It’s easy to make a great Margarita with expensive tequila, Cointreau liqueur, and fresh-squeezed Key lime juice. However, it’s even easier to make a great Cheap Margarita.
I interviewed a lot of bartenders, and the champion of the Houston Rodeo Margarita Contest, and put together this winner. Your guests will never know it’s not “premium”.
Cheap Margarita Recipe
- 1½ ounces Lunazul, Agavales, or Olmeca Altos 100% agave blanco tequila
- ¼ 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
— Put tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice mix in a shaker with ice. Shake 33 times, 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 still 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, 2 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 $17 and deserves the major awards it has won. 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 that have tested well 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) provides an enjoyable burn.
For Strawberry Margaritas, add 2 fresh or frozen strawberries per drink, before mixing.