How to Make a Mexican Margarita With 3 Ingredients

updated Jul 20, 2023
Pure Mexican Margarita
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Mexican margaritas are made with three ingredients: 100% agave tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar

Joanne Weir, a San Francisco chef, tequila expert, makes a margarita at her Bay Area restaurant Copita that is known as one of the best in the region. She says — and I agree wholeheartedly — that the biggest mistake people make with their margaritas is that they use too many ingredients like Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau.

A perfect margarita has a balance of sweet and tart, and it just has three ingredients: 100% agave tequila (Weir prefers blanco), freshly squeezed lime juice, and agave nectar.

Putting Agave and Key Limes in the Spotlight

This is as pure margarita as you can make, with agave in the spotlight: tequila from agave and the sweetener from agave. Leave the Triple Sec and Cointreau behind, this may be your new house margarita recipe.

This week I made a batch of my (well, my tweak on Joanne’s recipe) Pure Mexican Margaritas with key limes; they are a major pain to juice, but worth the effort for its uniquely tart flavor. Don’t fret if you don’t have key limes at your fingertips; the margarita made with regular limes will still make you swoon (and giggle). Just make sure to use ripe, juicy fruit, and organic if possible. With a recipe this simple, there’s no hiding behind sub-par ingredients.

Pure Mexican Margarita


Nutritional Info


  • 2 ounces

    (1/4 cup) tequila

  • 1 ounce

    (2 tablespoons) freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 3/4 ounce

    (1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons) agave nectar or 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) Simple Syrup

  • 3/4 ounce

    (1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons) cold water

  • 1

    lime, sliced crosswise into wheels

  • 3 tablespoons

    kosher salt, optional


  1. Shake the tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, and water vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled rocks glass or coupe filled with ice. Garnish with the wheel of lime.

  2. Optional garnish: Before filling the glass with ice, moisten the rim and dip it in a dish of kosher salt.

Check out more from Joanne Weir – she cooks, teaches, travels, makes wine, and shakes a mean margarita.

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