This Margarita has been improved on April 14, 2020
It was never easy to make good cheap Margaritas, because the ingredients weren’t very good–cheap tequila was harsh, lime juice is always harsh, and orange triple sec isn’t something you would drink on its own.
Nowadays there is excellent and cheap 100% blue agave blanco tequila available, and we have a secret ingredient to brighten the taste of lime juice. A touch of lemon juice makes all the difference.
No need to use expensive tequila. Cointreau is also expensive, but any triple sec will do. You can make these Margaritas a little better with premium tequila, but that’s up to you.
- 1½ ounces Lunazul 100% Agave Blanco Tequila or other 100% agave blanco tequila
- ¼ ounce DeKuyper O3 Orange Liqueur or other triple sec
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 measuring teaspoon (or 1 barspoon) fresh lemon juice
- ¼ ounce blue agave nectar (do not dilute with water)
- 1 cup of ice
— Add the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, lemon juice, and agave nectar to a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, and serve in a glass with ½ of the rim salted. Garnish with a lime wheel on the rim of the glass.
This drink can be made without the lemon juice, replacing it with 1 measuring spoon of lime juice in addition to the ½ ounce lime juice, and it will still be good.
For pitchers of frozen margaritas, pour 12 ounces of tequila, 2 ounces of triple sec, 4 ounces fresh lime juice, 1 ounce plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice , and 2 ounces of agave nectar 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. Olmeca Altos is also a good bargain. Agavales mixes very well and costs under $15. DeKuyper O3 Orange is half the price of Cointreau and works better than Cointreau 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 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.
If you want a Premium Margarita, use a more expensive blanco Tequila like Milagro.
For Strawberry Margaritas, add 2 fresh or frozen strawberries per drink, before mixing.