The Margarita, lauded by Gourmet magazine as the most popular tequila-based cocktail in the world, combines lime juice, orange liqueur, and tequila into a sweet yet sour beverage. Numerous individuals lay claim to the invention of the Margarita, named from the Spanish word for daisy, and many profess to know the perfect recipe. Commercial margarita mixes tend to be overly sweet and lack the depth which fresh lime juice imparts. Whether you enjoy them frozen or on the rocks, give the bottled stuff a rest and create your own original cocktail mix.


The key to a good Margarita lies mostly in the quality of the lime juice used to create the cocktail. High, quality fresh limes will impart the best flavor, which means you can use mediocre tequila and still enjoy a premium cocktail. Refrain from spending too much on the tequila since a premium brand’s flavor might be overshadowed by that of the other ingredients. Orange liqueurs the opportunity to customize the Margarita and create your own favorite recipe. Many restaurants and individuals prefer a simple, sweet triple sec while others enjoy the more complex flavors of Cointreau or Grand Marnier. The orange liqueur imparts the Margarita’s sweet flavor and keeps it from being overly tart. Try different liqueurs to see which one you prefer.

Fresh Margarita Mix

People who imbibe their Margaritas on the rocks often express disdain for those who prefer them frozen. They claim that freezing the Margarita disguises the tastes of the quality ingredients used to craft the beverage. To try an on-the-rocks Margarita for yourself, mix 1 oz. of lime juice with 1 1/2 oz. of tequila and ½ oz. of orange liqueur. Shake the ingredients with ice and add to a salt-rimmed cocktail glass.

While many mix masters prefer to create each margarita individually, this isn’t a convenient method if you are expecting a large number of guests. Create a batch of margaritas by multiplying the recipe and mixing several servings of orange liqueur, tequila, and lime juice together in a large pitcher. When guests ask for a cocktail, simply pour your ingredients over ice, shake, and serve.

Sweet and Sour Margarita Mix

For some people, a Margarita doesn’t taste the same without a base of sweet-and-sour mix. This mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Place 3 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar into a large saucepan and heat while stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. After the syrup is cool, place it into a large pitcher with 2 cups of fresh lime juice or 2 cups of lemon juice and refrigerate until cold. This mixture can be used for whiskey sours and other drinks with a sweet and sour base. For margaritas, many people prefer to skip the lemon juice and use exclusively lime juice in the recipe. To mix up margaritas, combine 6 parts sour mix, 3 parts tequila, and 1 part orange liqeuer.

References and Resources

The Margarita


The Nibble: Margarita Cocktail