Classic Margarita

This classic margarita recipe is made with 3 main ingredients — tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur — and always tastes so refreshing and delicious!  Instructions are included below for a single serving or a full pitcher.

The Perfect Margarita Recipe -- made with 3 ingredients, and SO tasty! |

So, I was planning to wax poetic about my love of margaritas today.  But I have much more important news:

I think I may have finally discovered the secret to me becoming a “brunch” person.

Now hold on, don’t get me wrong.  I always enjoy a good brunch, and will eat my eggs and bacon and waffles and biscuits and gravy (accompanied by loads of coffee) anytime my friends send out the group texts to meet up for a lazy Saturday morning.  But I’m generally not all that hungry in the mornings, and have just never been as obsessed with breakfast foods as the rest of the world.  So as such, I’ve just always been more of a “social brunch-er”.


Yesterday after church, my friend Sarah recommended that our crew who went to Todos Santos last year meet up for a little reunion for brunch at one of my favorite restaurants in town…which happened to be Mexican (of course)…and also, as it turns out, has a huge brunch menu (whaaa?!?).  I don’t know if the Mexican brunch trend is just slow to hit Kansas City, but this was one of the first full menu offerings I have seen locally.  And let me tell you, it was dreamy.  They had everything from chilaquiles to breakfast tacos to avocado toast to breakfast fundido to Mexi sausage to breakfast chimis and more.  And chips and salsa were involved.  And the best part?!  Margaritas for brunch.

This place happens to have a delightfully creative margarita menu, and we were all curious and had to try a round of things like hibiscus and watermelon-mint and prickly-pear-serrano, which were all as yummy as we had hoped.  But when the waitress came back around and asked about another round, we all looked at one another and somehow had the same thought — everyone wanted a classic margarita.  As my friend Lauren said, you just really can’t beat a classic freshly-squeezed lime margarita, especially when good tequila is involved.

I happen to agree.  When we were compiling our round-up of 15 margarita recipes to share with you yesterday, I was actually combing through the archives of this blog and found 13 (yes, thirteen!!!) margarita recipes already on here ranging from skinny margaritas to jalapeno watermelon margaritas to champagne margaritas and beyond.  (Plus the half dozen or so marg recipes I’m hoping to share with you this summer.)  But I realized we were sorely in need of just a go-to classic margarita recipe on the blog.  One that you can bookmark as your go-to, that will never fail you, and will always be a crowd pleaser.

It was hard work whipping up a batch so that I could snap some photos and share them with you, but someone had to do it.  ;)

Classic Margarita Recipe | 1-Minute Video

As much as I love margaritas, I will admit that there’s one kind of margaritas I don’t like — those made without freshly-squeezed lime juice.

Margaritas |

Mexican brunching…and margarita-ing. :)

It’s a high crime in Margaritaville.

Good margaritas must be made with freshly-squeezed lime juice.  And good-quality tequila and Cointreau (which I much prefer to Triple Sec) are also essential.  Since classic margaritas really only include those three ingredients, it’s important that they all be fresh and good.

The Perfect Margarita Recipe -- made with 3 ingredients, and SO tasty! |

However, after making countless batches of margaritas over the years, I’ve also become a big proponent of making another important margarita investment: a really good lime juicer.  I have tried all sorts of lemon and lime juicers over the years, but Kathryne actually introduced me to this citrus juicer (affiliate link) while we were in Austin.  And let me tell you — it is a champ.

I actually made a triple batch of my fresh pineapple margaritas for my birthday party this past weekend, which required juicing 30 limes.  And for the first time ever, I was actually still in a good mood when I was done juicing.  It is super strong and durable and is designed to do most of the work for you.  Anyway, I bought the lemon juicer because it fits both lemons and limes, but both are available on the market.

(Pardon the juicing informercial, but if you make as many margaritas as I do, this tool is a game changer.)

The Perfect Margarita Recipe -- made with 3 ingredients, and SO tasty! |

Anyway, mix up all of that freshly-squeezed lime juice with some Cointreau and silver tequila.  (And if you like a sweeter margarita, feel free to stir in some agave or simple syrup.  I like mine without.)

Then give the mixture a good shake (or stir) in a cocktail shaker, and serve it over the rocks.

The Perfect Margarita Recipe -- made with 3 ingredients, and SO tasty! |

Also, feel free to garnish your glasses however you’d like.  I’m a big fan of the salted rim, although I love rimming my glass with a fresh orange slice (vs. lime) and then salting it.  But either will work, or you can totally skip the salted rims altogether.

Bottom line, this recipe is a keeper.  Perfect for Cinco de Mayo, perfect for Mexican brunching (woot!), and perfect for any ol’ day you’re craving a perfect margarita.

Cheers, friends!

