This classic margarita recipe on the rocks combines freshly squeezed lime juice, tequila and a splash of orange liqueur. It’s the best margarita you’ll wrap your lips around.
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Last week my husband and I took a vacation to San Antonio. I had been reading about the handmade margaritas. Until that point, my idea of a good margarita was the slushy lime-flavored mix I got by the pitcher at my local Mexican restaurant.
We got into town about two in the afternoon. It was hot, it was muggy, and we stopped at the first restaurant that had outdoor seating and misters on their fans. They bragged that they had “hands down, the best margaritas in town.” We would later discover that just about EVERY restaurant claims to have the best margarita in town.
Anyway, we ordered a couple of margaritas on the rocks. When they came, they had a slight orange tint instead of the bright green hue we were used to. But when we tasted them we were completely blown away! I will never look at the neon green slush at my local Mexican restaurant the same way again.
How to Make This Classic Margarita Recipe
First, start with fresh lime juice. FRESH! Bottled lime juice has a disgusting after taste. A juicer really helps to cut down the work here. If you’re looking for a cheap one, this is a newer version of the one we have. I recommend juicing more than the one ounce the recipe calls for. Trust me, after downing one margarita, you’ll want another.
Add one ounce of fresh lime juice to a shaker filled with ice. Add 1.5 ounces of good tequila. When it comes to tequila, you get what you pay for. If you try to save a few pennies by buying the cheap stuff and you will regret it the next morning. Quality tequila also tastes better. That doesn’t mean you have to blow a hole in your wallet by buying the most expensive stuff on the shelf. But stay away from rotgut brands like Pepe Lopez.
Next, add one ounce of orange liqueur. Grand Mariner, Grand Gala, Triple Sec or Cointreau are common brand name terminologies you need to look for. Grand Marnier, and its cheaper cousin Grand Gala, is an orange-flavored cognac-based liqueur. Triple sec, also known as Curaçao is a strong, sweet and colorless orange flavored liqueur. Cointreau is a brand of triple sec.
Finally, a quarter ounce simple syrup. If you don’t know what simple syrup is, it’s nothing but equal parts sugar dissolved in water. Simmer in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved, then let cool.
Shake the ingredients, then pour over ice into a salt-rimmed glass. Enjoy!
Classic Margaritas on the Rocks
- 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1.5 oz. tequila good tequila! Don't skimp here!
- 1 oz. orange liqueur
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup
- Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.
- Shake until well combined.
- Pour over ice into salt-rimmed glasses.