Original Margarita Cocktail Recipe

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Original Margarita Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Original Margarita was created in the 1930s or 1940s, with various stories attributing its invention to different bartenders and socialites. One popular tale credits Carlos 'Danny' Herrera, a bartender in Tijuana, Mexico, who created the drink for a customer allergic to all alcohol except tequila. The Margarita quickly gained popularity in the United States and has since become a staple cocktail at bars worldwide.

How Original Margarita Tastes?

The Original Margarita is a refreshing, tangy, and slightly sweet cocktail. It has a well-balanced flavor profile, with the tartness of lime juice complementing the sweetness of the orange liqueur and the earthy, peppery notes of the tequila.

Interesting facts about Original Margarita

  • The Margarita is often served in a salt-rimmed glass, which enhances its flavor and adds a savory touch.
  • The name 'Margarita' means 'daisy' in Spanish, and the cocktail may have been named after the popular Daisy cocktail, which also features a citrus and sweetener combination.
  • The Margarita is so popular that it has its own designated day, National Margarita Day, celebrated on February 22nd.


Tequila (2oz)

Tequila is the soul of a Margarita. It provides a bold, earthy base that counterbalances the sweetness and tang of the other ingredients. Using too much can overpower the cocktail, while too little won't give enough 'kick'. If you substitute with mezcal, you'll add a smoky note to your drink.

Alex Green

Orange Liqueur (1oz)

Orange Liqueur adds a sweet, citrusy depth. It complements the lime juice and extends the flavor profile. Without it, the drink loses complexity. Triple sec is a common choice, but you could also use Cointreau for a smoother, more refined flavor.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice (1oz)

Fresh lime juice is crucial for that zesty punch. It cuts through the sweetness, balancing the drink. Bottled juice can work in a pinch, but it's often more acidic and less flavorful; fresh is best. If you omit the lime, your Margarita will taste flat and overly sweet.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup (0.5oz)

Simple Syrup is your sweetening agent. It dissolves easily and offers control over the sweetness. Without it, your Margarita might be too tart. If you have a sweet tooth, agave syrup is a great alternative that adds a mild, earthy sweetness.

Alex Green

Salt (1 pinch)

Salt enhances flavors and adds a savory edge that contrasts with the sweet and sour components. Rim the glass without salt, and you'll miss that pleasant salty kick with each sip. For a twist, try flavored salts like smoked or chili salt.

Emma Rose

Ice (1 cup)

Lastly, Ice chills the drink and, through shaking, helps dilute the strong flavors, so they meld together beautifully. Without enough ice, the drink could be too strong and not as refreshing.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Original Margarita Drink

  1. Prepare a salt-rimmed glass:
    • Wet the rim of a rocks or margarita glass with a lime wedge.
    • Dip the rim into a plate of salt, ensuring an even coating.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a shaker:
    • Add 2 oz tequila, 1 oz orange liqueur, 1 oz lime juice, and 0.5 oz simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake the cocktail:
    • Shake the mixture vigorously for 10-15 seconds to chill and dilute the drink.
  4. Strain and serve:
    • Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Garnish:
    • Add a lime wheel or wedge to the rim of the glass as a garnish.

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before preparing the cocktail to keep the drink cooler for longer.
  • Use fresh lime juice for a brighter, fresher flavor.
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to properly mix and chill the ingredients.

Perfect Pairings


  • Guacamole and Chips - The citrus notes from the Margarita cut through the creaminess of the avocado.
  • Ceviche - The lime juice in both the cocktail and ceviche complement each other perfectly.
  • Grilled Shrimp - The smoky flavor of the grilled shrimp matches nicely with the tangy Margarita.

Main Dishes

  • Chicken or Fish Tacos - Margaritas and tacos are a classic combination; the lime accentuates the flavors of the filling.
  • Enchiladas - The acidity in the Margarita balances the richness of the cheese and sauce in enchiladas.


  • Key Lime Pie - The similar citrus profile makes for a harmonious pairing.
  • Fresh Fruit Salad - The simplicity of the fruit allows the Margarita flavors to shine.

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What you could change in Original Margarita

  • Tequila: You can substitute with Mezcal for a smokier flavor.
  • Orange Liqueur: Triple Sec or Cointreau can be used.
  • Simple Syrup: Agave syrup or honey can be used as a natural sweetener.

Explore all drinks starting with O here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Margarita

Ingredients: Tequila, Orange Liqueur, Lime Juice, Agave Syrup, Jalapeño Slices, Salt, Ice Recipe: Muddle a few jalapeño slices in the shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients. Omit the simple syrup and use agave syrup for a more authentic Mexican feel. This twist adds a spicy kick that'll tickle your taste buds and warm your throat.

Mango Margarita

Ingredients: Tequila, Orange Liqueur, Lime Juice, Mango Puree, Simple Syrup, Salt, Ice Recipe: Add mango puree to the classic ingredients for a tropical twist. The mango brings a sweet, rich flavor that compliments the sharpness of the lime. It's like a beach vacation in a glass!

Mezcal Margarita

Ingredients: Mezcal, Orange Liqueur, Lime Juice, Agave Syrup, Smoked Salt, Ice Recipe: Substitute tequila with mezcal and simple syrup with agave syrup. Use smoked salt for the glass rim. This version has a smoky depth that contrasts beautifully with the other traditional flavors, perfect for those who enjoy a more complex drink.

In case you forgot basics how to make Original Margarita

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Original Margarita

What kind of tequila is best for a Margarita?

You can use either blanco (white) or reposado (rested) tequila for a Margarita, depending on your taste preference. Blanco tequila gives the cocktail a bright and agave-forward flavor while reposado tequila makes the drink smoother and slightly sweeter.

Can I make a Margarita without a shaker?

Yes, you can make a Margarita without a shaker. Simply mix the ingredients thoroughly in a container with a tight-fitting lid, like a mason jar.

Are there any non-alcoholic alternatives to a Margarita?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of a Margarita, often referred to as a 'Mockgarita', using lime juice, orange juice, and a sweetener like simple syrup or honey. It would also be served in a salt-rimmed glass for an authentic look and feel.

What other types of garnish can be used for a Margarita?

In addition to a lime wheel or wedge, other exotic fruits like pineapple or grapefruit can also be used as a garnish for a Margarita.

What glassware alternatives can I use if I don't have a Margarita glass?

If you don't have a Margarita glass, you can use any glassware with a wide rim so you can apply the salt. Rocks glasses, wine glasses, or glass tumblers can be used.

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