How to make the perfect Margarita in 4 steps

If I could only drink one cocktail for the rest of my life, it would be a margarita. They’re fresh, flavoursome and if I have 3 or less, I find I manage to stay hangover free. There are so many versions of this cocktail, but my order is always a classic lime margarita with a salt rim. I recently invited top Mixologists at The Mixer to contribute a special guest post for me, all about  how to make the perfect margarita with their classic margarita recipe. My gift from one margarita-loving human to another. Cheers! 

Woman holding up Margarita with purple nails

Easy step-by-step Classic Margarita recipe

An Intro to Margaritas 

There’s a reason the classic Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world; its enduring popularity lies in its flexibility. In its original form it’s a classic sour made with tequila, lime, and orange liqueur, and often finished with a salt rim. However, these ingredients can also be swapped out to create new flavour profiles – offering plenty of opportunities to get creative. The Margarita is like an iconic celebrity; constantly experimenting with different looks yet always remaining true to its core. 

There’s nothing subtle about the classic Lime Margarita, the delicious combination of the following elements makes it hard to resist:

  • Strong – traditionally, tequila is used to give the Margarita its kick, but other agave distillates can give your drink a smoky twist.
  • Sour – lemon or lime juice, the most popular sour agents, are what bring the acidity. Lime juice is tart, bright, and the perfect pairing for the spice and citrus notes of tequilas and mezcal.
  • Sweet – the Margarita is a sour that’s sweetened with a liqueur, orange liqueur specifically, though many popular variations include other sweeteners.
  • Salty – often a salt rim helps to enhance the taste and elevate the flavours of a Margarita, but it can also be mixed in the drink or sprinkled on top. There are many different kinds of salt and they all bring something different to your drink: coarse sea salt (avoid fine salt for drinks), kosher salt, volcanic black salt, Himalayan pink salt, chilli salt etc.

Margarita on Good Spirits Regal princess cruise ship

Easy step-by-step Classic Margarita recipe

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 8 Oz Blanco Tequila – ideally choose a Blanco tequila made from 100% Blue Weber agave as this will deliver a balanced taste.
  • 4 Tablespoons Grand Marnier – this is our favourite orange liqueur; the blend of Cognac, candied bitter green oranges, caramelized sugar and vanilla work so well with the other flavours.
  • 4 Oz Lime juice, freshly squeezed  
  • 4 Tablespoons Agave syrup  
  • Lime wedges and salt to garnish   
  • Ice 


  1. Choose your glassyou can serve your Margarita in a rocks glass or a classic double-bowl margarita glass, which has the benefit of a nice sturdy lip, making it easier to add the salt rim. Top tip: A perfectly frosty shaken Lime Margarita is a thing of beauty. Pop your glasses in the freezer about ten minutes before serving up your cocktails.   
  2. Make your salt rimpour your chosen salt onto a plate, rub the side of a lime wedge against the outside lip of your glass and gently roll the edge against the salt on the plate. Try to keep the salt on the outside edge of the glass so it doesn’t fall in your drink. Top tip: Add a little lime zest to the salt; it looks very pretty and adds a little zing to your serve.  
  3. Mix it up – add the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled. 
  4. Serve – strain into your glasses over fresh ice, then garnish each with a lime wedge.

Top tip: For larger groups, you could serve your Margaritas in a pitcher, it’s one of the best cocktails to be enjoyed with a group. This recipe can be pre-prepared in a pitcher for a group serve and kept in the fridge. Remember to add lots of ice for proper dilution.

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Margarita cocktail and menu at WC Newcastle

Jessica Ruth Gibson is the Founder and Editor of Travelista and an award-winning travel content creator of 10 years. She lives in York, UK with her son and has travelled to over 50 countries; her favourites being Italy, Canada and Vietnam.


  • The way you describe the Margarita as an “iconic celebrity” experimenting with different looks while staying true to its core is a delightful analogy. It truly is a versatile cocktail. Your recipe is spot-on, and I appreciate the tip about frosting the glasses before serving. It’s those little details that elevate a Margarita from good to extraordinary. And adding a bit of lime zest to the salt rim for that extra zing? Genius!

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful classic Margarita recipe and all these insightful tips. You’ve made me want to try my hand at bartending and whip up some perfect Margaritas for my next get-together with friends.


  • Karen Hutzcal

    My favorite is a frozen margarita with alot of chipped ice. I like lime but at times will have a strawberry or other flavor.

    I’ll have afew tomorrow as going to a highschool reunion that’s organized by brothers that were on many sports teams at school. It’s being held at a pub so good bar service. They’ll be people from various teams, cheerleaders and fans! Going to be fun!

    In 2024 it will be our 50th highschool reunion! I’ve gone to all starting at the 10th and every 5 years after. They’re now held only 5 minutes from my house in the community league hall.

    Cheers Jess!
    Karen Hutzcal

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