The Best Margarita

The best classic m argarita

Last December at the Ritz Carlton Cancún, we discovered the secrets to a perfect margarita. This arduous task took many nights, and some days, of tedious research and testing. Es un placer to share the recipe with you today, in time for Cinco de Mayo (that’s May 5th for my non-Spanish-speaking readers). 


One of the secrets, amigos, is to use silver, or blanco tequila. To my little taste buds, silver tequila is much smoother than the gold stuff, and really lets the lime shine through. (I happen to prefer the taste of lime to the taste of tequila.) Speaking of lime, that’s the next secret: Fresh lime juice is the key to an elevated, thirst-quenching margarita. No bottled sour mix, por favor! Orange liquor and agave nectar (or simple syrup) kiss the margarita with sweetness without overdoing it. Finally, we discovered that crushed ice makes every cocktail taste better. (This is not a scientific statement.) If you don’t have a crushed ice maker, a plastic bag and a rolling pin will do the job.

This recipe makes one margarita. It’s easy to double, or quadruple the recipe if you use a cocktail jigger; you shouldn’t have to do math when making margaritas. The large cup of a jigger is usually 1½ ounces, and the small cup is ¾ ounce. A shot glass should also be 1½ ounces.


Classic Margarita                                              Print Recipe-Classic Margarita

Makes one cocktail

  • 1½ ounces silver (blanco) tequila
  • ¾ ounce Gran Marnier or triple sec
  • 1½ ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or simple syrup (recipe below), or +/- to taste
  • Ice
  • Kosher salt and lime wheels for garnish


Place a few tablespoons of kosher salt on a small saucer. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a short glass, then dip the rim in the salt.

To crush ice, place some ice cubes in a ziplock bag and then smash with a rolling pin. Place crushed ice in glass.



To a cocktail shaker or large glass, add some cubed ice, tequila, Gran Marnier, lime juice and agave nectar (or simple syrup). Add the squeezed lime rinds if you want. Cover and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into glass and garnish with a lime wheel.



The best classic margarita recipe

* To make simple syrup, add one cup sugar and one cup water to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Then turn to low and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool before adding to cocktails. Can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a month.




Ritz Carlton Cancun; I’m pretty sure just about any concoction would taste good in this setting.


Poolside mixology classes, with free samples!



A perfect pairing: margaritas with fish tacos, served beachside


Not exactly like December in Pennsylvania . . .

6 thoughts on “The Best Margarita

    • Hi – Thanks for following! For non-alcoholic cocktails, I love a simple pomegranate juice with club soda or seltzer — maybe with a squeeze of lime and/or a few ruby red pomegranate arils (seeds) thrown in for garnish.

      • Ooh pomegranate I didn’t think of that I usually have cranberry and lime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s