My Classic Margarita

My Classic Margarita

I tend to force my recipes to evolve and mutate over the years, but when it comes to this margarita, I haven’t been able to do a single thing that actually improves it. Not that it can’t be improved upon … I’m sure it can. I just know I can’t improve it. So here it is again, preserved in all its historical glory.

Yields 1
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  1. 2 ounces 100% agave silver/blanco tequila, divided
  2. 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  3. 4 limes, divided
  4. 1/2 small Hamlin or Valencia orange
  5. 2 tablespoons light agave nectar
  6. 3/4 cup ice cubes, about 3 to 4
  1. Pour 1/2 ounce of the tequila into a small saucer. Spread the kosher salt in a separate small saucer. Dip the rim of a martini or other wide rimmed glass into the tequila. Lift out of the tequila and hold upside down for 10 seconds to allow for slight evaporation. Next, dip the glass into the salt to coat the rim. Set aside.
  2. Halve 2 of the limes, cut a thin slice for garnish from one, and set aside. Juice the halved limes into the bottom of a Boston style cocktail shaker. Cut the remaining 2 limes and the orange into quarters and add to the juice. Add the agave nectar to the cocktail shaker and muddle for 2 minutes until juices release. Strain the juice mixture through a cocktail strainer into the top of the shaker and discard the spent fruit bodies.
  3. Return the juice to the bottom of the shaker, add the remaining 1 1/2 ounces of tequila and any remaining on the saucer. Add the ice to the shaker, cover and shake for 30 seconds. Strain the mixture through a cocktail strainer into the prepared glass, garnish with reserved lime slice, and serve immediately.


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  1. 1

    I tried making this using half a blood orange instead of a Valencia and it turned out very tasty, although it made the margarita itself pinkish-orange. I do think the salt was overpowering, though I don’t know why since I’ve had it on margaritas before and it never bothered me.

  2. 7
    Jerry Schlesinger

    To may ingredients

    Start with one lime Juice it into something that you can measure with.
    add twice what you get from the lime with tequila ( Blanco )
    add an equal measure of what by ou get from the lime of Triple Sec
    Add Ice- salt is optional

  3. 9

    I have tweaked this Margarita and developed an exact Daiquiri with rum instead of tequila.
    1. 3-4 oz liquor (rum or tequila, depending on what you’re making)
    2. One “heaping” Tablespoon of Agave–meaning a bit can drip over tablespoon.
    3. Juice of 1-1 1/2 limes depending on amt. of juice.
    These are easy and you can adjust every little bit depending on how “strong”, how “sweet”, how “tart”! But you, Alton were my inspiration.

  4. 10

    The best, and easiest margarita ever! Absolutely perfect. I used to use a ridiculous amt. of Gran Marnier to get just this taste!

  5. 11
    Aissys Sparkstealer

    I tried this using a French press for muddling the fruit. It worked fantastically … except now I have to clean it. As for the drink itself, I’m very particular about my tequila drinks and this is one of the best margaritas I’ve tried.

  6. 13

    This is an excellent recipe. My only problem is I can’t make them fast enough… yet. Thanks for another winner, Mr. Brown.

  7. 14
    Alice Massoglia

    The kosher salt for the rim is a great touch. Most of the bartenders use extra-fine and it just seems meh. The kosher salt really pops!

  8. 16

    The only time I prefer salt on the glass rim is if I suspect the tequila. If good 100% agave tequila is being used, there is no need for salt, and it can even hurt the flavor of the drink.

  9. 18

    I might try this with the exception of the garnish lime. I’d throw it on the saucer with the tequila to give it a kick. (yes I’m the weirdo that eats my garnish)

  10. 22

    Just a thought, but a splash of brandy can even out that sweet and sour taste if its too strong for anyone. i was turned off by that over powering lemon that is generally added. Brandy really does add a nice touch.

  11. 23
    Kirk Justus

    I have had this before and it is a damn good marg, but I have moved away from added-sugar in my drinks. My favorite marg is more like a martini–celebrating the tequila. I would drop the Agave to a single tablespoon or maybe 2 teaspoons and reduce the amount of total lime juice.

  12. 24

    Add roasted jalapeño infused tequila to this. I too thought my margaritas were close to perfection until a small bar in keywest gave me this tidbit.

    • 25

      I agree, Brent. Jalapeno infused tequila is very easy to make, too. I slice my jalapenos, roast them lightly, place them in the bottle of tequila for 3 days, strain, and enjoy.

  13. 30

    I feel like our limes here in New Mexico must be way larger or juicier than what you’re using in this recipe. I had to almost triple the other ingredients just to keep my face from puckering up. When I balanced it out a bit, it really made one hell of a margarita.

  14. 33

    I always find making a mix (Agave, Lime, and fresh OJ) works wonders if made in advance of a party… Then you add tequila and QUALITY triple sec… But I’ll Have to give this a try

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