Learning how to make a classic 3-2-1 margarita is as easy as counting to three. They’re delicious, too, which is all the more reason to celebrate with one.
Long, long, ago in college land, there lived a bunch of young kids who liked to think that frozen Margaritas were a “classic” Mexican drink.In real grown-up land, the Classic Margarita is a 3-2-1 ratio of tequila, orange liqueur, Grand Marnier (or Cointreau), and lime juice. It is not frozen, but rather, served on the rocks. Some people sweeten classic margaritas with a bit of simple syrup or agave nectar. I prefer a small amount of simple syrup in mine, and I also like to add a bit of lime zest.
- 3 parts tequila 6 ounces
- 2 parts orange liqueur triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau (4 ounces)
- 1 part fresh lime juice 2 ounces
- Simple syrup or agave nectar to taste (4 Tablespoons)
- Kosher salt for rims of glasses
- Fresh lime slices for garnish
- Optional: zest of lime
- Into a cocktail shaker, mix 3 parts good quality tequila, 2 parts orange liqueur and 1 part lime juice, simple syrup and zest of one lime, if desired.
- Rub a wedge of lime around the rim of a rocks glass. Coat rim with kosher salt. Fill with ice.
- Pour margaritas into glasses and garnish with lime slices.
Here in sunny Southern California, limes are 10 for a buck, so it’s a pretty easy summer-time drink. Salting the rim of the glass is optional. As long as you adhere to the 3-2-1 ratio, you can make as many margaritas as you wish!
Learning how to make a classic 3-2-1 margarita also means learning that this isn’t the time to skimp on ingredients.
Use the best quality tequila you can afford. There’s a reason that a margarita made with Grand Marnier is called a “Cadillac”. Simple syrup is a bar staple for many mixed drinks, and it’s also perfect for sweetening iced tea.
- 1 part sugar
- 1 part water
- Bring water and sugar to boil, stirring, just until sugar has dissolved.
- Turn off heat and cool.
- Store syrup in a jar or bottle in refrigerator.