This Just In: How to Make a Margarita Better Than Your Favorite Restaurant

rose gold margaritas - how to make a margarita

The College Housewife 

There aren't many cocktails that are as delicious and easy-to-make as the margarita. This classic sip effortlessly balances out sweet and tart, and miraculously consists of only four ingredients: tequila, fresh lime juice, orange liqueur and agave. These ingredients can of course be altered to create variations on the margarita (think pineapple margarita or jalapeno margarita), but they do serve as a sort of boozy blueprint.

Although it's only a four-ingredient cocktail, the margarita still takes some preparation and care to make. Don't fret. Instead, let the steps ahead guide you as you create a five star-worthy margarita.

Here's everything you need to know to make your best marg ever.

01 of 05

Gather Ingredients & Bar Tools

Cocktail shaker surrounded by limes and bar tools.

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You're, of course, going to need all the right ingredients and bar tools to make the perfect margarita. It's best to gather ingredients and tools beforehand in order to avoid any last minute store runs and to enjoy a seamless cocktail-making experience. For your ingredients, you'll need tequila, limes, agave and orange liqueur. Additionally, a typical garnish for the margarita are lime wedges or wheels.

The type of tequila or orange liqueur you use is completely your choosing. You can even opt for a mezcal, if a smoky margarita is on your radar. And if you're aiming for a variation on the margarita, a prickly pear margarita for example, simply swap out agave for prickly pear syrup.

Thankfully, you won't need too many bar tools for your margarita. To shake your ingredients, you'll need a cocktail shaker, and to measure your ingredients, you'll need a jigger (a barware tool that measures between 0.5 and 2.5 ounces). To get the most out of fresh limes, a citrus juicer is a must. Lastly, you'll want to serve your cocktail in a margarita glass.

02 of 05

Prepare Fresh Juice

how to make a margarita - squeeze fresh lime juice

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The absolute key to a fantastic margarita is fresh lime juice. One sip of a margarita made using fresh lime juice and you'll quickly say "so long" to bottled mixers. Depending on the ripeness of the limes, you'll need between one and two limes per margarita.

Keep in mind that one margarita calls for approximately one ounce of lime juice.

You can squeeze your limes by hand or use a handheld citrus juicer. If you're making several margaritas, a handheld citrus juicer is likely the better option.

03 of 05

Rim Your Glass With Salt Or Sugar

how to make a margarita - rim the glass with salt or sugar

Sugar & Cloth

Now that you have all your bar tools and ingredients handy, it's time to shake your way to the perfect margarita. But before you add your ingredients to a cocktail shaker, be sure to rim your margarita glass with salt or sugar. A rimmed glass serves as another element of the margarita that can be tweaked to create a unique sip.

Making a coconut margarita? Toasted coconut-flavored sugar is a tasty and fragrant choice. Using mezcal for your margarita? Opt for a a smoked paprika sea salt rim.

To rim your glass, pour salt or sugar onto a small plate or similar. Then, moisten the top of your glass using a lime wedge. From there, gently roll the top of your glass in the salt or sugar, making sure to evenly coat the rim.

04 of 05

Shake Things Up

how to make margaritas - cocktail shaker with margarita ingredients

Julie Blanner

Now that you've rimmed your glass, you're one step closer to indulging in your boozy masterpiece. Next up, it's time to mix your margarita using a cocktail shaker. To do this, add all of your ingredients (tequila, agave, fresh lime juice and orange liqueur) to a cocktail shaker already filled with ice.

In regards to measurements, one margarita calls for two ounces tequila, one ounce fresh lime juice, half an ounce of orange liqueur and half an ounce of agave. Feel free to adjust the amount of fresh lime juice and agave, depending on how sweet or how tart you want your marg. 

Once you've added all your ingredients, shake vigorously for about 20 to 30 seconds. Strain your cocktail into a pre-rimmed margarita glass filled with ice.

05 of 05

Garnish & Serve

how to make margaritas - margarita with chili rim and garnish

The College Housewife

Now here's the part where you can add a fun, personal touch. It's time to garnish your margarita! You can keep it classic with a lime wedge or lime wheel. For a fancier option, try a lime peel or spiral. You can also dress your margarita with edible flowers for a pop of color or sprinkle chili flakes for added heat. Now that your margarita is complete, it's time to sip and savor. Cheers!

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