The Perfect Margarita Recipe -- made with 3 ingredients, and SO tasty! |

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Classic Margarita Recipe

This classic margarita recipe is always a winner! Freshly-squeezed lime juice is a MUST, and I recommend using Cointreau as your orange liqueur.


For A Single Margarita:

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila, silver or reposado
  • 1 ounce Cointreau (orange liqueur)
  • 3/4 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • optional: agave nectar or simple syrup for sweetening, if desired
  • ice
  • optional: lime wedge and salt for rimming the glass

For A Pitcher Of Margaritas (16 Servings):

  • 3 cups tequila, silver or reposado
  • 2 cups Cointreau (orange liqueur)
  • 1.5 cups freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • optional: agave nectar or simple syrup for sweetening, if desired
  • ice
  • optional: lime wedges and salt for rimming the glass es


  1. If you would like salt-rimmed glasses, begin by running a lime slice (the juicy part) around the top rim of a glass.  Fill a shallow bowl with salt, and dip the rim in the salt until it is covered with your desired amount of salt.  Set aside.
  2. Add tequila, lime juice and Cointreau to a cocktail shaker, and shake or stir until combined.  Taste, and if you would like it to be sweeter, stir in a half teaspoon of agave or simple syrup at a time until the mix reaches your desired level of sweetness.
  3. Fill glass with ice.  Pour in the margarita mixture over the rocks.  Serve immediately, garnished with an extra lime wedge if desired.

To Make A Pitcher Of Margaritas (16 servings):

Stir tequila, lime juice and Cointreaue together in a large pitcher until combined.  Add your desired amount of sweetener if desired (I would begin with 2-3 tablespoons agave) until the margaritas reach your desired level of sweeteness.

Fill the glasses with ice.  Pour in the margarita mixture over the rocks.  Serve immediately, garnished with extra lime wedges if desired.

*The serving sizes for these margaritas are equivalent to traditional cocktail serving size.  (Not the enormous margaritas served at some Mexican restaurants.)  ;)  They’re plenty strong, but make extra servings if you’d like!

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

The Perfect Margarita Recipe -- made with 3 ingredients, and SO tasty! |

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52 comments on “Classic Margarita”

  1. Margs for brunch!? I can SO get on board with that shenanigans! This looks like the perfect recipe for a classic. But, I might need to taste test it tonight before the big day tomorrow. You know, to make sure ;) Pinned!

  2. You’re making me want to head straight to the basement to get my Mexican Party hat out. (I’m sure you have one of those) I’m ready to P-R-T for Cinco de Mayo! 

  3. I always find that brunch is an excuse to eat everything on the menu…because you gotta try everything, right? Hence, I love brunch, and a Mexican brunch is all the more delicious!  Love this dependable marg recipe:).  Perfect to wash down the tacos!

  4. While the classic is fantastic (I grew up in Texas, so know margaritas), when fresh strawberries are available right out of the field, a strawberry margarita will make that berry picking and jam making a whole lot better.  

  5. I was just thinking that I should have shared a classic margarita for Cinco de Mayo! (I have an apple cider marg on my site that I adore, but tomorrow’s holiday just calls for a classic.) This version looks incredible!

  6. So excited to see this recipe!  Can’t wait to make it for Cinco de Mayo! Have you posted the recipe for your pineapple margarita?Thanks! 

  7. LOVE Port Fonda, I’v hear their brunch is amazing, yet I’ve never been either! What gives?! And I agree, I cannot stand a super sugary margarita with faux lime juice, not happening. These guys look (and sound) PERFECT.

  8. Margs always make meals (especially brunch) better. My favorite local spot is a 1920’s Bakersfield, Cali honkey-tony style bar/restaurant with plenty of tex-Mex food, and their brunch is killer. 

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent

  9. I must know this restaurant. I’m not a huge bruncher either, but I’m a big Mexican food eater and margarita drinker. As a Texas transplant to the KC area, I’m always looking for yummy Mexican!

  10. Margaritas for brunch??? SIGN ME UP! :) 

  11. I have to say, I have always been a huge brunch person! But these would definitely be an enticing addition to any brunch menu!

  12. These look delicious – and that Mexican brunch sounds amazing! I live in Copenhagen (DK) and here, brunch is usually the same old (yogurt, muesli, fruit, eggs, bacon, maybe a pancake or two…) so the thought of Mexican brunch just got me all giddy! Oh, and I totally agree, Cointreau > Triple Sec!

  13. Okay I’m making this asap!!

  14. this is exactly how I like my margs! So fresh! I like to add a squeeze of a fresh orange slice too, and add it as garnish, love me some margaritas!

