Mexican Margarita

updated Apr 18, 2024
Mexican Margarita Recipe
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angled shot of two margaritas in large blue rimmed margarita glasses, garnished with lime wheels
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

San Francisco chef and tequila expert, Joanne Weir, 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, freshly squeezed lime juice, and agave nectar. With a recipe this simple, there’s no hiding behind sub-par ingredients. Here’s how to make the perfect margarita.

Why You’ll Love It

  • This is as pure margarita as you can make. Agave is in the spotlight by using tequila from agave and the sweetener from agave.
  • You only need 3 ingredients. Leave the Triple Sec and Cointreau behind. This margarita is all about the tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, and agave nectar.

Key Ingredients in a Mexican Margarita

  • Tequila: Look for 100% agave tequila blanco. Tequila blanco (also called silver tequila) is considered the purest form of tequila, as it’s typically bottled directly after distillation.
  • Lime juice: Use freshly squeezed lime juice.
  • Agave nectar: Sweeten the margaritas with agave nectar or simple syrup.
  • Kosher salt: Garnish the glass rim with kosher salt.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

How to Make a Mexican Margarita

  1. Salt the glass rim. Before filling the glass with ice, moisten the rim with lime juice and dip it in a dish of kosher salt.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake the tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, and water vigorously with ice.
  3. Strain and serve. Strain into a chilled rocks glass or coupe filled with ice. Garnish with the wheel of lime.

Helpful Swaps

  • Use key limes. A tweak on Joanne’s recipe uses key limes. They are a major pain to juice, but worth the effort for its uniquely tart flavor.
  • Use simple syrup. If you can’t find agave nectar, substitute it with simple syrup, which is made with equal parts granulated sugar and water.

Margarita Variations

Mexican Margarita Recipe

Serves 1

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 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

  • 1 tablespoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Before filling the glass with ice, moisten the rim with lime juice and dip it in a dish of kosher salt.

  2. Shake 2 ounces tequila, 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, 3/4 ounce agave nectar, and 3/4 ounce cold water vigorously in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled rocks glass or coupe filled with ice. Garnish with the wheel of lime.