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2 margarita cocktails in rocks glasses sit on a brown table, made by the best classic margarita recipe

Cocktails

The Secret to Making the Best Classic Margarita Recipe

Inside: Learn how to make the best classic margarita recipe including how to pick the best tequila (with my 2 fave recommendations) plus cocktail making tips to take your margarita from blah to amazing

H ere’s something you might not know about my cocktail journey. 👇🏼

I used to steer clear of tequila drinks. Mostly because they reminded me of those dirt-cheap well drinks from my college days. You know the ones. 😵💀

Sure, I’d heard the whispers about “good tequila” being sip-worthy, but that sharp taste? No, thank you. ❌🙅🏻‍♀️

Then came the game-changer that transformed me into a full-blown tequila enthusiast. Turns out, I was buying the wrong kind of tequila. And no, it’s not about splurging on some fancy brand.

Too excited and just want to jump to the recipe? Hold up! Don’t miss out on what makes this the best classic margarita recipe ever! 🍸✨

a margarita cocktail sits on a cutting board next to limes representing the best classic margarita recipe

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I might earn a small commission if you love something as much as I do. But I only recommend what I actually like myself.

The Secret to Delicious Margaritas

If tequila’s sharp taste and burn make your stomach churn, you’re probably drinking tequila blanco. My secret? Switch to tequila reposado. ✨

Let’s break it down.

There are 5 types of tequila (from youngest to oldest):

  1. blanco (silver/white)
  2. joven (young/gold)
  3. reposado (aged)
  4. añejo (extra aged)
  5. extra añejo (ultra aged)

The magic lies in how long they’ve been aged in oak barrels before bottling. As tequila ages, its flavor evolves. At its youngest (blanco), it’s sharp and acidic, but as it matures, it mellows out and gets richer.

And I’d bet (with 99% certainty) that the last margarita you had was made with tequila blanco—the youngest kind with the sharpest, most acidic taste.

So, you’re thinking, “The older, the better, right? Extra añejo for the win?” Not so fast.

As tequila ages, its flavor changes in the oak barrels. While it gets distinct, it can become too bold for a cocktail. Plus, older tequila usually comes with a higher price tag.

The goal? Find the “sweet spot” in tequila’s age (and price), which is…….~drum roll~…..tequila reposado.

pin it to remember

an old bottle of tequila reposado, for the best classic margarita recipe

Aged just enough to lose that sharp acidic bite, but not so much that it overpowers your margarita (or any mixed drink).

(And FYI, when you make a margarita with tequila reposado, it’s called a Cadillac Margarita. ✨🚗)

Bottom line: Skip the tequila blanco and grab tequila reposado to craft the tastiest margarita without the sharp burn. Cheers to that! 🍸

My Favorite (and Cheap) Tequilas to Make Margaritas

So, you’re probably thinking, “But tequila reposado is going to be more expensive. Is it really worth it?” Lucky for you, I’ve been taste-testing some less expensive tequila reposados and have 2 amazing recommendations. 🎉

La Gritona Reposado is one of my favorites with a great taste and a fantastic price. This tequila, made in Mexico and is a woman-owned company, comes in a stunning green bottle with a swing-top lid that you can repurpose after enjoying your delicious margaritas. 🌟♻️

Cimarron Reposado is another top pick, even a bit cheaper but still boasting a great taste. This one is smooth and perfect for mixing or sipping.

Bottom line: While tequila reposado might be a bit more expensive, it’s worth it. And these two excellent, budget-friendly options will elevate your margarita game without breaking the bank. 🍹✨

My Top Tips For Making Delicious Margaritas

Ready to elevate your margarita game? Here are my top tips for crafting the most delicious margaritas:

  1. Opt for tequila reposado: Swap out tequila blanco for reposado to enjoy a richer, more balanced taste.
  2. Choose 100% agave tequila: Ensure your tequila is 100% agave for the best flavor profile. Anything less, steer clear.
  3. Fresh lime juice is a must: Don’t even think about reaching for that store-bought lime juice. Squeeze it fresh every time. (Seriously, it’s one of the top mistakes beginner cocktail makers make!)
  4. Triple sec matters: Don’t skimp on the triple sec. Opt for quality options like Cointreau (the classic premium triple sec) or Luxardo (another high quality but low price option I’m loving). For a fun twist, try Clément Créole Shrubb—it adds a unique flavor dimension to your margarita. 🍊
a margarita cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with a lime representing the best classic margarita recipe

Follow these tips, and you’ll be mixing up margaritas that’ll have everyone coming back for more! 🎉🍹

Drumroll, please… It’s time for the ultimate classic margarita recipe….

Cadillac Margarita Recipe: the Best Classic Margarita Recipe Ever

2 margarita cocktails in rocks glasses sit on a brown table, made by the best classic margarita recipe

Sub out tequila blanco with tequila reposado for this elevated take on the classic margarita.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Tequila Reposado
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice

Instructions:

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Shake for 30-45 seconds. Strain into a coupe or rocks glass with a salt-rim (on half the rim). Garnish with a lime wheel.

Time To Start Shaking

Ready to take your at-home happy hour to the next level?

With these insider tips and the best classic margarita recipe in hand, you’ll be the hero of every gathering, impressing your guests with the perfect blend of flavor and finesse.

So, whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue, unwinding after a long day, or simply craving a taste of paradise, grab your shaker and let’s make some magic happen. ✨

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I'm Stefanie—Founder & Writer for Revel & Delight

I believe the secret to hosting exceptional gatherings, from lively celebrations to cozy get-togethers, is thoughtfulness and a little bit of prep. Craft the right atmosphere, attitude, then then sit back and savor the moment you've made.

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