Classic Margarita Recipe

Classic Margarita Recipe

Our favorite version of the classic tequila cocktail. [Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Tequila, orange liqueur, lime: The perfect margarita is all about fresh, crisp flavors. After testing all the ratios, this is the one we reach for.

Why It Works

  • A good-quality tequila needs no sugar, beyond what's in the triple sec, to balance the acidity of lime juice.
  • Cointreau makes for a balanced, smooth margarita without taking away from the tequila.
  • Yield:Makes 2 drinks
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:5 minutes


  • 1 lime wedge, plus 2 lime wheels for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims
  • 4 ounces (120ml) high-quality blanco tequila (see note)
  • 2 ounces (60ml) Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) fresh juice from 2 limes


  1. 1.

    Run lime wedge around the outer rims of 2 rocks glasses and dip rims in salt. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over).

  3. 3.

    Fill glasses with fresh ice and strain margarita into both glasses. Garnish with lime wheels and serve.