This is the best classic homemade margarita recipe that will make you want to ditch the margarita mix forever! A margarita from scratch is so much easier than you might think – just three ingredients and a few quick tips, and you’re on your way to something truly delicious.

Whether you’re serving up a classic margarita for a fiesta or just any old Taco Tuesday celebration, this margarita will never steer you wrong. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, sour and salty… all the things a margarita should be!

Learn how to ditch the mix and make your own incredibly refreshing homemade margarita… one for yourself or a pitcher for a crowd!

A homemade margarita recipe served up in clear glasses with limes
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Some days just call for margaritas. And not just any margarita, but a fresh, made from scratch margarita. Truthfully, there is no substitute. I have yet to find a store bought mix that stands up to a fresh, homemade margarita.

Toss the margarita mixes aside and get ready for the best sip!  This classic margarita is our favorite and I know it will be yours, too!

I’m a bit of a self-declared margarita expert. In fact, I recently shared our margarita recipe collection to help you decide which flavor combination to tackle next. I can’t believe how many versions we’ve shared here over the years!

And psst… if you love margaritas as much as we do, you’ve got to try this incredible Cadillac margarita too.

Years ago, I thought I didn’t like margaritas because most are made with a sweet and sour mix. Once I had the real thing, I was hooked. It’s my reward for a great day, my consolation prize for a bad day, my every once in a while treat that I look forward to.

A homemade margarita recipe served up in clear glasses with limes

I’ve found that margaritas are so hit-and-miss that Chris and I will rarely try one unless it’s a tried and true restaurant. What makes the difference? Read on to find out!

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Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Fresh and minimal ingredients – The best part? I can make a pitcher of homemade margaritas in just 10 minutes!
  • Hit of every party
  • Perfect to serve with your favorite Tex-Mex foods
  • Easy to make one or a pitcher
A homemade margarita recipe served up in clear glasses with limes

We like to keep Simple Syrup and our favorite Margarita Mix bottled in the refrigerator. However, you can also purchase simple syrup at your grocery store.

I listed the ingredients as parts to make bigger batches, but if making a homemade margarita by the glass, consider them ounces. To be honest, I often just mix and taste.

Years ago, I decided that was irresponsible as a recipe developer, and measured and taste tested just for you! Who’s ready for Cinco de Mayo?

A hand holding a homemade margarita garnished with lime

Shopping List

  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • Simple Syrup
  • Tequila
A homemade margarita recipe served up in clear glasses with limes

Ingredients, Substitutions and Variations

You’ll need a little crushed ice, a splash of water, and then lime juice, simple syrup and tequila. That’s it!

  • Fresh lime juice – Purchasing bottled lime juice will do in a pinch, but fresh is best. I have a juicer attachment for my mixer that makes fresh juice a breeze, but I also frequently use bottled lime juice.
  • Simple syrup I’ll even let you purchase it at the grocery store, just anything but sweet and sour mix, please! For a skinny margarita, you can replace the simple syrup with agave.
  • Great tequila – Aim for a simple Silver Tequila bottle that is clean and refreshing. Or, read more in our tequila guide, linked below. Try with Mezcal or even vodka if you want to switch things up.
  • Add a little orange – Orange juice, Triple Sec or a splash of Orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier) make an excellent addition.

Learn More About Tequila

The Ultimate Tequila Guide

Tequila has come a long way, hasn’t it? Discover the keys to choosing the BEST tequila for margaritas, along with the simple distinction between añejo, reposado, gold and silver tequilas. Expensive tequila isn’t necessarily best for margaritas- learn why!  Read More

 

5 mins

Nugget Ice

If you want the ultimate crushed ice for your margaritas (or any drink!) check out our counter top ice maker. It’s the perfect soft ice for cocktails!

A homemade margarita recipe served up in clear glasses with limes

How to Make

  1. Combine tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup and water in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Then pour over a rimmed glass filled with crushed ice.
  3. Optional: garnish with a slice of lime and a lime salted rim.

