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Tommy’s Margarita Cocktail Recipe

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Love Margaritas but want to try something a little different ? Try Tommy’s Margarita, a riff that will make you reconsider triple sec’s role. 

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What is Tommy’s Margarita?

Tommy’s Margarita is a variation of the classic Margarita that leaves out the orange liqueur, and swaps the simple syrup for agave syrup. This combination results in a simpler but more agave-forward drink, which I think is very fitting since tequila is agave-based after all.

The original idea behind this recipe came from bartender Julio Bermejo, of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, back in the ’90s. This style has become so popular you can now find bars that don’t add orange liqueur to their simple Margaritas either, even if they use simple syrup. 

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Tommy's Margarita Cocktail Recipe

Ioana Ciuraru
A whole new way to make your Margarita, perhaps a better version.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1


  • 2 oz tequila
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • 0.5 oz agave syrup
  • salt for the rim


  • Wet the rim of a rocks glass, dip it in salt, add a bit of ice, set aside.
  • In a shaker combine tequila, lime juice, agave syrup, ice. Shake very well.
  • Strain into salted rocks glass.


The salt rim is traditional but it can be too much salt for some. You can swap the salt rim for a pinch of salt in the shaker as you mix the drink.

When is this drink best ?

I think Tommy’s Margarita is great a summer cocktail. It’s still a Margarita so it’s going to be strong but fun, and will remind you of summer vacations. 

My thoughts on Tommy’s Margarita

I liked tommy’s Margarita, actually a bit more than the classic Margarita. The agave syrup is a nice touch, and I feel it belongs in this drink; it’s meant to be there. There’s a slight smokiness to agave syrup as well, and a mild honey note in it. That pairs very well with the tequila and the lime juice, creating a smoother, rounder Margarita. 

tommys margarita making

If you like Tommy’s Margarita, you might also like…

Classic Margarita – the old-school version

Texas Margarita – a sourer version of Margarita

Italian Margarita – a more complex, deeper flavored Margarita

Golden Margarita – a Margarita favoring gold tequila

Tequila Honey Bee – a tequila and honey mix

Notes, substitutes, and tips

If you can find reposado tequila, it might work better than any other version in this. It’s a smoother tequila and I think the agave syrup would compliment it better.

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