How to Make a Margarita

by Jennifer Farley ; Updated August 31, 2017

Classic margaritas are the perfect summer cocktail. They're light, crisp and refreshing, with just the right level of sweetness and acidity. The classic version is typically served on the rocks or straight up as opposed to the frozen version many of us have become familiar with over time. With just a few simple ingredients, you can learn to make this crowd pleasing cocktail at home.

This recipe makes two margaritas.

Gather Your Ingredients

The quality of tequila and orange liqueur used in this recipe will have a tremendous impact on the final outcome. Higher end tequilas can be pricey, but they're so incredibly smooth. The same is true with orange liqueur. If you want to use more budget-friendly brands, I recommend reducing the amount of orange liqueur by half and adding simple syrup or light agave nectar to taste. This will help balance the flavors.

Line the Rims of the Glasses With Salt

Spread approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of kosher salt on a small plate. Run a freshly sliced wedge of lime around the rim of 2 glasses, and then dip each glass in the salt. Gently tap off some of the excess, and garnish each glass with a small lime wedge. Add a few pieces of ice to each glass (optional).

Combine Ingredients

Add the tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to simultaneously combine and chill the ingredients.


  • If you don't have a cocktail shaker, you can use a plastic water bottle or simply stir the ingredients in a liquid measuring cup.

Serve Over Ice

Divide evenly between two glasses. Serve immediately.

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About the Author

Jennifer Farley is the creator of Savory Simple, a blog dedicated to gourmet food and quality ingredients. She graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine and has worked as a chef and cooking instructor. Her work has been featured by Parade Magazine, Williams-Sonoma, Bon Appetit and Food52. She resides in Washington, D.C.