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Perfect Margarita

  • Serves: 1
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Calories: 166
two classic margaritas in glass cups next to a wooden cutting board with sliced limes

Is there anything quite like a perfect margarita? Icy cold, shaken (not stirred), with good blanco tequila and plenty of fresh lime juice, this classic cocktail quenches like none other.

The Best Margarita Of Your Life. Cross Our (Tequila-Loving) Hearts.

You know we love Mexican food, so it’s maybe not a huge surprise to find that we’re big time margarita lovers, too. We’ve been chasing after the absolute perfect margarita recipe for a while now, and look—there’s just no laidback way to say this—we’ve truly nailed it. Tirelessly tested, night after tequila-soaked night, we can 1,000% promise that this margarita recipe will not let you down. It’s the perfect balance of the classic three margarita ingredients—tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur—plus a little something extra (we’ll tell you what in a minute) to make this beloved, boozy, tangy cocktail as delicious as it can possibly be.

ingredients for a classic margarita including cointreau, tequila, bitters and limes

The Best Margarita Calls for The Best Margarita Ingredients

Alright. You’re thirsty now, right?! You’re convinced that it’s time to gather the ingredients and get shaking. So, what's in a margarita? First, maybe we should clarify—our margarita of choice is a margarita on the rocks—no slushies here! So, you’ll just need a little ice, and:

  • Blanco tequila—more on this in a minute.
  • Limes. One lime has roughly one ounce of juice, so for our recipe—which calls for 1.5 oz. of lime juice—you’ll need two limes to make one margarita.
  • A high-quality triple sec liqueur.
  • Angostura bitters! Our secret ingredient! We love margaritas, but we absolutely cannot stand it when they’re too sweet. We want that tangy, booze, refreshing punch—and a tiny dash of bitters adds a just-right herby kiss that really elevates the cocktail.
two glasses showing classic margaritas with wedges of lime

And The Best Tequila for Margaritas Is...

...Whatever your favorite tequila is! Just be sure to make it blanco. You want that lean, mean, delicate finish to pair with the lime juice—a margarita is a spritely cocktail! Zippy, perky, bright. Save the aged tequilas for another day. When we mix up our margarita, we usually reach for:

  • Espolòn Tequila Blanco. Just a really affordable, high-quality blanco tequila.
  • Hornitos Plata. This is Hornitos blanco tequila, and it makes a killer marg.
  • Trader Joe’s Tequila Blanco! A pretty darn good Casamigos dupe and we’re on board!

Is Cointreau the Same As Triple Sec?

Yep, kind of! Buckle up, because we’re about to rock your world. Triple sec simply means a relatively dry orange liqueur and Cointreau IS triple sec. Cointreau is just a brand of triple sec. Mind blowing, we know. We usually use Cointreau to make margaritas because it’s easily available and we love that it’s not very sweet and that it has a really lovely, orange-y perfume. Combier is another high-quality brand of triple sec that would be delicious in this margarita recipe. Just don’t reach for the stuff on the bottom shelf—your head (and whole body, for that matter) with thank you.

fresh lime juice squeezed in a measuring cup
tequila, tripple sec, bitters and lime juice in a copper shaker with ice
perfect margarita in a copper shaker with ice
glass cup in a plate of salt next to slices of limes

How To Make Margaritas from Scratch

Have some chips and guacamole at the ready and let’s get mixing. Here’s how to make a margarita:

  1. Make a decision—are you a salted rim person? Or a no-salt person? If you’re a salted rim person, pour some kosher salt on a plate. Rub the rim of the glass with a lime slice to wet it, and then dip the rim in the salt.
  2. Juice your lime.
  3. Fill your glass with ice.
  4. Measure the blanco tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau into an ice-filled cocktail shaker.
  5. Shake! Cover the shaker and shake it vigorously for 20 seconds.
  6. Strain that beautiful cocktail into your ice-filled rocks glass and sip away!
two margaritas next to a copper cocktail shaker and slices of limes

Our Favorite Tools For Making Cocktail at Home

More Summer Cocktail Recipes We Love

What more do you need than a summer breeze, a porch swing and no plans? A refreshing cocktail—that’s what. Here are three cocktail recipes we love to make in the summer:

two classic margaritas with lime slices and salted rims

PSA: National Margarita Day is February 22.

But we celebrate year round! Once a year is definitely not going to cut it. Whenever you whip up this cocktail—February 22nd or whenever—we’d love to hear about it! Snap a photo of your margarita and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can toast you from afar. Happy eating!

Perfect Margarita

  • Serves: 1
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Calories: 166

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Tequila blanco
  • 1.5 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • .5 oz Cointreau or triple sec
  • 2 Splashes angostura bitters
  • Salt (optional)

Method

  1. Place salt on a small plate. Rub rim of a rocks glass with lime (reserve for serving); dip the rim in plate of salt. Fill with ice and set aside.
  2. Combine tequila, lime juice, cointreau and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.
  3. Pour through a strainer into prepared glass.