Your Guide to Making the Best Margaritas

LAST UPDATED: Sep 18, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Apr 16, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

A Margarita from scratch is one of the great classic cocktails that anyone can make! Learn about all the flavors and techniques for everything from a margarita on the rocks to dessert style margarita recipes with sorbet. There’s a recipe for everyone in this incredible homemade margarita guide!

A fresh cocktail on the rocks with a slice of lime for garnish.

I love a fresh, vibrant cocktail… maybe as much or more than I love a glass of wine. There’s just something so special and festive about shaking, mixing, stirring and creating. It’s so satisfying!

Around here, we celebrate Cinco de Mayo all year long. I don’t need a holiday to mix up an incredible homemade margarita on the rocks! 

However, many of us are still spending quality time at home and Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching. I thought it would be fitting (and FUN!) to do a margarita round-up to go along with all of my reader-favorite Tex Mex recipes! 

A white tray with three glasses filled with ice, one filled with a margarita on the rocks, lime slices to the side.

If you haven’t tried my recipes for the best beef tacos, bean dip, chicken enchiladas, and this chorizo burrito breakfast casserole, you’re truly missing out! You can even find a full Cinco de Mayo menu to help with planning a big family fun fiesta night. 

I’m also bringing you a comprehensive guide to choosing the best tequila for margaritas, so these posts go hand in hand! 

A hand pouring liquor into a glass of a made from scratch margarita.

Margarita from Scratch

A classic margarita is always fresh, flavorful and delicious. Those vibrant flavors just can’t be captured in a bottled margarita mix! Not only is it more satisfying to make your own, but you’ll have control over each and every addition.

Want to save a few calories but keep all that yummy fresh lime juice flavor? You’ll find a skinny margarita recipe here. Want more of a dessert cocktail? I’ve got those, too! 

Any margarita craving you might have, there’s a recipe for that- and it’s always better when it’s homemade. Skip the mix and let’s get the cocktail shaker out! Are you ready?   

A copper cocktail shaker in the foreground with all the ingredients for margaritas from scratch surrounding.

What is in a Homemade Margarita on the Rocks?

Most scratch-made margaritas start with a few simple ingredients. Of course, there are so many variations and ways to enhance your experience, too! My favorite classic margarita will start with the following ingredients: 

  • Fresh lime juice. Okay, just purchasing lime juice will do. 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.A wooden cutting board with a knife slicing small limes for fresh margaritas from scratch.
  • Simple syrup, and it’s so simple to make. I’ll even let you purchase it at the store, just anything but sweet and sour mix, please!
  • Great tequila. The tequila you choose can enhance or detract from the flavor. In fact, what many people don’t know is that often, the more expensive tequilas are NOT the ones you want for a margarita. Find out why in my tequila guide! 
White surface, copper cocktail shaker filled with ice.

And my FAVORITE secret ingredient for enhancing a margarita from scratch? 

  • Crushed ice. So simple, but really makes a significant difference. Sometimes, it’s the little things – crushed ice included.

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!

marble surface with two glasses of homemade margaritas on the rocks.

Tips to Achieve the Best Margarita

  • Pop a pitcher in the freezer to make it into a frozen margarita! It’s perfectly slushy! 
  • For another little twist, add a touch of orange liqueur or triple sec.
  • To get the most juice out of each lime, let them come to room temperature and roll them on a hard surface before cutting them in half and squeezing them.
  • Use a good quality tequila!
  • Do a taste test to find your favorite tequila! Try a silver tequila for one and a reposado for another to compare. You might be surprised to find a new favorite! 
close up of salt on the rim of glasses of margaritas on the rocks.

Always make time for the things you love, like drinking margaritas.

How do you Rim a Margarita Glass?

A salt rimmed glass isn’t a requirement for a delicious margarita on the rocks, but it’s definitely an enhancement you don’t want to skip! 

  • Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a glass.
  • Dip in thick flakes of kosher salt or margarita salt.
  • Want to spice it up? Add a little chili powder to your salt! 

Now that we’ve answered some questions and shared a little margarita love, let’s get to the recipes! Cheers!

Margarita Recipes for Every Occasion and Craving

A Margarita from scratch is a classic cocktail that anyone can make! Once you try a fresh margarita, you'll never go back to the bottled mix. There’s a little of everything in this incredible collection of homemade margaritas! You'll even learn how to set up your own margarita bar at home - is it Cinco de Mayo yet?

More Mexican Flavors You’ll Enjoy

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