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How to Make a Margarita – The BEST Recipe!

Want to make the best homemade margarita? This easy Margarita recipe only needs 5 ingredients and tastes like a professionally made cocktail. You can make it a single serving margarita, turn it into a pitcher margarita for a crowd, or even make frozen margaritas!

Your Ultimate Homemade Margarita Guide

Happy Margarita Monday! I’m pretty sure I need to start every week like this. No more Meatless Monday, I think Margarita Monday has a much better ring to it, don’t you!? AND it will get us through the rest of the week worry free! Can I get an amen!

If you’ve ever wondered how to make a margarita, this post is for you. I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about Margaritas – this recipe is the perfect combination of zesty and sweet! Almost as if you’ve never made one before! From “how to” basics, to margarita flavor variations, or how to make margaritas in a pitcher. I’m even going to show you how to make a frozen margarita!

bottles of grand marnier and don julio in front of pitchers of margarita

What is a Margarita?

A margarita is a mixed drink cocktail made with tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and a sweetener. The drink can be served served shaken with ice, blended with ice, or without ice. Some people like to add salt on the rim of the glass, but you can do it without if you’d like. There are so many variation options that you can truly make this easy cocktail your own.

Helpful Tools

You don’t need much to make margaritas at home, but these tools are helpful to have on hand:

  • Liquid Measuring Tools: A shot glass or a jigger to measure the liquid is great. If you are making it in pitcher form I’d recommend a regular measuring cup.
  • Citrus Squeezer: Because you will be using fresh squeezed limes instead of a mix, you’ll definitely want to have a lime squeezer on hand. It’s a life saver, trust me.
  • Cocktail Shaker: To really get that shaken foamy effect, pouring all of your ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice then pouring into a glass is key! It’s not quite the same to just stir it around.
  • Cocktail Rimmer: This isn’t mandatory but it is helpful. If you like to put salt on the rim of your margarita this helpful gadget is nice to have and make it’s way easier to salt the rim of your glass. Otherwise you can do it the old fashion way. 
  • Pitcher: If you’re making it in a pitcher you’ll need a large glass pitcher as well as a long bar spoon to stir everything together for a good smooth margarita.

Must Haves When Stocking Your Bar

What’s in a Margarita?

This simple margarita recipe only needs a handful of classic ingredients:

  • Tequila: The biggest thing I can’t emphasis enough, use a good tequila! It was make your margarita that much better and smoother. (Some of the best tequila brands for margaritas are Don Julio, Patron Silver, Herradura)
  • Orange Liqueur: For the perfect touch of orange to take your margarita over the top. (Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Triple Sec)
  • Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice. Don’t use bottled lime juice, your margarita won’t taste the same.
  • Orange Juice: This is not necessary but I’ve found it smoothes out the tang from the lime juice and bite you can sometimes get from tequila.
  • Sweetener: Lots of people use a homemade simple syrup, however I prefer to just use agave. After all tequila and agave go to, they are made from the same plant. 🙂 
  • Ice
pitcher pouring margarita, a glass rim being salted and glasses with margarita and lime wedges

How To Salt a Rim

Add course salt to a shallow rimmed plate, then add lime juice to a shallow bowl. Dunk the rim of your glass in the lime juice first then in the salt. Voila. You could also use a cocktail rimmer set that has a holder for both the lime juice and salt in the shape of a glass rim for ease.

pouring margarita into a glass

How to Make a Margarita

Making cocktails at home can seem intimidating, but it is so easy to make a homemade margarita you won’t believe it. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Mix ingredients: Add 2 oz. tequila, 1/2 oz. orange liqueur, 1 oz. lime juice, 3/4 oz. orange juice and a splash of agave nectar to a cocktail shaker along with ice. Gently shake with the top on for 30 seconds.
  2. Serve: Pour mixture into a salt rimmed glass (option) and serve.

That’s it!

a pitcher full of a margarita drink

How to Make a Pitcher of Margaritas

Let’s be honest. If you’re having a party, you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen shaking drinks all night. So the next best option is making a pitcher to your guests can serve themselves! Here’s an easy recipe that makes 8 servings! (need more, just double it, triple it, etc.)

  1. Mix ingredients: To a large pitcher add 2 cups of tequila, 1/2 cup orange liqueur, 1 cup of fresh lime juice, 3/4 cup of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of agave nectar. Mix together with a large bar spoon.
  2. Serve: Pour mixture over salt rimmed glasses filled with ice.


glasses filled with classic margaritas

How to Make a Frozen Margarita

To get that perfect slushy texture you’ll want to follow these simple instructions on how to make a frozen margarita from home. (This recipe serves 6)

  1. Combine ingredients: To a blender add 1 cup of tequila, 1/2 cup orange liqueur, 3/4 cup lime juice, 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons agave nectar and 6 cups of ice.
  2. Blend until mixture is slushy and pour into salt rimmed glasses.
  3. Garnish with lime wedge.

Variation Ideas

Now that we’ve covered the essentials of how to make a margarita, it’s time to start playing with variation ideas!

Serving Suggestions

Ok so you’ve got your homemade margarita – what do you eat with it? Here are some suggestions:

I hope this post answered all your questions about how to make a margarita from scratch! May you enjoy many Margarita Mondays!

a glass filled with a classic margarita

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close up photo of a glass filled with a classic margarita

Easy Margarita Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 margarita 1x
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Cocktail Shaker
  • Cuisine: South American


Making The Ultimate Classic Margarita is easier than you think – only 5 ingredients and you’re in margarita heaven! This easy cocktail recipe is a winner every time!



Single Serving:

  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 1/2 oz. orange liqueur
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. fresh orange juice
  • splash of agave nectar
  • ice cubes

Pitcher for a Crowd (makes 8 servings)

  • 2 cups of tequila
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar


Single Serving:

  1. Add tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, orange juice agave nectar, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake for 30 seconds.
  2. Pour mixture over ice and serve.

Pitcher for a Crowd:

  1. To a large pitcher add 2 cups of tequila, 1/2 cup orange liqueur, 1 cup of fresh lime juice, 3/4 cup of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of agave nectar. Mix together with a large bar spoon.
  2. Pour mixture over salt rimmed glasses filled with ice.


  • Serving Size: 1 cocktail
  • Calories: 208
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Sodium: 3 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g

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11 comments on “How to Make a Margarita – The BEST Recipe!”

  1. This is the best margarita recipe I’ve ever made! Just make sure to use a good quality tequila. Many thanks Krista, I’m in trouble now…

  2. Avatar photo
    Carole from Carole's Chatter

    Krista, all your cocktail recipes look fantastic – I hope you’ll bring some of them over to Food on Friday: Cocktails/Mocktails over at Carole’s Chatter. Cheers

  3. It’s National Margarita Day?? How did I miss that? Dang, too bad I don’t have limes! Good thing I have some of that Don Julio (the best tequila!!) in the freezer. Will have the hubs stop by the store tonight for limes! Cheers!

    1. woohoo!!! Girl, I almost missed it! Definitely tell your hubbie to pick up those limes. 🙂 Best way to celebrate Monday!

  4. Avatar photo
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps

    Yes please!!!! I can’t tell you how much I despise those pre-made margarita mixes. Ugh. I actually thought I didn’t like margaritas because of them…and then I had a “real” one. Ahhhh so good!

    1. ME TOOO!!!! But then I finally a good one with good tequila and my world was changed. 🙂 Hope you are doing well sweet girl! Miss you!