How to Juice Limes

  1. The easiest way to juice limes is to start with citrus at room temperature.
  2. Roll the lemon or orange with the palm of your hand on a cutting board or countertop to soften it.
  3. Slice it in half lengthwise. Juice by hand, use a hand-held juicer or the citrus attachment on your mixer.

Rim a Margarita Glass

  • Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a glass.
  • Dip in thick flakes of kosher salt or margarita salt.
A homemade margarita recipe served up in clear glasses with limes
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Tips

  • Crushed Ice – Sometimes, it’s the little things. While crushed ice is not necessary for a margarita, it really makes such a difference!
  • Fresh Juice – Of course you can buy bottled lime juice in the produce section. But you’ll be so glad you went to the extra step of squeezing the limes, and it’s easy to make the juice ahead for Margarita Mix and store it before a party!
  • Note – On average, 1 lime makes about 2 tablespoons juice.
  • Shake – A cocktail shaker can be a fun change. It’s a bit more formal for shaking or stirring your margarita.

How to Make Frozen Margaritas

  • Blend all ingredients together on high. Wait until it reaches the desired frothy consistency. Add more ice or even a little fruit puree like this Mango Margarita if desired.
  • Pour into a glass rimmed with salt and serve!
a pitcher of homemade margaritas

How to Make a Pitcher (Serves 8)

  • 3 cups tequila
  • 2 cups fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 cups simple syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cups crushed ice

Host a Margarita Bar

Learn how to set up a Margarita Bar for the ultimate fiesta! Guests can serve themselves and customize each cocktail.

Margarita Bar

Learn how to set up a Margarita Bar for fun and effortless entertaining. A margarita bar is perfect for Cinco de Mayo, summertime holidays and events. Read More

15 mins

How to Store

  • Refrigerate – Make up to two days ahead, cover and refrigerate.
  • Freeze – Make a frozen margarita. Simply freeze to make it slushy. Store in an airtight container up to three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Triple Sec necessary for margaritas?

Triple sec is an orange liqueur that is sweet, bitter and fruity. While it’s a great addition to a homemade margarita, it’s not necessary!

Do you have to use tequila in margaritas?

While it’s the traditional liquor added to the best margarita recipes, it’s certainly not a hard and fast rule! Try vodka, rum or gin in place of tequila if those are your favorites.

A homemade margarita recipe served up in clear glasses with limes

More Margaritas

margarita recipe collection
A homemade margarita recipe served up in clear glasses with limes
5 from 54 votes
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Homemade Margarita

The best Homemade Margarita recipe that will make you want to ditch the margarita mix forever!
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
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Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Whisk or shake tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and water.
  • Pour over crushed ice into a salt rimmed glass.

Julie’s Tips

Tips

  • If at all possible, use crushed ice.
  • Note: On average, 1 lime makes about 2 tablespoons juice.
  • Tequila – Some of my favorite tequilas are Altos, Patron, Casamigos, and Camarena. 
  • Lime Juice – Fresh squeezed lime juice offers the best flavor, however, you can use 100% real lime juice found in the juice aisle of your grocery store. 

Variations

  • Make it Frozen – Blend ingredients in a blender along with frozen watermelon or mango cubes and ice.

How to Juice Limes

  1. Start with citrus at room temperature.
  2. Roll the lemon or orange with the palm of your hand on a cutting board or countertop to soften it.
  3. Slice it in half lengthwise.
  4. Juice by hand, use a hand-held juicer or the citrus attachment on your mixer.
 

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Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 28IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 2mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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5 from 54 votes (26 ratings without comment)

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44 Comments

  1. Hi Julie!
    For the novice like myself.. Can you help me with measurements equal to “parts”… Let’s say I’d like to make a pitcher to share.. 1part=1cup?
    Thank you!!!

    1. Of course – part just means to use the same amount of each, 1 cup is a great reference. Cheers!