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Classic Margarita

If you’re looking for an iconic, classic tequila cocktail, a margarita has no rival.

Time to make: 10 minutesServes: 1*
Pool Party Justbecause Enjoyed Pitcher Of Marg 0029

Sweet and tart, simple yet complex, you can't go wrong with the classic margarita. Try your hand at this simple and refreshing-tasting cocktail perfect by the pool, at your home bar or to complement taco night. To serve up just the right margarita, check out our blanco tequila classic margarita recipe.

Classic Marg (5)

Ingredients

  • 1.4 oz. Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 0.68 oz. Orange Liqueur
  • 0.68 oz. fresh Lime Juice
  • 0.34 oz. Sugar Syrup
  • Salt and Lime for Garnish

*Approximate serving size is 1.25 servings. Please enjoy responsibly.

Classic Marg (4)

Directions

  1. If desired, wet the rim of a margarita or rocks glass using a lime wedge or lime juice in a dish. Dip in salt and set aside.
  2. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Shake until thoroughly chilled and strain into the prepped margarita or rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.

What’s in a margarita?

The classic margarita is composed of tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur – although the orange liqueur is often swapped out for other sweet citrus syrups or liqueurs. You’ll find plenty of variations (many of them here on The Bar), but these three base ingredients constitute what is generally considered a margarita. 

 

Margaritas are usually made with blanco tequila. Blanco tequila, also called silver or white tequila, is a clear spirit that is distilled and bottled without aging. Blanco has a sweet, fruity flavor and tends to have the strongest agave taste compared to other types of tequila. This flavor combo makes it the most common type of tequila used for cocktails. 

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What does the classic margarita taste like?

Margaritas are tangy, sour and slightly sweet. Salt cuts through the bitterness of lime and tequila to make the drink even more refreshing. 

 

Sour and slightly sweet

Lime juice provides the classic lime flavor of a margarita. 

 

Tangy

Orange liqueur adds a citrus taste, balanced by the sweetness of agave or honey. Whether you use the classic orange liqueur or a blend of OJ and simple or honey syrup, this element of the margarita gives the sweet and citrus flavor the cocktail needs. 

 

Opt for top-shelf blanco tequila

Blanco tequila provides the signature tequila kick and agave flavor. The better the tequila, the better the margarita. We recommend a high-quality spirit like Casamigos Blanco Tequila or Don Julio Blanco Tequila

 

Top it all off with salt

A salted rim cuts through bitterness and elevates flavor. Add sugar and orange zest for even more flavor. 

Want to honor the tradition of customizing the margarita?

We have a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. 

For a lime-y, true blanco drink

Don’t want orange? Don’t you worry. Simply leave out the orange juice or orange liqueur and use 0.5 oz. rather than 0.25 oz. of agave nectar, simple syrup or honey syrup.  

 

For a quicker serve

No time for fresh orange juice? No agave nectar or syrups on hand? Increase the amount of orange liqueur to 0.75 oz. Have juice, but no agave nectar? That’s still okay. You can substitute in simple syrup or honey syrup for agave nectar. The taste will be sweeter than agave, but many margarita recipes use syrups instead. 

 

If you don’t have simple syrup

No agave nectar and no simple or honey syrup? We still have your back. Mix one-part sugar with one-part hot water or mix two-parts honey with one-part hot water. Stir to dissolve, then let cool.  

 

Switch up the spirits

The classic margarita uses blanco tequila, but if you want a deeper flavor with notes of vanilla, oak and caramel tones, try replacing blanco with reposado. Reposado tequila is aged between two and twelve months, which adds more of the flavor of oak casks. Choose from our selection of high-quality reposado bottles on The Bar. 

Pitcher Of Margarita By The Pool
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Where did the margarita come from?

One popular story goes that the drink was created in 1938 for a famous dancer/actress, who didn’t like the taste of tequila on its own. A local restaurant owner in Tijuana, Mexico, mixed salt and lime juice—the ingredients used for a tequila shot—into a drink with tequila to create an early version of the margarita.  

 

But this isn’t the only origin story. A Dallas socialite claimed that she concocted the drink for a group of her friends while vacationing in Acapulco in 1948. According to her account, it spread when her hotel owner friend put the cocktail on the bar menu at a popular hotel chain. But considering a popular tequila brand already had an ad campaign running for margaritas by then, she was not the first to do it.

 

Tales abound of bartenders concocting the drink and naming it in honor of women by the same name. One story goes that in 1941, a bartender was experimenting with cocktail recipes in  Mexico when the daughter of a German ambassador visited his bar. He invited her to taste the cocktail he was currently experimenting with—you guessed it, the margarita—and named the drink in her honor. 

 

But the real origin of the margarita may be a lot less personal. The Daisy was a popular cocktail during the Prohibition. The word for “daisy” in Spanish? Margarita.  The Daisy cocktail and the classic margarita differ only in spirit used. The Daisy was brandy-based, and the margarita is made with tequila. Considering the popularity of the margarita today, it appears the swap was a good one. 

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Get in the mix

Love this recipe? Shaking up cocktails at your next soiree? We'd love to see it. Follow us on Instagram and tag @thebardotcom to show us your serve.

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