and cap are on before shaking.
  5. Pour into glasses and garnish.  Repeat with remaining servings.  I like to replace my ice after a few uses.

ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS

  • USE FRESH LIME JUICE – I know it’s a hassle, but fresh lime juice tastes infinitely better than the bottled stuff!
  • USE A COCKTAIL SHAKER – I tried testing this recipe straight from the pitcher, and even when the pitcher and contents were chilled, they didn’t taste quite as good as when poured into a cocktail shaker and shaken over ice.

fresh margarita in glass with lime wedge

VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE

  • SMOKY – if you like a smoky tasting drink, try using mezcal, or half mezcal and half tequila.  Mezcal is tequila’s smoky, earthy cousin.  It’s a little pricier than tequila, but delicious if you like smoky foods/drinks.
  • SPICY – try adding a slice or two of jalapeno or habanero to your margarita as a garnish!
  • SWEET – try adding a splash of pineapple, watermelon or orange juice to your drink!  To give it a slightly different texture, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend.  It won’t be frozen, but a bit frothy!
  • FROZEN – rather than using regular ice cubes that just water down your drink, I like to combine the lime juice and simple syrup and freeze them into ice cubes!  Then add those to a blender along with your chilled tequila and orange liqueur and viola… frozen margaritas that are allll flavor!

MAKING MARGARITAS AHEAD OF TIME

I like to mix up my pitcher about 4 hours before I want to serve them.  That way it’s nice and chilled already, and doesn’t melt the ice in the cocktail shaker as quickly.

You can also slice up your limes ahead of time, and get your glasses and salt ready to go.

Fresh margaritas with lime wedges and salt rims

STORAGE

Leftover margaritas should be refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within 4-5 days.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE

BE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN TO CHECK OUT OTHER READERS’ COMMENTS FOR TIPS AND REVIEWS.

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2 margaritas on wooden tray

Classic Margaritas

Homemade Classic Margarita recipe using just 4 simple ingredients.  You'll want to ditch that bottle of mix in no time.
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 20 (a pitcher)
Calories: 210
Recipe Author The Chunky Chef

Ingredients

  • 30 oz tequila (reposado or silver are my faves) (approximately 3.75 cups)
  • 20 oz orange liqueur (Cointreau is my fave) (approximately 2.5 cups)
  • 15 oz fresh lime juice (a little bit less than 1 cup)
  • 5 oz simple syrup (approximately 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp)
  • lime slices/wedges
  • salt for rimming glasses

Instructions

  • In a large pitcher, combine tequila, orange liqueur, and fresh lime juice. Stir in simple syrup.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. Rim glasses with a bit of lime juice and salt if desired. Garnish with lime wheel.
  • Fill cocktail shaker 2/3 of the way full of ice. Pour in enough margarita mix to cover the ice, put the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds or so.
  • Pour into prepared glasses. Repeat, using fresh ice after a few uses, for remaining servings.
  • Drop a lime wedge or slice of lime in each glass if desired.

Notes

  1. My preferred tequilas are Patron Reposado or Silver, they're smooth and make for a great margarita!
  2. Grand Marnier or triple sec will work as the orange liqueur as well.
  3. Simple syrup amount is completely up to you.
  4. Recipe can be made using liquid stevia for a reduced sugar alternative.  Exact amount needed will vary.
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10 comments on “Classic Margaritas”

  1. great margarita recipe, completely agree about fresh squeezed limes and no sickly margarita mix! thank you!

  2. Such a refreshing cocktail!! I would love one right now!

  3. Love a cocktail with a kick! Looking forward to winding down with this after dinner tonight; sounds amazing!

  4. Beautiful pics and this is making me look forward to the warmer weather!

  5. YES, please!! These margaritas sound SO fabulous!!

  6. I love the glasses you posted with the margaritas. Would you mind sharing where you purchased them? My husband hates traditional margarita glasses. These are a better than a traditional highball I have been using.

  7. This Cinco de Mayo couldn’t look any more perfect!

  8. I am loving the orange liqueur in this drink. It will be perfect with the lime.

  9. It wouldn’t be summer without a margarita in my hand on the weekend. It’s such a classic! Love not having to use a pre-made mix anymore.