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Since it’s Cinco de Mayo and everything, I figured I’d post the margarita we use at the bar. I worked on my margarita recipe for a long time until I found that perfect balance between sweet, sour and strong. It’s been very good to us over the years.

I learned early on the famous 2:1:1 formula for all things sour. That’s two parts strong, one part sweet, one part sour. But it doesn’t always work when you’re using a liqueur as a sweetener (and nevermind the fact that if you simply deduce that as two ounces, one ounce, one ounce, the drink is positively huge)

So I found that rejiggering (pun intended) those proportions into 1½:¾:¾ and hitting it with a teaspoon of simple syrup (whether it’s sugar or agave or maple, etc) was the trick to a well-balanced cocktail. Try it sometime with your favorite “International Sour”, as Gary Regan calls them.

And if you’d like to make enough of these to fuel a party, then I strongly advise you check out my How to Make a Gallon of Margaritas post.

Margarita Print Me

  • 1½ oz tequila
  • ¾ oz Cointreau
  • ¾ oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  2. Shake with ice until cold
  3. Strain into a chilled old fashioned glass filled with ice (salted rim optional)
  4. Garnish with a lime and enjoy!

Recipe printed courtesy of

7 Replies to “Margarita”

  • I know they’re a pain to juice, but I find I can almost entirely skip the sugar if I use Mexican limes (aka key limes). They used to be impossible to get, but at a few markets they’re actually cheaper than regular limes.

    I picked up the tip from a cookbook from a woman who spent a lot of time in various regions of Mexico, who pointed out that the smaller Mexican limes tend to be a bit sweeter. The aroma is a bit more interesting, too. Her ratios were otherwise pretty similar to yours, which are plenty potent, and I like the balance of acid.

  • karama says:

    I usually have a Richmond Gimlet but last night you made a margarita for me and it was one of the best I have had.
    I can always count on you to satisfy!


  • Josh says:

    I present the Monkey-butt Margarita:

    Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  • Piotr says:

    This is the best Margarita I have ever drunk. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  • James says:

    I’ve been struggling to get a good margarita mix down. I think this nails it. Thanks!

  • Gerd says:


    in your (awesome, btw) book you published a simpler Margarita recipe:

    1 1/2 oz tequila
    3/4 oz Cointreau
    3/4 oz lime juice
    1 tsp 2:1 syrup

    – so you now prefer this version over the Margarita with lemon and lime?

  • David Allen says:

    I am also curious about the Lemon and Lime combo vs the recipe in your book.

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