Classic Margarita Recipe and More for Cinco de Mayo

The classic margarita recipe is hard to beat. No frozen margarita and no mix for me. The margarita recipe is so simple to make that you must rely on the real ingredients.

Before I gave you my classic recipe, it is important to talk about the do and don’t of the margarita. It is necessary because this drink has been damaged over the years.

  • The original recipe called for Cointreau, which is a premium Triple Sec. And yes, you will taste the difference in the margarita since there is only 3 ingredients in a real margarita.
  • The sweetness comes from the premium orange liquor, typically Cointreau. Try to avoid the basic Triple Sec. I ordered mine with Grand Marnier. Therefore, there is no need to add simple syrup in the original recipe.
  • Go for a sliver agave tequila. A classic margarita is not made with aged tequila, so avoid the Reposado.  I prefer the taste of the Patrón silver
  • Do not pour ice from the shaker into the glass, put fresh ice cubes in the glass.
  • The classic recipe uses ice cubes; leave the crushed ice to the frozen margarita.

Making the Classic Margarita


  • 1 1/2 oz 100% agave silver tequila
  • 3/4 oz Cointreau
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, freshly squeezed
  • Kosher salt on the rim – I recommend Kosher because it is less salty

Pour the liquids in a shaker with lots of ice. Shake until he ingredients are well blended. Strain into a lightly salt rimmed old-fashioned glass on the rock. You can also serve your margarita on a margarita glass or a cocktail glass.

If you wish to see my reactions when I taste an incredible margarita, watch this video we took at Taqueria Canonita in Las Vegas last year.

masters margarita recipe

Three twists on the Margarita recipes developed by Patrón:

Masters Margarita


  • 1/2 oz. (15ml) Patrón Citrónge
  • 1 1/2 oz. (35ml) Patrón Silver
  • Fresh ginger
  • 1 lime
  • Dash of bitters
  • 2 tpsb. honey

In a mixing glass, muddle the juice of one lime with a slice of fresh ginger; add the remaining ingredients, fill with ice, and double-strain into a chilled coupette/margarita glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

See also:

For Cinco de Mayo, try to rediscover the original Mexican recipes. Forget the Tex-Mex and serve instead a tasty ceviche with cilantro.

+ More tequila-based cocktails, see Patron
+ Rosle Fruit Muddle/ Caipirinha Pestle $19.95 USD at
+ Top image: 4 cocktails from
Taqueria Canonita

  • Matt
    May 5, 2009 at 10:31

    I love Cinco de Mayo… the only day that I don’t have to feel guilty for breaking out the tequila before noon.

    Not that the guilt stops me on any other day, though 🙂

    Great post, Kim!


  • Margarita-Ville | Adventures in Yes-Land
    August 6, 2009 at 06:44

    […] mix typical in some of the other fruitier margarita versions. Try this recipe instead (thank you Kim Vallée for your […]

  • blogs - Recipe for the Classic Margarita
    May 5, 2011 at 13:45

    […] reading here for more dos and don’ts when recreating this classic […]