So you think you've got what it takes to be your own bartender? There are few better places to start than the margarita - one of the simplest and most popular cocktails in North America. Combining tequila with the unmistakable citrus combination of lime and orange, margaritas are classic, refreshing, and versatile. Whether you like them shaken over ice, blended, or straight up, they can be made with as much or as little lime and salt as your tastes desire.

classic margarita next to lime and strainer

Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock

Classic Margarita Recipe

While there are premade mixes and powders out there, nothing beats making the real thing from scratch, especially if you're entertaining and want to show off your flare.

You Will Need

3/4 ounce of lime juice, more if salting glass rim
1 ounce of triple sec or another orange liqueur
1.5 ounce of tequila
enough kosher salt to create a salt rim
ice

Step #1 (Optional)

Salt the rim of the glass your margarita will be served in, if desired. While bartenders have specially-designed gadgets for soaking the glass rim in juice, a shallow bowl or dish with a thin layer of lime juice will work for your purposes. Turn the glass upside down into the lime juice and evenly wet the tip of the glass. Pour a layer of kosher salt onto a small plate and dip the rim of your serving glass in the salt.

Step #2

Combine 1.5 ounces of your tequila of choice, 3/4 lime juice, 1 ounce of triple sec or orange liqueur, and ice in a shaker or blender.

Step #3

Shake or blend ingredients until the exterior of the shaker is noticeably chilled or the mixture has blended to desired consistency.

Step #4

Strain onto ice or pour into your cocktail glass.

Step #5

Add lime wedges for decoration and extra lime flavor, if desired. Garnish with a fresh lime wheel and serve.

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