How to Make the Perfect Margarita


Margarita is one of the most common cocktails served in bars and restaurants. The main reason for that is its massive popularity among female drinkers. This drink is considered sexy because it is usually served in vibrant colors and elegant tall glasses. Its sexiness also has something to do with its sweetness that has a particular oomph to make fun conversations and parties even more exciting.

The simplest way to explain how to make the perfect margarita is that it should contain tequila, triple sec, and juice from lemon or lime. Ice is optional since some people like it plain and strong. If you want ice, you can either blend it with a margarita or have the drink on the rocks. When it comes to serving it, margarita should be in a glass with sugar or salt sticking around the rim.

Before going to the specifics on how to make the perfect margarita, stick around for a while as we explore different variations of the drink. Who knows, you might learn a new way to enjoy this fabulous cocktail.

Types of Margarita

Margarita variations exist because of the little twists enthusiasts and pros have been experimenting over the years. Most versions just changed one thing from the drink’s basic ingredients.

  • Coronarita

    The name, even the content, is a combination of two drinks: Corona and margarita. Coronarita is clearly a beer cocktail. It is prepared by draining an upside-down bottle of Corona straight into the margarita. To emphasize the beer element of coronarita, you may serve this drink in any type of beer glass.

  • Fruit Margarita

    We mentioned that basic margarita only includes either lime or lemon extract as the juice portion of the drink. However, you can actually extract other fruits such as raspberries, melons, bananas, strawberries, peaches, mangoes, and oranges. Mango juice definitely tastes different than lemon juice, so mango margarita can be pretty exciting to try out.

  • Frozen Margarita

    This is probably the most popular variation of margarita. Frozen margarita gives a vibe similar to tropical ice slush cocktails such as piña colada and hurricane. Regarding the process, simply use a blender for a homemade frozen margarita. Just make sure that the ingredients will completely mix with crushed ice.

    For businesses, however, a special machine is normally used to cater many customers. Freezing temperature is maintained inside the machine, so the cylinder continuously churns the mixture to prevent solid margarita. This mechanism was already used back in 1971, inspired by the system of machines that make ice cream and the 7-Eleven Slurpee.

  • Margarita with Flavored Liqueur

    Most triple sec brands have an orange flavor. Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and Gran Gala are popular ingredients for a margarita. In fact, Grand Marnier results to another variation of the drink called “Cadillac margarita.” Now, the orange-flavored liqueur is not the only option. Watermelon, pineapple, black raspberry, and melon are ideal flavors for the margarita’s liqueur. However, in order to preserve the distinct taste of margarita, it is best to stay with orange flavor while other choices can serve as the secondary or additional elements of the drink.

How to Make the Perfect Margarita

Finally, let’s proceed to the details on how to make the perfect margarita. There are three standards we can follow:

  • 1950s Classic

    In the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine, the margarita was already at the peak of its popularity as it graced a page for being the “Drink of the Month.” The recipe there said that margarita should only have an ounce of tequila, a dash of triple sec, and juice from half a lemon or lime. These ingredients should be poured all over crushed ice inside a stem glass. To securely put salt around the glass, just rub the rim with lime or lemon first so the substance would stick.

  • IBA Standard

    The International Bartenders Association was established since 1951. Now, it is a massive worldwide organization that only acknowledges the best bartenders from different countries. It holds a prestigious annual event called World Cocktail Competition to celebrate talent and innovation when it comes to bartending.

    No wonder the IBA managed to maintain its credibility through the years especially when it comes to sharing recipes. The IBA standard for making the perfect margarita relies on the 7:4:3 ratio: 50 percent tequila, 29 percent Cointreau, and 21 percent lime juice.

  • Cointreau Standard

    Ironically, the most preferred brand for triple sec suggests taking it slow on its product. Cointreau’s “Original Margarita” requires one part of white tequila, half of the lime for extraction, and only a half of Cointreau based on tequila’s portion.

How to Serve Margarita

As bonus knowledge, we are also giving you tips on how to serve margaritas. The best way to serve this drink is by using a margarita glass – obviously. Margarita glass is based on the form of a champagne coupe. It became popular in containing fruit margarita. If you are unsure about how a margarita glass looks like, you may have encountered glasses that were serving shrimp cocktails and guacamole. Most likely you were looking at margarita glasses.

Meanwhile, the formal way of serving margarita is by putting it in a typical cocktail glass. On the other hand, a traditional glass can be an option as long as you are not in a high-class event. It is useful for a margarita on the rocks since it is wide enough to properly hold chunks of ice.

However, since margarita is a party drink, fun glasses exist to make margarita even more exciting to consume. In Tex-Mex restaurants, frozen margarita is so popular for ordinary patrons that it can be inside a big schooner, beer stein or even a huge fishbowl-like glass without inciting judgment. In defense of fishbowl glasses, they are actually useful if multiple customers prefer to share a glass. These patrons just have to use different straws.


It is nice to learn how to make the perfect margarita, but it gets even better if you explore other variations of the drink. The ideal margarita, based on the classic, IBA or Cointreau standard, is nothing if your palate does not like it. So, do not hesitate to experiment with different combinations, fruits, and liqueur flavors until you are finally happy with the taste.

If you are planning to make another high-class cocktail right in the comfort of your own home, then feel free to learn how to make a Manhattan. For a stronger type of drink, find out how to enjoy absinthe in two ways and how to make whiskey sour.