Most margarita recipes call for premixed substances such as “margarita mix” or “sour mix.” This guide will show you how to mix a margarita straight from the base ingredients, making your own simple syrup. Doing so will give you more control over the process, allowing you to make minor adjustments in the recipe to suit your individual taste, as well as being able to tell your friends that you did it all yourself.

Things You'll Need

Making the Simple Syrup

Mix 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a saucepan over high heat.

Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is clear.

Pour the mixture into a lidded container (such as a jar) and refrigerate. It will keep for about two weeks.

Mixing the Margarita

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.

Cut a small slice from the half lime and set it aside. Take the larger part and squeeze as much of the juice as you can into the cocktail shaker.

Add a teaspoon of the chilled simple syrup to the shaker.

Add 1 1/2 ounce of silver tequila and 1 ounce of Cointreau, triple sec, or other orange-based liqueur.

Shake until cold (usually 15 seconds is enough).

Preparing the Glass

Take the small slice of lime you set aside earlier and make a small cut from the edge to the center. The slice should fit on the edge of the glass so the center of the lime is at the glass’s rim.

Rub the lime around the rim of the glass, squeezing slightly. The whole rim of the glass should be lightly covered in lime juice.

Sprinkle salt onto a plate. Roll the glass in the salt, shaking away any excess. The rim of the glass should end up lightly coated with salt.

Pour the margarita into the glass and enjoy!


  • It is possible to make a margarita with a lemon instead of a lime, depending on your taste. You can also add more simple syrup if you prefer a sweeter drink.

References and Resources

A basic recipe for simple syrup