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How to make the BEST simple margarita from scratch.  You don’t need margarita mix to make a classic margarita!

Sometimes there is nothing more refreshing than a margarita on a warm sunny day.  When enjoying tacos and guacamole on Taco Tuesday or Cinco De Mayo, I really crave a margarita to drink alongside them. Until a few years ago, I didn’t realize how easy it really is to make a margarita from scratch!  You only need a few ingredients, and before you know it, you will be sipping a refreshing classic margarita.

margarita being poured from a cocktail shaker into a glass over ice.

What ingredients are in a margarita?

The classic margarita has only three ingredients, plus on additional optional ingredient.

  • tequila
  • lime juice
  • triple sec
  • simple syrup or agave (optional)


How do you make a margarita from scratch?

Making a simple margarita from scratch is easy – all you need to do is combine 2 ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of triple sec, 3/4 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice and 3/4 ounces simple syrup in a cocktail shaker over ice.  Shake vigorously to combine, then strain into a cocktail glass over ice.

The simple syrup is optional, and will make a slightly sweeter drink to balance the acidity of the lime juice.  Feel free to use more, less or even completely omit it if you prefer.

Margarita in a clear glass with lime wedge garnish.


Do you Need Triple Sec for a margarita?

Triple Sec is a sweet orange flavored liqueur.  Using triple sec in a margarita will help sweeten it up, as well as more dimension from the bitter orange flavor in the triple sec.  Some recipes for a “skinny” margarita swap out triple sec for orange juice.  This will reduce calories and sweetness, but you will lose some complexity in the drink.

What can you use instead of triple sec?

You can use any kind of orange liqueur in place of the triple sec.  I like to use Grand Marnier, which is a a French orange liqueur that is made using Cognac.  You can also use Cointreau or Curacao.  Contreau is generally the most frequently recommended orange liqueur to use in margaritas.


What food goes well with margaritas?

If you are looking for some recipes to make while you drink your margaritas, here are some of my favorites:

Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos

Easy Guacamole

Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef

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Easy Margarita From Scratch

Servings 1 Drink


  • 2 ounces Tequila blanco
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup optional, to taste
  • kosher salt for rim
  • lime slices for garnish


  • Place kosher salt on a small plate. Run a slice of lime all the way around the rim of a lowball glass, then dip rim in kosher salt. Fill glass with ice and set aside.
  • Add all ingredients except for salt to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigourously to fully combine and chill. Strain margarita into prepared glass. Garnish with a slice of lime if desired.


To make simple syrup, combine equal parts granulated sugar and water in a sauce pan over low heat, stir until sugar has dissolved.  Allow to cool and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. 


Serving: 1drink | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 16mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin C: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Did you like this recipe?Please comment, rate and share! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @foxandbriar AND #foxandbriar so I can see what you made!
Hello! I’m Meghan.

I am so glad that you are here! I am the recipe developer, photographer, and writer here at my blog Fox and Briar. I am a passionate, self-taught home cook and believe that most things are better homemade and that good food doesn’t need to be complicated.

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  1. The best and easiest Margarita recipe is 3-2-1. Three parts tequila, two parts Cointreau or Triple Sec, and one part fresh lime juice. Perfect every time. Leave out the simple syrup. Extra sugar and you don’t need it.