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.
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!
What’s the best tequila to use for margaritas?
Use the best quality tequila you can afford. I prefer silver or white tequila for margaritas. 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. I prefer to serve them in smaller rocks glasses rather than giant fish bowls.
Use the best ingredients you can afford.
This is not the time to use Margarita mix or frozen lime juice, you won’t get the same results. Fresh lime juice, top quality tequila, orange liqueur and simple syrup to taste are all you need for this classic Mexican drink.
What’s Triple Sec?
Triple Sec is an orange based liqueur originally from Curaçao. For a top quality margarita, make sure you don’t buy generic triple sec. Cointreau or Pierre Ferrand are excellent triple sec brands. Grand Marnier while also an orange liqueur, is brandy based. Here’s an article for more about the differences between Curaçao and triple sec.
How do you make a “Cadillac” Margarita?
A classic Margarita is made with aged tequila, triple sec (see above), and fresh lime juice. To make a Cadillac Margarita, simple substitute Grand Marnier for the triple sec.
How do you make a “Skinny Girl” Margarita?
The best part about making homemade Margaritas, and not using pre-mixed or sugar filled mixers is that you can control the amount of sweetness. Instead of making the simple syrup with sugar, substitute Swerve. or another sweetener. Traditionally agave nectar is used. When you’re using top quality tequila, Cointreau or Grand Marnier, you’ll find you don’t need much more than a teaspoon or two of simple syrup to sweeten your Margarita. If it’s too sweet, you’ll lose the other flavors.
How To Make A Classic 3-2-1 Margarita
- 6 ounces tequila 3 parts
- 4 ounces orange liqueur 2 parts (triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice 1 part
- 2 Tablespoons Simple syrup or agave nectar (or to taste)
- Kosher salt for rims of glasses
- Fresh lime slices for garnish
- Optional: zest of lime
- Into a cocktail shaker with ice, mix 3 parts tequila, 2 parts orange liqueur and 1 part lime juice, simple syrup, to taste and zest of one lime, if desired. Shake.
- Rub a wedge of lime around the rim of a rocks glass. Coat rim with kosher salt. Fill with ice.
- Strain our margaritas into glasses and garnish with lime slices.
How do you make simple syrup?
Simple syrup is a basic bar staple consisting of equal parts sugar and water. If you’re planning on making a few pitchers or are throwing a party, you’ll want to make a pitcher of simple syrup ahead of time.
How do you make fruit Margaritas?
Use this base recipe and add fresh fruit, herbs or spices to make custom Margaritas. A fun interactive party is the a Make Your Own Margarita Party.
- 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.