Homemade Margarita

LAST UPDATED: May 05, 2021 | PUBLISHED: May 05, 2021 | By:

This is the best 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 Cinco de Mayo 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!

clear glasses full of a margarita from scratch, garnished with lime and lime wedges to the side.

Originally published April 25, 2016 and updated with fresh content and photos May 5, 2021.

Let’s be honest, some Mondays call for margaritas and not just any margarita, but a fresh, made from {almost} scratch margarita. Truthfully, there is no substitute. I have yet to find a 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 recently wrote a complete margarita guide to help you decide which flavor combination to tackle next. 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 clear glass with a homemade margarita, rimmed with salt and a slice of lime on a white background.

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!

Why You’ll Love this Homemade Margarita Recipe

  • Fresh and Minimal Ingredients
  • Hit of Every Party
  • Perfect to Serve with Your Favorite Mexican Foods
  • Easy to Make One or a Pitcher
A clear glass with a homemade margarita, rimmed with salt and a slice of lime on a white background.

The best part? I can make a pitcher of homemade margaritas in just 10 minutes!

While we often keep Simple Syrup and our favorite Margarita Mix bottled in the refrigerator to mix up a 60 second margarita since Chris frequently requests them, 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…I decided that was irresponsible blogging and measured and taste tested just for you!

Who’s ready for Cinco de Mayo?

A clear glass with a homemade margarita, rimmed with salt and a slice of lime on a white background.

Homemade Margarita Ingredients

  • Crushed ice – So simple, but really makes a significant difference.
  • Fresh lime juice – Okay, just purchasing 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. Either way it’s significantly better than a mix.
  • Simple syrupand it’s simple to make. I’ll even let you purchase it at the grocery store, just anything but sweet and sour mix, please!
  • Great tequila – The tequila you choose can enhance or detract from the flavor, so aim for a simple Silver Tequila bottle that is clean and refreshing. Be sure to check out my handy tequila guide to make sure you’re choosing the right tequila for your margaritas! 

Variations

  • Add a little orange – Orange juice, Triple Sec or a splash of Orange liqueur like Cointreau or Grand Marnier make an excellent addition.
  • A splash of Agave – creates even more sweetness, or you can use it to replace the simple syrup in this recipe.
  • Try with Mezcal or even Vodka – There are no rules! Who says a margarita must be made with tequila? Traditionally, yes… but if you like a different spirit, give it a try.
  • Make it Skinny – Click through for my best tips for a Skinny Margarita! You’ll take the calories in this classic cocktail down by more than half!
clear glasses full of a margarita from scratch, garnished with lime and lime wedges to the side.

How to Make a Homemade Margarita

  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.

How to Rim a Margarita Glass

  • Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a glass.
  • Dip in thick flakes of kosher salt or margarita salt.
clear glasses full of a margarita from scratch, garnished with lime and lime wedges to the side.

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 premade 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!
  • Quality Tequila – This really does make a world of difference. Don’t skip my complete Tequila Guide for all the best options!
  • 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

Some like it – coooooold!

  • 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!

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

Margarita Bar

You can serve up your homemade margaritas on a margarita bar for easy entertaining. It makes it convenient for guests to create their own Margarita from scratch while you kick back to enjoy your own.

Simply offer an array of pretty purees, tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice and agave – wrapped up in a beautiful bar.

A clear glass pitcher full of homemade margaritas, sliced limes and ice.

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 clear glass with a homemade margarita, rimmed with salt and a slice of lime on a white background.

You can see how easy it is to make amazing Margaritas in the video below!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five star review and leave a comment to help other readers. I appreciate it so much, and I know others do, too!

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More Margarita Recipes

A clear glass with a homemade margarita, rimmed with salt and a slice of lime on a white background, lime wedges to the side.

Homemade Margarita

Author: Julie Blanner
The best Homemade Margarita recipe that will make you want to ditch the margarita mix forever!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 1
Calories 363 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • crushed ice
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 1 ounce water

Instructions
 

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

Video

Notes

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.
 

Nutrition

Calories:363kcalCarbohydrates:46gProtein:1gFat:1gSodium:37mgPotassium:104mgFiber:1gSugar:42gVitamin A:28IUVitamin C:17mgCalcium:17mgIron:2mg
5 from 10 votes
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
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