Looking for the best homemade Margarita recipe that you can make at home? No mixers for this margarita, it’s made from scratch using just two ingredients and premium tequila! For more recipes like this see my Cocktails page.
We love getting margaritas to go from our favorite Mexican food restaurant. After a while, we decided to make our own so we could have them any time we wanted.
I can not drink any of the mixers for margaritas on the market. The sugar content is so high, I literally have a reaction to them. It feels like a heart attack. The only margaritas I can drink are the premium top-shelf kind. I am handing this post over to my husband Chris, sharing is his secret Two-for-One Happy Hour Margaritas.
Best Homemade Margarita Recipe From Scratch
Chris’s Two-for-One Happy Hour Margaritas
You always hear about the correct ratio to use when making a top shelf margarita recipe. In most people’s recipes, they use a 2-1-1 ratio. That’s two parts Tequila, one part Orange Liqueur, and one part Lime Juice. We’re not talking about margarita mixers here. Those are just lime-flavored Kool-Aid loaded with sugar.
If you want to try real high quality margarita as you find at your favorite Mexican restaurant, without all of the added sugar, then follow this simple recipe. Oh, and since it’s happy hour, why make one margarita when you can make two!!! Salud!
Let’s talk about the ingredients. In the margarita ratio, there are three simple ingredients. Tequila, Orange Liqueur, and Lime Juice. That’s it!
Best Tequila to Use for Margaritas
Let’s start with Tequila. In order to make the perfect margarita, you need to buy quality tequila. You don’t have to break the bank, but you want to buy a 100% pure agave tequila. It will say that on the label. And you want it to be either Blanco or Silver.
This is the clear tequila, not the brown ones that are often labeled Reposado or Anejo. These two have a brownish color and have been aged in barrels giving them the golden color. This also gives them a woody or earthy flavor. Great for sipping but not for margaritas. You want the Blanco.
My favorite tequila is Don Julio, however, it is quite pricey and there are better options for mixing into margaritas with the same high quality 100% Pure Agave at a lower price point. You’re wasting your money on a very expensive tequila if you’re mixing it into a cocktail. My recent go-to 100% pure agave Blanco tequila as of late is Espolon Tequila Blanco. About half the price of Don Julio and great for margaritas!
Best Orange Liqueur for Margaritas
The second ingredient is Orange Liqueur. You may recognize this by the brand names of Triple Sec, Curacao, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier. For the average bar, you’ll probably see Triple Sec as the go-to for margaritas, but I find it to be a little more…artificial.
Sometimes you’ll see recipes add a splash of simple syrup to their margaritas and that’s to sort of cut the edge off of lower quality ingredients such as Triple Sec or again, non-100% pure agave tequila. I prefer to use Cointreau. It’s a little more expensive but it’s probably the biggest difference maker in making a great margarita at home.
Even more so than the tequila, but I’m sure people will argue with me on that fact! I also don’t think you need to go all the way to the top end Grand Marnier either. You’ll see a lot of bars add Grand Marnier and charge you for the Cadillac Margarita but trust me, Cointreau is the best in top shelf margaritas!
Best Lime Juice for Margaritas
Lastly, Lime Juice. There are three options. #1, and you can’t really replace this, is freshly squeezed lime juice. This is the best. No question. No debate.
If you want a shortcut you can use Santa Cruz organic lime juice, not from concentrate. You can find this at Whole Foods or other grocery stores. I actually use this more than freshly squeezed lime just for convenience.
The last option is RealLime or lime juice from concentrate. It’ll work if that’s all you have but it’s pretty harsh and sour.
How to make my Famous two-for-one Happy Hour Margaritas…and the magic ratio:3-2-2
Because of the ingredients I use and without the need for simple syrup or sugar I’ve found that making these margaritas are best using a 3-2-2 ratio.
- Fill two cocktail glasses with ice or a molded ice ball. We love the huge ice balls. As the commercial says we are ballin, lol.
2. Add ice to a cocktail shaker/strainer.
3. Pour three ounces tequila, two ounces orange liqueur, and two ounces of lime juice into the cocktail shaker.
4. Seal cocktail shaker and shake VIGOROUSLY for about 30 seconds. This gets the margarita extremely cold and crisp.
5. Strain the cocktail shaker over your iced cocktail glasses.
6. Add the garnish of your choice.
Recipes to Pair with the Fresh Homemade Margarita Recipe
Pair this with your favorite tacos or nachos or try some of my favorite Mexican recipes. Great for celebrating Cinco De Mayo.
- Copycat Chili’s Steak Fajitas Recipe
- The Perfect Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Recipe
- Loaded Seafood Burrito Recipe
- Seafood Enchiladas with Imitation Crab
- Southwest Chicken Bowls
- Spicy Beer Chili Recipe
- 3 oz 100% pure Agave Tequila, Don Julio Blanco is our fav
- 2 oz orange liqueur, Cointreau is our fav
- 2 oz lime juice, freshly squeezed is best
- Fill two cocktail glasses with ice or a molded
ice ball or cube
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker / strainer
- Pour three ounces tequila, two ounces orange
liqueur, and two ounces of lime juice into the cocktail shaker
- Seal cocktail shaker and shake VIGOROUSLY for
about 30 seconds. This gets the margarita extremely cold and crisp
- Strain the cocktail shaker over your iced
- Add the garnish of your choice
Read our ingredient recommendations in the post.