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Classic Margarita

Learn how to make a margarita with my quick and easy Classic Margarita recipe! With fresh lime juice, this tequila cocktail is crisp, tart, and refreshing – plus it’s easily customizable.

Lime slices float in glasses of classic margaritas.

Easy Classic Margarita Recipe

A cold, crisp, sweet-tart Classic Margarita will always be my favorite when it comes to cocktails. With freshly-squeezed lime juice and splashes of tequila and orange liqueur, I can easily shake one up in just a few minutes. And a salted rim is a MUST for me!

Why I ❤️ This Margarita Recipe

I really do believe this is the best margarita recipe out there. Here’s why I think you’ll love it, too:

  • Classic recipe. This is a basic margarita on the rocks, the purest form of a margarita when it comes to flavor and presentation. Because sometimes simple is just the BEST!
  • Quick & easy. You only need a few ingredients and a few minutes of time to shake one up.
  • So refreshing. Fresh, tart lime juice instantly elevates any drink into bright, refreshing territory. This classic margarita recipe is a fun, delicious way to quench your thirst.
  • Size up or down. Want just one margarita? See my method for a single serving. Or, go ahead and make enough to serve a crowd with my big-batch margarita recipe! (Both are included in the recipe card at the end of this post.)
Ingredients for a classic margarita are shown: tequila, simple syrup, lime, orange liqueur, salt.

Recipe Ingredients

You really only need 3 ingredients to make a traditional margarita! Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.

  • Tequila – I always use a blanco/silver tequila when shaking up a classic margarita. See my notes in the next section for what is the best tequila to use in margaritas.
  • Orange liqueur – Such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec.
  • Lime – Pleeeeeeease…use only freshly squeezed lime juice! This gives the very best flavor. I also like to garnish with lime wedges or wheels.
  • Simple syrup (optional) – If you like a little (or a lot) of sweetness, add some simple syrup. I’ve included a method to make simple syrup in the recipe card notes.
  • Coarse salt (optional) – If you like a salted rim. Seriously, though, what’s not to like about that?!

What’s The Best Tequila for Margaritas?

Pick up a bottle of blanco (or “silver”) tequila for the best classic margaritas. This type is clear and typically unaged, giving your cocktail a very clean flavor.

As far as specific brands go, Patrón Silver is the crowd-pleaser of the margarita bunch – although it is a top-shelf tequila, on the pricier side. Some budget-friendly options that are still clean and smooth are Espolòn Blanco (fun bottle label!), 1800 Tequila Silver, and Casamigos.

Go here 👉 for more tequila drink recipes & tequila information!

A hand reaches to pick up a glass of classic margarita with more margaritas in the background.

How To Make A Margarita

See how to make a classic margarita below. If you want to make a larger quantity, I’ve included that info in the recipe card. You can find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.

  • Salt the rim (optional). I love a salted glass rim! Simply run the cut edge of a lime wedge around the rim of a glass, then dip the rim into a shallow dish of salt. Set the glass aside.
  • Add lime juice. Pour lime juice into a cocktail shaker or jar.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Then pour in the tequila and orange liqueur. If you like a bit of sweetness, add some simple syrup as well.
  • Chill. Add ice and cover the shaker tightly. Shake to perfectly chill and dilute the drink.
Lime slices float in glasses of classic margaritas.
  • Serve. Add fresh ice to the prepared glass, then strain the margarita into the glass. Garnish with fresh lime.
Glasses of classic margarita with lime slices floating in them.

Tips & Variations

I’ve stuck to the basics with this classic margarita recipe. Here are some of my best tips + a few ideas if you want to play around this recipe:

  • Use fresh lime juice. For a really great margarita, this truly is a must! This gives you the best, most authentic classic margarita experience. Skip the bottled lime juice and pre-made margarita mix.
  • Good quality liquors. In simple drinks like this classic margarita recipe, it’s all the more important to make each ingredient count. Good tequila and orange liqueur will give you the best margarita.
  • Salt the rim. I’ve listed this step as “optional” but I believe that every margarita deserves at least a partially dipped rim of salt. If you’ve never had a margarita with a salted rim, I encourage you to at least give it a try.
  • Add sweetness. Margarita purists would never add any kind of sweetener. But I do like to add just a little bit – usually 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of simple syrup. You can add as little or as much as you like.
  • Shake it, baby! Shaking the drink with ice not only chills it fantastically, but also dilutes it perfectly – otherwise the drink can be overly strong and puckery!
  • Add sparkling water. On summer evenings that are especially hot and humid, I like to make a tall, bubbly margarita. Fill a tall glass with ice, strain the margarita mixture over the ice, then top off the drink with chilled club soda or sparkling water.
  • Add prosecco. Another way to add some bubbles to a margarita is with my prosecco margaritas recipe. This has been a longtime popular recipe with readers, especially favored for weekend brunching!
  • Make ahead: Follow the directions in the recipe card (at the end of this post) for how to make a batch of margaritas in advance. This is great for entertaining, so the mess is cleared away and all you have to do is pour the drink into glasses when your guests arrive!

Serving Suggestions

Sip a margarita on its own – or pair it with other cocktails and/or nibbles!

Can You Make Margaritas In Advance?

Margaritas are a great cocktail choice for making in advance. Just stir it altogether and chill it in the fridge in a sealed container like a large mason jar or sealed pitcher. It’s important that you wait to add ice until you serve the drinks, however. Otherwise, the ice will dilute the cocktail as it sits in the fridge.

More Tequila Cocktail Recipes

Lime slices float in glasses of classic margaritas.

Classic Margarita

Yield: 1 drink
prep time: 5 minutes
total time: 5 minutes
Learn how to make a margarita with my quick and easy Classic Margarita recipe! With fresh lime juice, this tequila cocktail is crisp, tart, and refreshing – plus it's easily customizable.
4.7 Stars (15 Reviews)


For a Single Margarita:

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ounces blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur (such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec)
  • simple syrup, optional sweetener (see Notes below)
  • lime wedge and coarse salt, optional for rimming the glass

For a Pitcher of Margaritas (12 Drinks):

  • cups freshly squeezed lime juice
  • cups blanco tequila
  • cups orange liqueur
  • simple syrup, optional sweetener
  • lime wedge and coarse salt, optional for rimming the glasses


  • Salt the rim (optional):
    Fill a small shallow plate or bowl with coarse salt. Run the cut edge of the lime wedge around the rim of a 10 to 12-ounce glass, then dip the rim into the salt. Set aside.
  • Make the margarita:
    Add lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and (optional) simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Add ice to half-full. Cover and vigorously shake for 30 seconds to perfectly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Serve:
    Add ice to prepared glass and strain the margarita over the ice. Squeeze a fresh lime wedge over the top and add it to the drink. Enjoy!


To make a pitcher of margaritas (12 drinks): Add tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and a big handful of ice to a large pitcher. Stir for 30 seconds. Add simple syrup if desired. Pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish glasses with fresh lime wedges.
To make simple syrup: Simply boil equal parts water and sugar on the stovetop (I usually use 1 cup each), and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then keep it in a covered jar or bottle in the fridge – it'll last for at least a month!

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 328kcal Carbohydrates: 31g Sodium: 2mg Sugar: 29g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

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