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The Best Margarita Recipe

4.94 from 30 votes

posted: 05/04/20

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This is hands down the BEST Margarita Recipe. With it’s easy to find ingredients and perfect flavor, you will leave all the other recipes behind. We have instructions to make one cocktail or a whole pitcher!

up close straight on view of a tumbler full of a margarita on ice with a salted rim and a lime wedge, two blurred margaritas int he background on a galvanized metal and wooden tray

This Margarita Recipe has been on my site for many years and has lots of great reviews. I thought now would be a good time to give it a facelift on the eve of such an important day . . . . Cinco de Mayo meets Taco Tuesday.

This is a recipe that was passed to me by a dear friend who got it from her mom, who got it from an aunt. There is a reason it is a family treasure – it is truly the best. Read the reviews on this guy and then make it for yourself!

clear mason jar full of homemade sweet and sour mix with limes and lemons around it on marble counter top

Margarita Ingredients

There is a secret ingredient that puts this recipe above the rest: Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix. Sweet and Sour Mix is nothing more than simple syrup and fresh lemon and lime juice. But making it from scratch is what makes this margarita truly amazing. One batch will make 12 margaritas or two pitchers!

I have a whole post about the ins and outs of Sweet and Sour and how long it will keep, so be sure to check it out.

In addition you will need:

  • Quality Tequila
  • Triple Sec

That is it, my friends. A simple three ingredient recipe that is out of this world.

glass pitcher with a straw outside holder that has homemade margaritas in it

How to Make a Margarita

Start this recipe the day before you want to serve it by making the homemade sweet and sour mix. You will want to give it time to cool before making the margaritas. At the very least, give yourself four hours lead time.

Then you just need to combine:

  • 2 parts tequila
  • 2 parts sweet and sour mix
  • 1 part cointreau
a glass pitcher pouring the best margarita recipe into a glass filled with ice with a salted rim and a lime wedge on the rim, another margarita blurred in the background

Quality Tequila

When looking for tequila, you want to look for one that is made from 100% agave (the plant that tequila is made from). Alternatives combine agave and sugar, making a hang over more likely.

Here are three silver tequilas that are well rated (though obviously opinions vary) and have a range of prices. Hopefully this is something for everyone.

  • Patrón is the higher end option.
  • Milagro is the mid range option.
  • Jose Cuervo is the bottom range option (make sure you buy the 100% agave bottle).

Triple Sec

Every good margarita needs some triple sec. Triple Sec is a sweet orange flavored liqueur. You have three options when it comes to triple sec: plain old triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand Mariner.

Cointreau does the same job as triple sec with a higher alcohol content and better flavor.

Grand Mariner is also delicious and makes an elevated homemade margarita, but also contains cognac. It’s alcohol content is similar to Cointreau.

The choice is yours.

overhead view of three tumblers with margarita recipe in them, ice, salted rims, lime wedges on a wooden tray that has salt around it and three lime wedges

Salt Rim

You can go with salt or sugar on your rim, but I think a salt rim is best with this recipe. To do that:

  1. Pour kosher salt onto a plate.
  2. Use a lime wedge to coat the rim of the glass in lime juice. (I find it best to give it a tiny cut first.)
  3. Dip the rim of the glass as well as the edge of the cup in the salt.
three small tumblers filled with a margarita recipe with salted rims and lime wedges on a wooden tray that has a galvanized metal rim with three lime wedges and lots of spilled kosher salt on the tray

Other Great Margarita Recipes

If you like this base for a margarita recipe, you can go forth and make other great recipes. Like:

Great Recipes to Serve with Margaritas

If you are having a party where you are making a pitcher of my margaritas, then make some of these great dishes too!

If you make this great margarita recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

up close straight on view of a tumbler full of a margarita on ice with a salted rim and a lime wedge, two blurred margaritas int he background on a galvanized metal and wooden tray
4.94 from 30 votes

The Best Margarita Recipe

Serves: 6 margaritas
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
This is hands down the BEST Margarita Recipe. With it's easy to find ingredients, and perfect flavor, you will leave all the other recipes behind. We have instructions to make one cocktail or a whole pitcher!


