Tommy's Margarita Cocktail Recipe

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Tommy's 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


Tommy's Margarita is a modern twist on the classic Margarita cocktail, created by Julio Bermejo at Tommy's Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco in the 1990s. This version replaces the orange liqueur with agave syrup, resulting in a more natural and refreshing taste. It quickly gained popularity and is now a staple in many bars around the world.

  • The cocktail is named after the restaurant where it was created
  • It is a favorite among tequila lovers and those who appreciate a more natural taste in their cocktails
  • The use of agave syrup instead of orange liqueur highlights the flavor of the tequila

How Tommy's Margarita Tastes?

Tommy's Margarita has a bright, refreshing, and well-balanced taste. It is slightly sweet, with a hint of tartness from the lime juice. The agave syrup adds a natural sweetness that complements the bold flavor of the tequila, while the salt rim enhances the overall taste experience.

Interesting facts about Tommy's Margarita

  • Tommy's Margarita is considered a modern classic and has been featured in numerous cocktail books and articles
  • The International Bartenders Association (IBA) officially recognized Tommy's Margarita as a 'New Era' cocktail in 2011
  • Julio Bermejo, the creator of Tommy's Margarita, is known as the 'Ambassador of Tequila' for his extensive knowledge and passion for the spirit



2 oz tequila is the heart of the drink, giving a robust and earthy flavor. Opting for less can turn the Margarita into a lightweight, while more can knock your socks off! Reposado tequila can be a lovely alternative, adding a hint of oak and vanilla.

Alex Green

Fresh Lime Juice

1 oz lime juice is what gives this drink its signature tangy kick. Less lime juice would make a flatter cocktail, and too much can lead to a sour face-off. Lemon juice can be a substitute, but then, are you still making Tommy's Margarita or Tom's?

Emma Rose

Agave Syrup

0.5 oz agave syrup is just enough to mellow out the lime's tartness without making it a sugar bomb. If it's skipped, be prepared for a pucker-worthy potion. Honey can sneak in as an alternative but will bring its distinct flavor to the party.

Mary Mitkina


A pinch of salt on the rim not only looks good but also enhances the sweet and sour flavors. It's a flavor amplifier! No salt, and you might find the drink missing that certain 'je ne sais quoi.' Kosher salt is a great choice here for its texture and taste.

Alex Green

Lime Wheel

Finally, the lime wheel isn't just a pretty face; it's a visual cue and aromatic precursor. Plus, how will you show off your drink on Instagram without it? Forget the lime wheel, and you deny your drink its moment of fame.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Tommy's Margarita Drink

  1. Prepare the glass:

    • Wet the rim of a rocks glass with a lime wedge
    • Dip the rim into a plate of salt to create a salt rim
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the following ingredients:

    • 2 oz tequila
    • 1 oz fresh lime juice
    • 0.5 oz agave syrup
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds

  4. Strain the cocktail into the prepared rocks glass filled with fresh ice

  5. Garnish with a lime wheel on the rim of the glass

Pro Tips

  • Agave syrup: It's important to use a high-quality agave syrup for the best flavor.
  • Shaking: Shake the cocktail vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Garnish: A lime wheel not only adds a nice visual touch but also imparts a hint of fresh lime flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Ceviche: The acidity of the lime in Tommy's Margarita cuts through the fish's richness.
  • Grilled Shrimp: The smokiness of the grill pairs nicely with the agave flavors.

Mexican Dishes

  • Tacos Al Pastor: The lime juice complements the pineapple in the taco.
  • Chips and Guacamole: The saltiness of the chips and the creaminess of the guacamole create a perfect balance.


  • Salted Nuts: Salt on the rim echoes the saltiness of nuts, harmonizing the taste.
  • Cheese Platter: A variety of cheeses can pair well, especially ones with a bit of tang or saltiness.

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What you could change in Tommy's Margarita

  • Tequila: You can substitute the tequila with mezcal for a smokier flavor.
  • Agave syrup: If you don't have agave syrup, you can use simple syrup or honey.
  • Lime juice: Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for lime juice.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Mezcal Margarita

  • Substitute tequila with 2 oz of mezcal for a smoky twist.
  • Add a sprig of rosemary to the shaker and gently muddle before adding other ingredients. This version retains the Margarita's soul but wears a smoky leather jacket, adding a new dimension to your palate.

Spicy Margarita

  • Add 2 slices of jalapeño or a few dashes of hot sauce to the shaker.
  • Consider reducing agave syrup slightly to cater to the added heat. It's Tommy's Margarita turning up the heat, bringing a spicy kick that will make your taste buds salsa!

Hibiscus Margarita

  • Use hibiscus-infused tequila or add hibiscus tea concentrate to the mix.
  • A splash of orange liqueur can add complexity here. This twist is like a tropical vacation in a glass, bringing floral notes and a touch of island mystery to the original recipe.

In case you forgot basics how to make Tommy's Margarita

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 Tommy's Margarita

What does 'New Era' cocktail mean?

The 'New Era' designation is awarded by the International Bartenders Association to cocktails that have been created and gained international recognition between 2000 and the present day.

What type of tequila is best to use for Tommy's Margarita?

While any tequila can be used, it's usually recommended to use a 100% agave tequila for the best flavor. Blanco tequila is particularly good because it has a robust agave flavor that shines through in the cocktail.

Can I omit the salt rim in Tommy's Margarita?

Yes, the salt rim is optional. Some might find that the cocktail has enough flavor without it, but others enjoy the added contrast the salt provides.

Can Tommy's Margarita be served blended?

This cocktail is typically served on the rocks. However, it can be served blended if desired. It's all about personal preference.

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