While the origin of the margarita is as hazy as a hangover, the tequila-laced cocktail is clearly one of the most popular mixed drinks in America. But, perhaps, no cocktail has as many highs and lows as the margarita. When they’re great, they’re great. But bad tequila (there’s plenty of that in the world), subpar sour mix, and a “watered-down” bartender can easily turn the tequila tide from great taste to great waste.
The key to a great-tasting margarita—whether you like ’em frozen or on the rocks—is to start with a great-tasting tequila, preferably a blanco, the purest of tequila’s five expressions. And if you need help navigating the world of blancos, we have you covered with our list of Outsider-approved blancos, including G4 Blanco, Fortaleza Blanco, and Siete Leguas Blanco, which we are using today.
Let’s get mixing. Because the classic margarita deserves to be done right.
Ingredients: Classic Margarita
- 2 oz. Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila
- 1 oz. Cointreau (orange liqueur)
- 1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice (1 lime)
- ice for mixing
- rocks glass with 1 large ice cube
- cocktail shaker
The International Bartenders Association calls for the margarita to contain a mix of 50% tequila, 29% orange liqueur, and 21% fresh lime juice. So if you like to play by the rules—and you have a graduated cylinder (remember science class?)—use 1.7 oz tequila, .7 oz. orange liqueur, and .5 oz. fresh lime juice. Otherwise, a simplification of the ratio to 2:1:1 (as in our recipe) should suffice.
Rub the rim on your rocks glass with a cut lime (image 1). Roll the rim of the rocks glass in salt (2). Drop a large ice cube into the rocks glass (3). Juice your lime (4).
Pour 2 oz. of Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila into your cocktail shaker (image 5). Add 1 oz. Cointreau orange liqueur (6). Add 1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice (7). Add a handful of ice to the cocktail shaker, top, and shake for 20 seconds (8).
Strain into rocks glass over ice cube (image 9). Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy (10).