One More Margarita

I happen to like the taste of tequila, which is odd because I dislike strong cocktails. But margaritas, made with tequila, can be really tasty. The ones I like are also refreshing.

On this blog I’ve posted on my friends’ real margarita, and also my own watermelon margarita. None of that disgusting sweet and sour mix in these recipes, just real ingredients.

Recently I visited an old friend out of town, and on our first night she made margaritas to celebrate. And I was blown away by them.

Gabriella went to visit my friend Stéphane with me in France a few years back. Here we are trying not to giggle about something.

Gabriella has given me permission to share her recipe, which includes expected ingredients, plus a few unexpected ones.

So, one more margarita recipe!

Gabriella’s Margarita
makes one drink

Lime and salt if desired
2 ounces tequila
3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
2 ounces Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2-3 ounces club soda
Twist of freshly ground pepper

Lime and salt a tall glass, and fill with ice cubes.

Mix the tequila, lime juice, and Grand Marnier together in a pourable pitcher. In this photo I hadn’t added the lime juice yet.

Add the agave nectar and stir well.

Pour the margarita over the ice cubes, not filling the glass by more than 2/3 full.

Add club soda and stir to combine.

Then top the margarita with a twist of black pepper.

And that’s it!

It’s more refreshing than a 3-ingredient margarita, what I call a real margarita, because it’s smoother and doesn’t have that bite. But I love both.


The other evening I made myself a real margarita, mostly because it’s the easiest to remember – 1 part tequila, 1 part Cointreau, and 1 part fresh lime juice.

And out of curiosity and for the sake of culinary research, I added Fresca to my margarita. People, I swear Fresca is magical. It lightened and fizzed up the margarita, but also blended all of the flavors.

So however you make your favorite margaritas, try topping them off with chilled club soda or Fresca, and see what you think!

By Published On: July 18th, 201840 Comments

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!

40 Comments

  1. Loretta July 18, 2018 at 7:38 AM - Reply

    There’s nothing like a ‘real margarita’ to dive into. So many of them are made out of mixes which really put me right off. Both the recipes you’ve shared sound so simple and good. Cheers!

    • chef mimi July 18, 2018 at 8:10 AM - Reply

      Exactly. Next time you make one, try adding club soda or something fizzy like Fresca – you’ll be amazed at what it does for the margarita!

  2. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso July 18, 2018 at 9:40 AM - Reply

    I love the addition of fizzy in here. Great idea. Will try it soon!

    • chef mimi July 18, 2018 at 10:13 AM - Reply

      Do try it! It does more than supply some fizz. It’s so good!!!

      • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso July 18, 2018 at 7:41 PM

        Tried it today with club soda – such a difference!

      • chef mimi July 19, 2018 at 8:26 AM

        Isn’t that crazy! So glad you tried it.

      • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso July 19, 2018 at 10:30 AM

        It really is. I’m converted! :)

  3. David July 18, 2018 at 10:03 AM - Reply

    I’m with you – that sweet and sour mix is nasty! We also use agave nectar in ours but I can’t wait to try Gabriella’s proportions! Salut!

    • chef mimi July 18, 2018 at 10:13 AM - Reply

      Yes, her ratios are different. The other night i made a pitcher of margaritas, had friends taste them as is, then added the Fresca. The reaction was overwhelming – every one loved the addition of it. Even though one drinks margaritas for the “bite” the Fresca smoothed everything over. So odd, but it was a fun experiment!

  4. kitchenriffs July 18, 2018 at 10:36 AM - Reply

    This sounds SO interesting — a fun variation. And tequila, lime, and Fresca is actually a thing — it’s the Paloma Cocktail (which I happen to be discussing this week). Anyway, fun post — thanks.

    • chef mimi July 18, 2018 at 10:42 AM - Reply

      No kidding! I thought that was grapefruit juice for some reason. But I’m no bartender. But the next time you make any kind of margarita (everyone’s ratios are so different) try the Fresca trick. It’s truly magical!!

  5. Valentina July 18, 2018 at 2:23 PM - Reply

    Cheers to you and Gabriella! Love that you added the Fresca — I love bubbles in my cocktails. :-)

    • chef mimi July 18, 2018 at 3:34 PM - Reply

      You’ll love this, then, if you like margaritas!

  6. Jodi July 18, 2018 at 8:11 PM - Reply

    what a great idea to add Fresca to your basic “real” margarita! And pepper in the other…. interesting!

