Margarita on the Rocks

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Make the perfect classic margarita on the rocks at home by following this simple recipe. Have a delightfully tart, perfectly fresh, and lightly sweet cocktail for Cinco de Mayo tonight. Don’t worry, it’ll take you less than five minutes to make!

two margarita on the rocks on a teal Otomi runner

Did you know that the margarita is the #1 most popular cocktail in the world? If you’ve ever had a sip of a freshly made, bright and citrusy margarita on the rocks, then you shouldn’t be surprised. In this post, I’ll show you how to make the best marg on the planet! 

Why This Recipe Works

Made with just three ingredients, this cocktail is far superior to anything made with a store bought, artificial ingredient laden margarita mix. All you need is some top shelf tequila blanco, freshly squeezed lime juice, and some Cointreau (an orange liqueur).

If you’d like to make yours a little sweeter, feel free to add in a splash of agave nectar or homemade simple syrup. That said, I’d highly recommend giving the three-ingredient marg a try before you do – it’s so tart and refreshing!

These classic margaritas on the rocks are also excellent for parties. The recipe can easily be scaled to your needs using a simple, easy-to-remember ratio. Just remember: It’s basically 2-1-1 to make a delicious classic margarita. 2 parts tequila, 1 part lime, and 1 part Cointreau! Feel free to batch up a big pitcher and keep a cooler of ice nearby for your guests to serve themselves.

So, this weekend — go ahead and pour yourself a REAL margarita. You deserve it!

How to Make a Classic Margarita

All in all, the whole recipe takes just a few minutes to throw together, making it the perfect way to welcome in the weekend. 

Rim Your Glasses

Rub a wedge of lime around the rim of the glass and the dip the outside of the rim of the glass in kosher salt.

two hand blown glasses rimmed with salt for margaritas

Measure Your Ingredients into a Cocktail Shaker

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. If you like a sweet margarita feel free to add agave nectar. 

teal cocktail shaker being poured into glasses filled with ice

Add Ice and Shake

Shake cocktail shaker for 10 seconds and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. I love these silicone ice cube trays to make the perfect rocks! 

Fill Glasses with Ice and Strain Cocktail

You’ve just made a perfect classic margarita on the rocks, and now it’s time to celebrate. Clink glasses with your loved ones, say “Salud!” and drink up. Enjoy! 

top down two margaritas on the rocks on an Otomi runner with limes on the side

Expert Tips

  1. First and foremost, be sure to use FRESH ingredients. By that I mean: fresh limes! Do not use bottled lime juice, especially those that include “lime oil.”
  2. Next, be sure to opt for quality tequila. Look for tequila that says 100% agave tequila. Cheap tequila has caramel coloring and artificial flavoring. And don’t worry, you don’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of moderately priced tequilas on the market nowadays.
  3. Remember 2-1-1! Once you get the ratio down, you can free pour your margaritas without needing to dirty a jigger.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is National Margarita Day?

Is that a trick question? Because in my house, every weekend day is margarita day! LOL. All jokes aside though, this venerable holiday is celebrated every February 22nd. Don’t feel like you have to wait until then to try this recipe, though!

What does margarita mean?

In Spanish, margarita means “daisy.” While the cocktail itself doesn’t necessarily bear any resemblance to the happy flower, they’re both sure to put a smile on my face.

Where did margaritas originate?

This popular cocktail has seemingly as many origin tales as a daisy has petals!
The earliest mention of a cocktail like the margarita was made in 1936 by a newspaper editor from Iowa. Apparently, the drink became popular in the 30s when Americans were escaping to Mexico to flout prohibition rules. The editor wrote that he found this elixir in Tijuana.
In 1937, there was a cocktail called the Picador published in The Cafe Royal Cocktail Book that used the same 2-1-1 ratio of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice.
Another tale attributes it to Carlos “Danny” Herrera at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria, who created the recipe for a patron of his who was allergic to most spirits except Tequila.
Yet another states that Dallas socialite Margarita Sames created it at her vacation house in Guerrero in 1948, but this seems dubious. While her name lends the tale a certain amount of credence, Jose Cuervo had been marketing it as early as 1945 with the slogan “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name.”
Whatever the true origin of this internationally loved cocktail, one thing is for sure – Margaritas are DELICIOUS!

Need more fiesta inspiration?

Check out these other easy party-perfect recipes:

Do you prefer a margarita on the rocks or a frozen margarita? Let me know in the comments below!

Be sure to check out my full length classic and frozen margarita video on YouTube.

Margarita on the Rocks

Make the perfect classic margarita on the rocks at home by following this simple recipe. Have a delightfully tart, perfectly fresh, and lightly sweet cocktail for happy hour tonight. Don’t worry, it’ll take you less than five minutes to make!
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4.5 from 2 votes
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Ingredients

  • Ice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau or other triple sec
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar (optional)

Instructions

  • Rub a wedge of lime around the rim of the glass and the dip the outside of the rim of the glass in kosher salt.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. If you like a sweet margarita feel free to add agave nectar. 
  • Shake well; strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.

Video

Notes

  • Use fresh lime for best results
  • Feel free to batch the ingredients together in a pitcher if you’re having a party. When it’s time to refill, simply pour, shake and serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 22mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 7IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 1mg

I’d love to see what you cook!

Tag #MUYBUENOCOOKING if you make this recipe.

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Photography by Jenna Sparks / Video by Pure Cinematography