The Perfect Margarita

Dive into Summer with this classic 3-2-1 margarita recipe. Make them one at a time or by the pitcher. The recipe is full proof and you're sure to get the same delicious result every time you make one.

Ingredients + Measure

  • 3 parts 100% agave tequila, preferably reposado

  • 2 parts Paula's Texas Orange Liqueur or other quality orange liqueur 

  • 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice

  • ice

  • Kosher salt, optional

This is an assertive, tequila forward, mix in the same style as a martini or Negroni. I prefer my margarita a little boozier because I'm less likely to guzzle a stronger tasting drink.

For two short margaritas -

  1. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice, three ounces of tequila, two ounces orange liqueur, and one ounce of fresh lime juices and set aside. I'm totally in love with my new 32 oz. mason jar shaker.
  2. For a salty rim, prepare your glass by filling a small plate with kosher salt and a second small plate with orange liqueur. First dip the rim of your glass in the liqueur then into the salt. The liqueur is stickier than water or lime juice so the salt stay in place better.
  3. Fill your prepared glass to the rim with ice. 
  4. Shake the dickens out of your shaker then pour into your prepared glass.

For a pitcher of margaritas

  1. Fill your pitcher with 3 cups tequila, 2 cups orange liqueur, and one cup of fresh lime juice but skip the ice. Make ahead and store in the refrigerator to chill.
  2. When it's time to serve, stir and pour over ice in prepared glasses.


For me, the ingredients are very important - I use a good quality 100% agave tequila because cheap tequila is just a headache waiting to happen. Reposado is aged so it's a little smoother and has a bit more flavor than silver tequila. Whatever your preference buy the best quality tequila you can get your hands on. Even though you are mixing, tequila is the most important ingredient in this recipe. 


Paula's Texas Orange Liqueur is my personal favorite orange liqueur but not always available. Mixed in a drink triple sec and Cointreau have similar tastes however triple sec is dryer with a lower alcohol content and Cointreau is sweeter and has a higher alcohol content. If you cannot get your hands on Paula's Texas Orange give Cointreau a try.


Be sure to taste your limes before using them. They should add freshness to your drink. If they are too sour you might not like the result.


If you have gone to the trouble of gathering the best ingredients do not add them to a blender. The classic is best savored on the rocks.