How to Make the Perfect Margarita

Making a perfect margarita is easier than you think, as long as you follow these easy steps. This drink is refreshing and packed with flavor that makes it the perfect end-of-the day treat.

The “perfect margarita ratio” is a secret recipe that makes the perfect margarita. The ratio of tequila to triple sec and lime juice is 1:1:1.

How to make the perfect margarita.

It’s usually about this time of year that summer begins to drag. We’re still experiencing late-season heat waves, but October is looming on the horizon. 

While a cool beer is always welcome, when you’re sick of the heat and humidity, anything stronger is a welcome relief. 

That’s where the margarita comes in: the condensation dripping from the glass onto your hand; the slightly acidic and puckering finish of fresh lime juice; the taste of salt, which is always a little too strong at first but washes away with a semi-sweet combination of tequila and orange liqueur to create the perfect meld of flavors; It’s almost euphoric at times. 

However, in my opinion, margaritas taste better at restaurants and bars than they do at home. So this summer, in the luxury of my air-conditioned kitchen, I set out to create the ultimate drink. I finally achieved it after several tries, efforts, and culinary “research.” 

Not only will you find a recipe below, but you’ll also discover a thorough explanation on how to make the ideal margarita. The components you use are crucial, as they are with anything you make at home. 

The Essential Ingredients for a Perfect Margarita

Ingredients to make perfect margarita.

We need to cover the structural parts with which the genuine ingredients will be wrapped before we can get to the actual ingredients: 

Glass. Margaritas are served in a variety of glasses, including martini glasses, copper mugs, and huge coupe-style glasses that are typically branded expressly for margaritas. For my taste, the first and final selections are a little too feminine. While copper mugs work well, I don’t have any and don’t see a need for them, thus I choose to use a basic double old fashioned glass. It’s the ideal size for the quantity of liquid and ice you’ll be adding, while the single version is too little. 

Salt. Margaritas are usually served with salted rims at restaurants and bars. I had been neglecting this step at home for a long time since it always seemed like a nuisance. When I eventually tasted it, though, salt became a must-have for any subsequent margaritas made at home. It’s a one-of-a-kind flavor that pairs well with the zesty sweetness in the glass. 

You may manufacture your own margarita salt at home, or just season a meal with flaky kosher salt. However, I like to purchase prepared margarita salt. It’s generally citrus-infused, comes in a convenient container that lets you to dip your glass directly in, and is inexpensive enough to justify purchasing rather than creating it at yourself. 

Ice. What do you do with a big ice ball, ordinary cubes, shattered ice? A huge ice ball is usually always recommended for whiskey and other dark spirits; it gently adds some liquor-mellowing water. When utilizing a huge ball or cube, you can truly sip a drink. Crushed ice is on the opposite end of the scale, and it’s seldom used in beverages or cocktails for a reason: it dilutes your drink far faster than you’d want. Some liqueurs are ideally served over crushed ice, but only in tiny quantities and with the intention of being eaten rapidly. 


A glass full of regular cubes is the way to go for the margarita. It will dilute the drink a little (but not too much), but not too much. This is a classic Goldilocks situation. Also, based on anecdotal evidence, this is how margaritas are usually typically served at restaurants (unless you request the slushy version, which you should avoid).

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to the fun stuff. Tequila, orange liqueur, and freshly squeezed lime juice are the only three components in the original premium margarita. Let’s take a look at each one separately:

Tequila. Tequila is a blue agave-based liquor that comes in a range of distillations and ages (check out my primer on tequila to learn how to read a label and distinguish the different classifications). Choose a high-quality, 100 percent agave blanco (clear) tequila to make the ultimate margarita. 

Blanco tequilas are preferred over reposado/anejo tequilas because they have a more flowery, citric flavor profile. When drinking tequila on its own, the matured varieties have more oak, vanilla, and even chocolate aromas. While dark tequilas taste great in margaritas, the tastes aren’t as well balanced as they are when using blancos. 

Check the label to make sure it’s 100 percent blue agave; after that, you may choose the brand and pricing range. 

