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Shaken Margarita Cocktail Recipe

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The Margarita is a bar staple, especially in the warm season, and it’s a very flexible drink. You can turn it into anything you like by switching the syrup, but today I’m showing you the basic recipe for the classic version.

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What is a Margarita ?

Margarita is a tequila sour, and you’ll find it in two versions: blender, or shaken (much like a Pina Colada). The one I’m doing today is shaken, since I’m not a fan of slushies or tiny chunks of ice, but you can easily blend this instead.

Like most sours, the Margarita is meant to celebrate the base alcohol – in this case tequila. So if you’ve never had tequila, or want to ease your way into it, this is a good start.

The original Margarita is lost to time, and there are so many versions – with or without salt, blended or shaken, triple sec vs curacao, simple syrup vs agave, and so on. I’ve not added salt, but you can add a pinch while mixing the ingredients.

margarita 2

Margarita Cocktail Recipe

Ioana Ciuraru
A shaken version of the Magarita, easier to make at home.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1


  • 2 oz gold tequila
  • 0.5 oz orange liqueur
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup
  • lime for garnish
  • granulated sugar


  • Wet the rim of a margarita glass with lime or lemon, dip the rim in granulated sugar. Add a large ice cube. Set aside.
  • In a shaker combine tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, syrup, lots of ice. Shake very well.
  • Strain into rimmed and iced margarita glass.


  • If you want to make this frozen, add the ingredients (including ice) into a blender and then pour into the same rimmed Margarita glass. Leave out the big chunk of ice in the glass.
  • Can fit this into any cocktail glass that's at least 4 oz plus ice.

When is this drink best ?

Margaritas are bright, sunny, and definitely scream summer. Even if you’re at home, a Margarita will remind you of your last trip to a warmer country, or at least the last time you went to the beach. Since this drink is so cold, I think drinking it in any other season might not work so well.

My thoughts on Margarita

This is a strong drink, despite the flowery name. If you like tequila it’s the perfect way to enjoy it, since the sour and slight sweetness really keep the alcohol in check. Personally I think the sugar rim helps make this more palatable (to me at least), and the lime juice works really well with the flavor of tequila. I used gold tequila, so it had more taste than white tequila, so my perception could be influenced by that.

margarita making

If you like Margarita, you might also like…

Cosmopolitan – a vodka sour, stronger than the pretty glass might look

Tequila sour – technically a tequila Daiquiri, plus egg white

Paloma – a Margarita with grapefruit instead of lime

Strawberry Margarita – a Margarita with strawberries

Blood Orange Margarita – a Margarita with blood orange

Coconut Margarita – a Margarita with coconut

Blueberry Margarita – a Margarita with blueberries

Raspberry Margarita – a Margarita with raspberries

Cucumber Margarita – a Margarita with fresh cucumber

Pomegranate Margarita – a Margarita with pomegranate juice

Texas Margarita – an extra sour Margarita 

Golden Margarita – a Margarita with gold tequila

Tommy’s Margarita – a simpler, but arguably better Margarita

Notes, substitutes, and tips

Your Margarita will be influenced by whatever flavor your tequila has. White tequila is very mild compared to reposado, anejo, or gold, so keep that in mind when deciding which to use for your drink. If you want to give your Margarita more of a kick, try mezcal for a smoky note and stronger overall flavor.

You can mix in salt if you like. Either in the drink itself when shaking, or in the sugar rim.

You need plenty of ice in this. If you’ve got a Margarita glass, fill the middle with ice, or add in a large ball of ice and pour over that. This needs to be freezing cold.

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