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How to Make the Perfect Margarita

Fri, Dec 02, 22  |  recipes spirits

Perfect MargaritaNothing beats a perfect margarita.

A perfect margarita can be described as one that isn’t too sweet but still relieves you of the tequila burn. A perfect margarita should be refreshing and tasty without being overly sugary or strong.

Unfortunately, those margarita mixes that you can purchase in stores never compare to freshly mixed ingredients. The perfect margarita is made from only the finest materials and must be constructed by hand.

Making the perfect margarita is actually a rather simple endeavor. The perfect margarita only requires three basic components, which is also great for your budget because you will only need to purchase three ingredients.

The following article from The Huffington Post illustrates the steps to making the perfect margarita, as well as includes an infographic of their perfect margarita. They detail which ingredients are necessary and which ones will add a special touch.

How To Make The Perfect Margarita

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make the perfect margarita? It’s not that difficult when you know the right ratio — most bartenders, like Gary Regan, rely on a 3:2:1 ratio, which translates to 3 parts tequila, 2 parts Cointreau and 1 part lime juice. But what if you want it a bit sweeter? Some mixologists add a little simple syrup to sweeten the cocktail, but many don’t find it necessary at all. So what makes the perfect margarita?

The Three Main Liquids

First, a good-quality silver (blanco) tequila is key and it should be made with 100 percent agave (see our taste test to know what’s good). Next, Cointreau (which is a brand of orange liqueur categorized as a triple sec) is the best — you should not be trying to go upscale by using Grand Marnier (orange-infused Cognac) because the flavor is too heavy for cocktails. Instead you want the light and bright flavor of a good-quality triple sec. Finally, lime juice is the crowning touch to the perfect margarita — the acidity helps balance out all the flavors.


Many bartenders make their margaritas without sweeteners — the Cointreau is usually sweet enough so no additional sugar is needed. But that doesn’t mean the margarita recipe is set in stone. In his book “The Craft of the Cocktail,” famous bartender Dale Degroff makes his margarita without simple syrup, but it’s not his be-all and end-all recipe. In his follow-up book “The Essential Cocktail,” Degroff offers tips on adjusting the cocktail for personal taste by using anywhere between 1/4 to 1/2 parts simple syrup (the complete ratios are adjusted to fit). So really, sweetness is a decision entirely up to the drinker (with some communication made to the individual making the cocktail). And if you’ve ever had a store-bought margarita mix, you know those are loaded with tons of sweetener.


Some people like their margaritas with a salted rim and others without, but salt is actually a necessary ingredient in the perfect margarita. We all know salt is used in cooking because it heightens flavor. Well that’s exactly what it does in the margarita. The salt balances the drink by toning down the lime juice’s acidity and bumping up the noticeability of sweetness. It’s a good idea to salt only half the cocktail glass so that the drinker can test the flavor from each side.

Check out this handy infographic from RSVLTS.com for a visual guide on the perfect margarita ratio (without simple syrup).

Julio's Liquors, Westborough, Massachusetts, The Perfect Margarita Recipe

When choosing the tequila for your perfect margarita, search for a brand that advertises “100% blue agave”. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, so any tequila that is not made from 100% agave has other additives that reduce the quality and flavor of the tequila.

Oftentimes, agave nectar can be used to replace triple sec for a different kind of sweetener for your perfect margarita. Or it can enhance the already sweet flavor of Cointreau. Agave nectar can usually be found in your grocer’s syrup aisle or at liquor stores.

The best way to salt rim the glass of your perfect margarita is to first wet the rim with a lime. Store your margarita salt in a flat container or on a plate. Use kosher salt or sea salt, as coarser salt will stick better. Then, dip the glass in your salt until the rim has been sufficiently dusted.

If you are looking for any of the ingredients to make your own perfect margarita recipe, please visit Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA. We carry a wide array of liquors and mixers to choose from. If you have any inquiries about what we carry, please feel free to contact us.