How To Make A Margarita

We have strong feelings about the ideal Margarita. Here’s how it’s done.

Here are several things a traditional Margarita is not: a frozen beverage, any color that isn’t a nice greenish-yellow, a cocktail in a glass that looks like a jumbo Champagne coupe. Can all of those things be delicious? Of course. But a classic Margarita will beat them any day, and it isn’t even tough to make. This one calls for agave - so technically it’s a Tommy’s Margarita (a cocktail invented by Julio Bermejo in the ’90s). But if you’d like to use simple syrup or triple sec, those work too.

How It Tastes: Tart, Summery, Refreshing

Drink If You Like:Paloma, Gimlet

The Margarita

How To Make A Margarita image

You’ll Need:

  • Ice

  • Rocks glass

  • 2 ounces blanco tequila

  • .75 ounce lime juice

  • .5 ounce agave

  • Salt and lime wedge for garnish

Step One: Juice

Juice a whole lime. It should yield about an ounce of juice, which is more than enough for your cocktail. Now put .75 ounce lime juice in your cocktail shaker.

Step Two: Agave

Wait, weren’t we just talking about traditional Margaritas? Yes. And is agave traditional? No. Now that we got that out of the way, you should know that Margaritas are typically sweetened with some kind of triple sec - but we prefer agave for several reasons. A) tequila is made from agave, which feels like a cosmic coincidence we can’t ignore, and B) cheap triple sec is gross, and who wants to spend $40 on a bottle of the good stuff? Also, Margaritas are better with agave. So go ahead and add .5 agave ounce to your shaker.

Step Three: Tequila

For your Margarita, you’re going to want blanco tequila. You’ll recognize this as the colorless variety you’ve taken shots of in bars. Why blanco? Because it’s crisp, clean, and refreshing, without the round, oaky flavors you get from reposado tequila (aged a minimum of two months) or anejo tequila (aged a minimum of one year). Those are great for different things. Now, add 2 ounces of tequila to your shaker.

Step Four: Glassware Prep

In order to prep your glassware (remember Rule No. 2?), pour a thin layer of salt onto a small, dry plate. Next, you need something that’ll help the salt stick to the rim of your glass. We suggest you cut an orange in half, press the rim of your glass against it, then press your glass into the plated salt. Alternatively, you can smear a lime wedge around the rim, or you can pour an extremely thin layer of agave onto a separate small plate, dip your rim in the agave, then dip it in the salt. We’d also recommend you only do half a rim of salt. That way, if you get tired of your salt, you can avoid it altogether. Once you’re done, fill your rocks glass (to the rim) with ice.

Step Five: Shake

Fill your shaker with ice. A large handful should be good. Next, give a vigorous shake. The sound should be cacophonous and confusing to your neighbors, and you should shake for about 15 seconds. (We’re shaking this cocktail a bit longer than usual, because there’s something about agave that demands a longer shake.) Finally, pour your beverage into your salt-rimmed rocks glass. Wasn’t that nice having pre-prepped glassware? We’ll answer for you. Yes, it was. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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