How to Make a Margarita

Tart, sweet, salty-fresh margaritas taste like a vacation in a glass. Follow our simple recipe and learn how to make a margaritablended, on the rocks and virgin.

Want vacation vibes even if you can’t hit the beach? You best rely on a backyard hammock and a great beachy cocktail. Sure these rum drinks are great, but we love the sweet and tangy margarita. Frozen and salted (or on the rocks), this might seem like a cocktail best left to the resort or a Mexican restaurant, but learning how to make a margarita is simple.

All you need are a few basics (and maybe a sun hat to get in the mood). Before you know it, you’ll be in paradise.

How to Make a Margarita on the Rocks

Making the classic margarita is simple. All you need are a few pantry and liquor cabinet staples.

Margarita Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup triple sec (Grand Marnier and Cointreau also work here)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups crushed ice
  • 4 lime wedges
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

To make a batch to share (this recipe serves four), just combine the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, lemon juice and sugar together in a pitcher and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Then, swipe one of the lime wedges around the rim of the glass and roll the edge in the kosher salt. The easiest way to do this is to pour some coarse salt on a saucer or small plate and then just dip the edge in. Then all you have to do is fill up the glass with ice and top it off with your prepared margarita and that wedge of lime. Tequila isn’t just for margarita, learn about what to mix with tequila for unconventional pairings.

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How to Make a Frozen Margarita

For a frozen version, you can use the same recipe as above. Once you’ve stirred up all the ingredients, just pop them in the blender with about four cups of ice. Then blend until it reaches that perfect slushy consistency. (Psst! Need a blender that can crush ice no problemtry our Test Kitchen favorite!)

Just like with a marg on the rocks, salt the rim and then top with your frozen mix. And if you really want to feel like you’re on vacation pop in a cocktail umbrella and invest in some margarita glasses.

How to Make a Virgin Margarita

Of course, you could always buy limeade and call it a day, but a scratch-made virgin margarita is oh so refreshing. Here’s how to make them for thirsty people of any age.

Virgin Margarita Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar, or more to taste
  • Crushed ice
  • Club soda
  • 4 lime wedges, optional
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, optional

For virgin margaritas on the rocks, combine the lime juice, lemon juice and sugar in a pitcher and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Salt the rims of four glasses if you like (see the recipe above for directions). Fill the glasses with crushed ice (you’ll need about 1-1/3 cups), add the juice mixture and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with lime if desired.

For blended virgin margaritas,combine the lime juice, lemon juice, sugar and 4 cups of ice in a blender and blend until it’s slushy. Salt the rims of four glasses if you like (see the recipe above for directions). Fill the glasses with the margarita mixture and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with lime if desired.

Of course, these recipes are just the beginning. You can try other variations on this cocktail, too, to really impress your friends!

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Elizabeth Harris
Liz is an unapologetic homebody who loves bowling and beers almost as much as food and fitness. The highlight of her week is making cheesy popcorn for her family on movie night. She's been hooked on Taste of Home since interning for the magazine in 2010.