Classic margarita cocktail
- June 2021
- Makes 1
- Takes 5 minutes to make
Learn how to make a perfect classic margarita cocktail with our easy recipe. Plus discover how to scale up this classic Mexican tequila drink to serve a crowd.
- 7.7g (7.7g sugars)
- 60ml good quality tequila
- 45ml fresh lime juice
- 30ml orange liqueur (Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec)
- 1 cup crushed ice, plus extra to serve (optional)
- 1 lime wedge to serve
- Fine sea salt to serve
- Put the crushed ice in a cocktail shaker, then pour over the tequila, lime juice and Grand Marnier. Secure the lid and shake vigorously for 1 minute.
- Sweep the lime wedge around the rim of a cocktail or lowball glass to moisten the edge with a little lime juice. Dip the rim of the glass into fine salt and shake off excess. Strain the margarita into the prepared glass, filled with fresh crushed ice if you like. Serve garnished with the lime wedge.
Scale up: For easy entertaining, opt for a pitcher version to serve a party of 6. Fill a jug with crushed ice, 2 sliced limes and 1 sliced orange. Pour in 350ml tequila, 270ml fresh lime juice and 180ml Grand Marnier, then stir to combine. Let the pitcher sit for 5 minutes to allow the ice to melt a little, stir again, then pour into 6 salt-rimmed glasses filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a wedge of lime of you like.
Tequila’s name is derived from the town of Tequila northwest of Guadalajara in Mexico where the spirit originated and legally it can only be made in just a few places close to the town.
The spirit is distilled from the blue agave plant (agave azul) and there are two distinct grades, those made from 100% fermented agave juice and a lower end version that must be made from at least 51% agave (the rest is made up with other less expensive ingredients such as molasses and corn syrup).
For cocktail making you don’t need one that’s super expensive – save that for sipping or in more robust cocktails – but they can vary in taste and quality here’s a quick guide to help decipher the label:
Blanco or plata (white/silver): bottled after distillation or up to 2 months in stainless steel or briefly in oak barrels.
Oro (gold): can be a blend with older aged tequila, but the colour most often comes from added colouring.
Reposado (rested): must be aged in oak barrels for minimum of 2 to a maximum of 12 months.
Añejo: rested in oak casks for 1-3 years; you’ll notice a distinctly smoky character.
Curados: flavoured tequilas, such as strawberry, lemon or watermelon.
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