Liqueur d’orange This is where things may become a little tricky, at least in terms of buying. I’ll attempt to make the labeling of orange liqueurs as simple as possible. (For a more detailed explanation, see this Serious Eats post.) Orange liqueur, which lends a hint of sweetness to the margarita, is manufactured from dried orange peels and is classed as either a curacao or a triple sec. They aren’t that dissimilar in terms of the consumer’s needs. It’s more about the product’s quality and price point than whatever branch you choose. 

Unfortunately, you have to choose between top shelf and lower shelf. When it comes to orange liqueurs, there isn’t much of a middle ground. Brands like Grand Marnier (curacao), Cointreau (triple sec), Combier (triple sec), and others are at the top. A 750ml bottle will set you back $30 to $40. It’s a lot to swallow, but when used as a secondary ingredient in margaritas (which is the only drink I’m using mine for), it lasts a long time. Plastic bottles with brightly colored labels, nearly invariably with “Triple Sec” front and center, rather than the brand name, are available at the low end. These will cost between $10 and $15. 

It’s tempting to grab for the low-cost alternatives, but resist. They’ll get the job done in a pinch, but the high-quality stuff elevates the drink significantly. Even if you use a high-quality tequila, you’ll taste the low-brow triple sec rather than the high-quality alcohol. It’d be the equivalent of putting caffeine-free diet cola in a Cuba Libre (Coca-Cola, rum, lime juice). Yucko. 


Lime Juice is a kind of citrus juice. Do not purchase the product in the green bottle. Even if it isn’t sweetened, it isn’t as fresh as the actual thing and always tastes different. Use a genuine lime to squeeze. I prefer to use a big slice of lime — about a quarter of a regular lime. A big quantity is OK since you need to be able to squeeze out nearly a whole ounce. It’s preferable to have too much than not enough. 

The Method 

Now that we know all there is to know about the components, we can start making our margarita. The following is the recipe:

  • 2 ounces tequila blanco 
  • 1.5 ounces liqueur d’orange 
  • 1 ounce lime juice 
  • salt for margaritas 

1. Season the rim of your glass with salt.

Cutting of lemon. weting the rim of a glass with lemon. salting glass rim.

Make a tiny perpendicular incision in your lime and use it to moisten the rim of the glass. Twist the glass after dipping it in the salt. There is such a thing as too much salt, but the precise “perfect” quantity is a matter of personal opinion, so play around with it. 

2. Add ice to the glass.

Filled glass with ice.

When you add the ice, you’ll surely lose a tiny amount of the salt.

Ice cubes should be filled to just below the salted rim of your glass. A full glass is preferable than a half-empty glass. 

3. Pour in the tequila and liqueur.

4. Squeeze out as much juice as you can from the lime wedge and drop it into the drink.

Squeezing lemon in the glass.

5. Swirl it around with a spoon a few times. 

Swirling the drink with spoon.

If you have a fine bartending spoon, you may as well use it.

This ensures that the components are equally distributed. This is a more crucial stage than you may realize. If you don’t do this, you’ll wind up with a lot of tequila or liqueur-heavy sips, which may be a bit off-putting. You can use a shaker if you like, but I’ve found that it doesn’t make much of a difference and that using the spoon is more handy. 

6. Take a sip and relax! With each drink, be sure you receive a pinch of salt. When I’m down to my final few sips, I prefer to finish it off with a splash of tequila for a robust taste.   



The “how to make the perfect margarita with grand marnier” is a drink that is popular in many countries. The recipe for this drink includes tequila, triple sec, and lime juice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whats the secret to a good margarita?

A: It’s all in the tequila. A quality tequila will really lift up a margarita, making it more flavorful and light.

What is the ratio of tequila to margarita mix?

A: A tequila margarita mix is 5 parts Tequila to 1 part Margarita mix.

What is better in a margarita Cointreau or triple sec?

A: In a margarita, Cointreau is typically used to give the drink its unique flavor and color. It will also provide more of an alcohol taste which can benefit some people who are sensitive to it. Triple sec on the other hand has a sweeter taste than that of Cointreau and contains no alcohol.

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