  15. I agree – they MUST have fresh lime juice! Or at least a homemade sour mix. I won’t stand for that bottled sour mix crap. Ew. And I like mine with a sugared rim. :-D

  16. Finding the perfect margarita recipe is on my summer bucket list. Looking forward to trying this one out! Would love recommendations of  what brand of tequila and Cointreau to buy. It’s a little overwhelming trying to figure out what to buy – would rather be doing the mixing and taste testing instead! :)

    • Hey Mindy! For the Triple Sec, I use Cointreau, which is great. For tequila, I love Camarena Tequila Reposado, and that’s what I usually use. But Sauza also works great, and I’ve heard good things about Siembra Azul Blanco. And of course, you can never go wrong with Patron. Hope that helps!

  17. Lived in the area for 3 years and have never been to Port Fonda! It’s a travesty, I know! Will be making it there soon!

  18. What is the recipe you use to make a pitcher of margaritas? I love a good margarita, but I find it kind of annoying to have to make each one individually. It would be much more fun to just be able to go to the fridge and refill my glass, or make a bunch so more than one person could enjoy it!

  19. i love your pins and I also have recently discovered this juicer. Amazing! The Beaty is you get so much more juice out of the fruit with a fraction of the aggravation. I can’t wait to try the margaritas.

  20. Made these today to go along with some Rose Bowl watching!  Delish!  Love that they are so simple and basic; no syrupy limeade concentrate.  Will absolutely make them again!  Thanks for the recipe!

  21. This sounds delicious! I just shared it on my blog for a post about National Margarita Day! Check it out here:
    Thanks for sharing!

    • That’s awesome Sara — thanks for sharing with us, and thanks for the sweet shout out on your blog! :D

  22. Best ever :) I will never buy a mix again

  23. I love the glasses! Where are the from?

  24. Besides the recipe, I am super interested in the glasses in the first picture!!! Where are those from?

  25. Hi Ali!

    I made these margaritas for Cinco de Mayo tonight! They were great.   I did end up adding a bit of agave as I had some in the cupboard but next time I may try without just to see if the Cointreau adds enough sugar to the mix. I just have one question though…the recipe lists a pitcher as 16 servings, but the notes in the recipe list a pitcher as 8 servings.  How many servings are in a pitcher? I made half of the “pitcher” recipe and I think this would equate to about 4 servings, but I don’t know if my serving size is just skewed…it is the first time I made margaritas!


    • Hi Ceili! We’re sorry for just now getting your comment. We’re glad to hear you enjoyed these, and oh my, that serving amount is definitely a typo! A pitcher is 16 servings! We apologize for the confusion!

  26. Those look so good

  27. Listen here!

    You nailed it. I live in Galveston Texas and was a friend of Santos Cruz, Inventor of the Margarita (look up the story), and this is it. I usually use the ratio of 2:1:1 tequila, triple sec, lime juice but, being on Island time and all other measurements, somewhere in the vicinity is good. Cointreau IS much richer in flavor than Triple Sec, is a great substitute. I find, even here in Galveston, there are so many bartenders that do not know the simple recipe it’s just sacriligous! Kudos to you! Preach the word!
    Here’s a trick for your readers, a Daquiri, a true Daquiri, is simply a rum margarita. And NO TRUE AFFICIONADO would use sweet sour mix! Throw that radiator fluid out!
    I’m a big fan! Until next time JC from Texas, signing off! [email protected]

    • Thank you, John, we loved your comment! There’s nothing like a classic margarita done right. :D

  28. I also noticed in one of your comments you use Camarena tequila. Great stuff. Remember folks, buy the cheap tequila. By that I mean look for the stuff that is distilled AND bottled in Jalisco. Anything bottled in this country is way overpriced and not nearly as smooth. I use Cabrito a lot, the goat. El Amo is excellent. All of these are usually half the price of that fella Jose and much better stuff.

  29. This is my favorite way to have a margarita too. Better still, add around 25% Sprite or 7UP poured on top and give it a quick mild stir. If you don’t like the sweet try Tonic or plain seltzer. The effervescence really kicks off the flavor!!! And as a rule of thumb I use one whole lime per drink.

  30. PS Always use a tequila that says on the bottle ‘100% Agave’, not ‘agave’, not ‘blue agave’, it has to say 100% Agave or 100% Blue Agave. Anything else can legally be mixed with up 50% grain alcohlol. Use 100% Agave and avoid the headache or the Tequila hangover.

  31. These are the best!!!

    Rating: 5
  32. Delicious! I love a fresh no-sugar margarita and this is perfect! Thank you for posting.

    Rating: 5
  33. These have become our go-to margs. SO GOOD.

    Rating: 5
  34. nice, great margarita recipe, like that you feature some essential margarita tools too, thank you for this!

  35. When we meet with friends it is always good to have something to take the stress out of the day, refresh and the margarita is perfect for this, I think very good but never prepared now seeing the recipe gave a crazy desire to do.