One Margarita

  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz sweet and sour
  • 3/4 oz triple sec

Pitcher of Margaritas (6 margaritas)

Sweet and Sour Mix (makes 3 1/2 cups, enough for two pitchers)

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice about 5 – 7 small limes
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice about 2 medium lemons


To Make Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix

  • Simmer 2 cups of water and 1 cup of granulated sugar over medium heat until it is fully dissolved. Pour it into a jar and let it come to room temperature.
  • Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 1/2 cup lime juice to the cooled sugar mixture.
  • Store it in a sealed container for a week or for up to a month in the freezer.

To Make a Pitcher of Margaritas

  • Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and serve over ice.

To Make a Single Margarita

  • Pour the ingredients over ice and stir gently.

How to Garnish a Margarita Glass

  • Cut a small slice in a lime wedge and rub it gnerously around the edge of the glass.
  • Pour kosher salt onto a plate and dip the glass, and the upper edge of the sides of the glass in the salt.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: cocktails
Cuisine: Mexican
The Best Margarita Recipe
up close straight on view of a tumbler full of a margarita on ice with a salted rim and a lime wedge, two blurred margaritas int he background on a galvanized metal and wooden tray

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The Best Margarita Recipe

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Matt Robinson says

    It’s summer, so I’m always on the hunt for a good margarita recipe. Looks like I need to try this one!

  2. Crystal says

    These truly were THE BEST margaritas! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Also, where are your glasses from, love them!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you like them! Oh man, we have like three million glasses. I think these ones were from Pier 1. I love them too!

  3. Sarah says

    Hello, you say the tequila should be made from 100% agave, but the one you used in your video isn’t, is that correct? I don’t think Jose Cuervo Especial Gold is made from 100% agave. Please clarify. Thanks!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Good catch Sarah! The video was made before the recipe was reworked and updated.

  4. Ali Lapp says

    What would you do to make a ‘virgin’ margarita?

    • Lisa Longley says

      That is a tough question because triple sec and tequila both have alcohol and both are pretty key ingredients here to get the flavor you’d want. You could use this recipe for the Sweet and Sour Mix, and then combine that with a brand of non alcoholic tequila and a squirt of orange juice. That is probably what I would do.

  5. Lynn Holland says

    Just made your margaritas. Sooo good. Thanks!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you liked them, Lynn! Thank you for taking the time to come back and let me know!

  6. Marie Mancini says

    I love the Margarita recipe. I will make some this weekend. It’s my favorite drink! Thanks.

    • Lisa Longley says

      You are very welcome!

  7. Susan says

    5 stars
    This was great and will make it again!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked it!

  8. Michele says

    5 stars
    Made a pitcher (or two!) of these margaritas for a party and they were a huge hit. Love the homemade sweet and sour mix. Thank you…this is my new go-to margarita recipe.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad that you liked it!

  9. Sarah W says

    5 stars
    Your website, recipes, cocktails, and write ups enhance my life in ways I can’t communicate with five stars. I have been a faithful follower for several years now. You are my go-to gal for everything food and drink! Thank you.

  10. Elise says

    5 stars
    thank you for this recipe. just in time for my cinco de mayo party. i was looking for the right ratio and finally found it! my margs had been tasting just wrong and this cleared up everything. I was using a 3:2:1 of tequila, triple sec and lime juice/simple syrup, but this is so much better. it was simply too much triple sec. To this basic recipe I added 3 TBSP of pureed frozen strawberries/mangoes/cherries (with enough orange-peach-mango juice to blend) and rimmed the glass with Tajin and FINALLY knew I had something I could serve to a group. Thank you so much not only for the recipe but for the juice hack to nuke the citrus 10 seconds and roll. Is it possible to nuke all the lemons and limes together? and if so, for how long? thank you again!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yup! I nuke them together all the time and do about 30 seconds for like 4 lemons/limes. And you might love this recipe too: Strawberry Mango Margaritas.

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