It’s easy to make a great Margarita with expensive tequila, Cointreau liqueur, and fresh-squeezed Key lime juice, but it’s way easier to make a remarkably good Cheap Margarita.
We asked a lot of questions of bartenders and servers at the most popular restaurants and bars for Margaritas in Houston, Texas, and also a champion of the Houston Rodeo Margarita Contest, and put together this winner. Your guests will never guess it’s not “premium”.
Cheap Margarita Recipe
- 1½ ounces Lunazul, Olmeca Altos, or Agavales 100% agave blanco tequila
- ½ ounce DeKuyper O3 Orange Liqueur or other triple sec
- ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
- ¼ ounce Minute Maid frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
- 1 cup of ice
— Add the tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice mix to a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, and serve in a glass with ½ of the rim salted. If you want to make the preparation even easier, mix 2 parts of fresh lemon juice with 1 part Minute Maid limeade concentrate, and use 3/4 ounce of this mix with the tequila and triple sec.
Using All Fresh Juice: If you feel like squeezing fresh juice, mix 2 part of fresh lemon juice with 1 part Persian lime juice (the limes most commonly found in grocery stores) and use ¾ ounce of this mix instead of the lemon juice/limeade combo.
For pitchers of frozen margaritas, pour 12 ounces of tequila, 4 ounces of triple sec, 4 ounces of lemon juice, and 2 ounces of Minute Maid limeade concentrate into a blender with 3 or 4 handfuls of ice, and blend on high speed.
Lunazul costs about $20 and deserves all of its prestigious awards.. Agavales mixes very well and costs under $15. DeKuyper O3 Orange will never replace Cointreau, but it’s half the price and works beautifully with these Margaritas.
Other tequilas in the $20 range we’ve tested are Campo Azul Reposado (the gold one). Espolon makes a smooth, sweeter margarita with a milder tequila taste. Other highly-rated tequilas in this price range include El Padrino and Pueblo Viejo. Sauza Hornitos Reposado (gold) is popular in Mexico, and will give you an enjoyable burn.
For Strawberry Margaritas, add 2 fresh or frozen strawberries per drink, before mixing.