Pitcher cocktails are smart party choices; they easily serve a crowd and don't require you to be constantly shaking and stirring. These pitcher margaritas are even wiser than the rest, seeing as this recipe isn't even a recipe — it's a ratio. Commit it to memory and you'll have an easy, crowd-pleasing cocktail to stir up whenever friends drop by, which will probably be more often once they get wind of it. After all, few can resist the tangy, refreshing taste of a homemade margarita.
The Simplest Ratio for the Best Margaritas
A great margarita isn't complicated, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you have tequila, orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or Triple Sec), and plenty of limes on hand, you have everything you need. Just follow a ratio of three parts tequila, two parts orange liqueur, and one part lime juice. Yes, that makes for a strong sip, but because margaritas are usually shaken, the ice mellows out the boozy bite as it melts. Since it's a little impractical to shake a whole pitcher of margaritas, you'll stir the ice directly into the pitcher, then let it sit for five minutes before serving so some of the ice starts to melt.
I like the tartness of these three-ingredient margaritas, but if you prefer a sweeter drink, make a simple syrup and stir in a few spoonfuls to taste.
3-2-1 Pitcher Margaritas
Serves 8 to 10
Prep time: 10 minutes
orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec
freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 8 limes)
medium limes, thinly sliced
Place the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and ice in a large pitcher, and stir to combine. Top with the lime slices. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow for some of the ice to melt and mellow the margaritas.
Pour into glasses, adding more ice from the pitcher to each glass as needed. Scoop a couple of lime slices into each glass when serving.
Make ahead: The pitcher can be made, without the ice and sliced limes, up to 1 day ahead. Cover and store in the refrigerator and add the ice and limes before serving.
Changing the tart or sweet levels: If you prefer sweeter margaritas, you can add a bit of simple syrup to taste. Or, if your prefer more tart margaritas, you can add more lime juice.