A Real Margarita

Rarely do I order a margarita at a restaurant. Unless it’s a Mexican restaurant with top-shelf margaritas shaken to order by a bartender, they tend to be heavy on the sweet-and-sour-mix.

What that means is the following:
1. You don’t taste the tequila.
2. Your mouth puckers from the sweet-sour.
3. You invariably get a headache.

So typically I make margaritas at home, although I limit myself to two drinks. I don’t have any bad college memories of tequila overindulgence, because I didn’t drink back then. But I’ve probably heard too many scary stories from other folks, that help me maintain a healthy respect for tequila’s powers.

Although I don’t really enjoy the taste of booze, even vodka, I do like tequila. I’d never drink it straight, but I also don’t want to ruin it with disgusting margarita mix. I’ve searched long and hard for a good, reliable margarita recipe.

Lo and behold, enter my friends, man and wife, both great bartenders and hosts.

This post is thanks to them, and their margarita recipe that they’re allowing me to share with the world!!! I have no idea if it’s a common recipe or not, but most all margarita recipes include sweet and sour mix, simple syrup, or sugar. So trust me, if you like a good, strong, but also refreshing margarita, this recipe is perfect!

Just remember: tequila can creep up on you!

The recipe is this simple. Equal parts tequila, orange liqueur, and fresh lime juice. That’s it. The lime juice provides the tartness and freshness, the liqueur adds just enough sweetness, and the tequila, well that’s the booze.

Of course, a margarita isn’t a margarita without the lime and salt rim.

Start by squeezing limes. You may think you have a lot, but you may barely have enough. Trust me on this. (My husband squeezed 32 limes on Cinco de Mayo for our pitcher of margaritas for four people!)

I ended up with 4 ounces of lime juice, so to it I added 4 ounces each of tequila and orange liqueur. I recommend either Cointreau or Grand Marnier. For tequila I stick with Patron.

Have your glasses ready with salted rims, then fill with ice cubes.

Pour in the margarita.


Of course these margaritas could also be blended with ice, but I prefer mine on the rocks.

On a hot day, there’s no better drink than a margarita, but not if they’re cloyingly sweet.

If you want a special treat, top the margarita off with a Chambord floater! And thank my same friends for this unique twist on a margarita.

By Published On: June 16th, 201754 Comments on A Real Margarita

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Linda Duffin June 16, 2017 at 7:12 AM - Reply

    Oh my goodness, that sounds delicious. Get squeezing those limes, I’m booking a flight!

  2. Cocoa & Lavender June 16, 2017 at 8:16 AM - Reply

    I am with you, Mimi – even most Mexican restaurants here are now using a sour mix. Awful! Margaritas (I will have to try your version) are to be made at home or ordered in only a handful of restaurants!

    • chef mimi June 16, 2017 at 11:10 AM - Reply

      Exactly. Sometimes they even call them top-shelf but they’re not good.

  3. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso June 16, 2017 at 12:22 PM - Reply

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who can’t find a decent Margarita in most bars. The majority uses cheap Tequila and that awful sour mix. Yuck!
    Love yours – and the Chambord addition is something I will definitely try soon. :)

    • chef mimi June 16, 2017 at 2:47 PM - Reply

      Oh they’re awful. This recipe is perfection. You’ll love it!

  4. Angela@grapegravy​ June 16, 2017 at 2:21 PM - Reply

    I love a good margarita! This sounds great!

    • chef mimi June 16, 2017 at 2:41 PM - Reply

      This is a REAl margarita!

      • Angela@grapegravy​ June 16, 2017 at 3:18 PM

        Lol! Yes, a Real margarita. Yum!

      • chef mimi June 16, 2017 at 4:49 PM

        Instead of a fake one?!! Or a really bad one…

  5. Healthy World Cuisine June 16, 2017 at 3:14 PM - Reply

    Now this is one perfect margarita… a preventer of scurvy too with all that fresh lime juice! LOL We love ours on the rocks too. Cheers! Wishing you a super weekend…!

    • chef mimi June 16, 2017 at 3:28 PM - Reply

      It’s Father’s Day weekend! Hope yours is wonderful too!

  6. Freda @ Aromatic essence June 16, 2017 at 3:43 PM - Reply

    Wow! I like the Chambord addition, gotta try it soon :)

  7. Laura June 16, 2017 at 4:02 PM - Reply

    I LOVE a good margarita. I am also very picky on where I order mine from. Those ice cubes are so cute and small! Did you use an ice tray to make them or is that processed in the freezer?

    • chef mimi June 16, 2017 at 4:48 PM - Reply

      The ice is from our ice maker. I inherited with this house, and didn’t think I’d care for it, but now I can’t live without one!!

  8. Kiki June 17, 2017 at 3:53 AM - Reply

    Over here, luckily, we don’t have margarita mixes. It’s all the real thing. I only like strawberry margaritas, and you are right – tequila can creep up on you :-D

    • chef mimi June 17, 2017 at 7:23 AM - Reply

      Oh that is good, because they are terrible!

  9. Laura @ Feast Wisely June 17, 2017 at 5:40 PM - Reply

    I don’t drink spirits Chef Mimi but that looks very refreshing! 🍸

  10. Lisa @ cheergerm June 18, 2017 at 12:18 AM - Reply

    What an delicious icy looking great Mimi.

  11. I’ve pinned this one, what a perfect summer drink. I agree, they are usually way too sweet.

  12. Culinary Flavors June 19, 2017 at 3:27 AM - Reply

    My husband is a big fan of margaritas! I will give this a try! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Elena Bourke June 19, 2017 at 8:20 AM - Reply

    After living in Texas for 30 years, I too appreciate a perfect margarita. My favorite is fresh lime juice, Cointreau, tequila, fresh basil simple syrup and a tiny bit