Citrussy and sour while fresh and boozy - the Margarita is an iconic Tequila cocktail.

Arguably the most famous tequila cocktail in the books, the Margarita is undoubtedly a favourite amongst casual, curious and connoisseur drinkers alike. 

When made well it’s a classic concoction that tingles all of the taste buds in a powerful yet refreshingly complex way. There are many twist too, which we've written about separately: Margarita Twists.

Margarita Cocktail Recipe
Margarita Cocktail Recipe

Traditionally part of the sour family, the Margarita consists of three ingredients: tequila, triple sec and lime (although we aren’t shy to an extra addition of agave syrup for some added balance). 

Here’s how we make ours:

1 serving
  • 50 ml Tequila Blanco
  • 35 ml Fresh Lime Juice
  • 25 ml Triple Sec
  • 5 ml Agave Syrup (Optional)
  1. Optional - Rim your glass with lime and salt. (For a Margarita ‘on the rocks’: fill your old-fashioned glass with cubed ice)
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, lime, triple sec (orange liqueur) and shake until cold.
  3. Strain into glass and garnish with a lime wedge


A good Margarita should always have the distinctive strength and attributes of the tequila base. Having a good quality Blanco therefore, is key and with no desire to be melodramatic here, the choice of tequila will either make or break your drink. Opt for a Blanco that’s made from 100% Blue Agave. Ideally one that’s got a lovely roasted agave note too as that can add a lot of depth to each sip.

Make this a rule – always use fresh lime and refrain from reaching for pre-made sour mixes! The artificial and syrupy batches can immediately eliminate the light and refreshing taste a Margarita is supposed to have. Overtime, the artificial sweeteners will overpower the palate, that’s why you can add in a little bit of agave syrup if the lime juice is too much for your preference!

And remember – salt buffers the acidity of the lime which lessens the cheek sucking and eye squinting effect. Classically, the vegetal and earthy characters of the tequila should always take centre stage, but it’s down to your preference how you want to balance it out!

If you are looking to inject a heavier and smokier personality to your Margarita, we suggest playing around with Mezcal instead of Tequila. For other twists on the classic Margarita, please see our other post on our favourite variations – Margarita Twists. 


The provenance of our ‘agave-citric sipper’ is one that is incredibly hard to pinpoint and verify. With differing tales and stories sprouting from bartenders to spin off’s – the history of the Margarita is as cloudy as the clarity of the cocktail itself. There are a few brief hints that sprinkles a sense of origin though… 

The Margarita is undoubtedly the youngest member of the sour family, with little affirmation and demand existing before the 1970s. That doesn’t mean tequila cocktails weren’t present however, nor that the drink wasn’t being made.  

During the dark boozy era of Prohibition, Tequila survived as a novelty spirit that saw many Americans flock over the border to Tijuana, for some intoxicated and pickled prosperity. It’s during this time (in 1938) that one of the more widely accepted origins awards recognition to Mexican bartender Carlos ‘Denny’ Herrera, Tijuana.

One of his regulars was Ziegfeld showgirl, Rancho La Gloria (Marjorie King), who was woefully allergic to all spirits – Tequila being a hopeful exception. King, who was opposed to drinking the stuff neat, ultimately encouraged Herrera to get creative, thus conceiving the light and simplistic, Margarita. A nice story if were true and there’s equal potential for this to be real as there is for it to be a tall tale…

Making a Margarita recipe
Making a Margarita recipe

David Wondrich, (author of ‘Punch’ and ‘Imbibe!’) favours the cocktails evolution from a Tequila ‘Daisy’ dubbed the ‘Picador’. Margarita translates to ‘daisy flower’ in Spanish which inevitably saw a tequila infused twist on the ‘Daisy’ which was a popular serve of alcohol, citrus, and grenadine over shaved ice in the 1930s-40s. Eventually, Tequila Daisies dominated which called for tequila, orange liqueur, lime, and soda. 

According to Difford’s Guide for Discerning Drinkers, the Margarita was sparsely recognised in renowned cocktail books, before appearing as a ‘Picador’ in the 1937 Café Royal Cocktail Book by William James Tarling. ‘The British ancestor predates the first known mention of the Margarita by 16 years’, with the method, ingredients, and proportions almost identical to our tasty tequila tipple we sip today!

Similar to our Tequila Sunrise history, Jose Cuervo played another important marketing role that helped bring Margarita’s reputation from local to national in 1945. Mainstream campaigns with the tagline, ‘more than just a girl’s name’, (stemming from other claims that Texas socialite Margaret Sames or actress Rita Hayworth were behind the original concept) were slowly bringing demand for the cocktail. In 1965, the Oxford English Dictionary officially defined the Margarita as “a cocktail made with tequila and citrus fruit juice’, cementing the cocktail’s content and notoriety. It was finally in 1972 where tequila was dedicated a whole chapter ahead of vodka in the revised edition of Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide

Spirits Kiosk
Ocho Blanco Tequila
Ocho Blanco Tequila
Cazcabel Blanco Tequila
Cazcabel Blanco Tequila
Rooster Rojo Blanco Tequila
Rooster Rojo Blanco Tequila