    • chef mimi July 19, 2018 at 8:25 AM - Reply

      The pepper didn’t do much for me, so i could take it or leave it. But the club soda and Fresca addition is really wonderful.

  7. Emma July 18, 2018 at 8:30 PM - Reply

    A real margarita is a real treat. What a lovely refreshing recipe.

    • chef mimi July 20, 2018 at 7:32 AM - Reply

      I really dislike cloyingly sweet margaritas – which is what they’re like if that mix is used. It’s just nasty! A summer cocktail should be refreshing!

  8. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs July 19, 2018 at 8:11 AM - Reply

    Yep, I’m making these this weekend. I love that photo of you and your friend, Mimi.. it’s so cute! It made me smile, as if I was in on your secret. :-) xoxo

    • chef mimi July 19, 2018 at 8:23 AM - Reply

      Can you tell we’d had some wine as well!! What a great trip. Have fun with the margaritas.

  9. Greg Henry (@sippitysup) July 19, 2018 at 1:51 PM - Reply

    Of course this is getting a test run ASAP! GREG

    • chef mimi July 20, 2018 at 7:31 AM - Reply

      I can’t wait to see what you think!

  10. kathryninthekitchen July 21, 2018 at 3:26 AM - Reply

    I had to look up Fresca…I haven’t seen it ‘down under’ but then again I am not across all the soft drinks. I can see why it made a real difference – sounds delicious Mimi 🍸🍹💙

    • chef mimi July 21, 2018 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      It’s hard for me to remember who’s in the other hemisphere! I have no idea if Fresca is available worldwide. And I’m sure you’re not making margaritas this time of year!

  11. Roz July 21, 2018 at 9:42 AM - Reply

    Oh my gosh, this looks so refreshing….love the addition of agave Mimi! Cheers!

    • chef mimi July 21, 2018 at 11:04 AM - Reply

      Thanks! It’s very refreshing.

  12. Jeff the Chef July 21, 2018 at 3:54 PM - Reply

    Gorgeous tumblers! I love the twist of pepper. I recently had a pear margarita that was dusted with the finest dusting pepper – delicious! The agave is certainly interesting, as also is the touch of carbonation. Very interesting!

    • chef mimi July 21, 2018 at 3:59 PM - Reply

      The agave compensates for the lower volume of orange liqueur, which also makes the drink less strong. The pepper I could take or leave. I don’t think I’m hip enough for pepper. (My friend is younger than I am!) But the bubbly truly adds something – that you should try.

  13. Gerlinde de Broekert July 22, 2018 at 4:23 PM - Reply

    Both recipes look great. I have to try them soon. Prost!

    • chef mimi July 23, 2018 at 7:02 AM - Reply

      Love it! Thanks!

  14. Abbe@This is How I Cook July 22, 2018 at 10:17 PM - Reply

    Those glasses…And the margarita? One of my favorite drinks. Luckily I have someone who makes them for me all the time. Love the addition of club soda. Makes them a bit lighter for summer!

    • chef mimi July 23, 2018 at 7:03 AM - Reply

      Oh nice – your own bartender! Do try topping off with something fizzy. So far, everyone has embraced it!

  15. My Little Italian Kitchen July 23, 2018 at 4:12 AM - Reply

    Oh I fancy one of those right now! Having quite a few cocktails this summer.. maybe too many but they are fab whilst sitting in the sunshine, relax !

    • chef mimi July 23, 2018 at 7:03 AM - Reply

      I understand. I so enjoyed Pimm’s and Summer Cup when I was in London! Very refreshing!

  16. heather (delicious not gorgeous) July 24, 2018 at 11:33 PM - Reply

    haha same. i like the taste of tequila (especially with citrus and salt!), but can’t stand super strong cocktails (; love this version with grand marnier!

    • chef mimi July 25, 2018 at 8:42 AM - Reply

      I always though an orange liqueur was part of margaritas, but, I’m no mixologist. But if you like them, do try adding something bubbly.

  17. Angela July 25, 2018 at 11:34 PM - Reply

    Yum!! Sounds refreshing

  18. Cynthia | What A Girl Eats July 29, 2018 at 7:47 PM - Reply

    i like the idea of adding the club soda to lighten it up!

    • chef mimi July 29, 2018 at 9:08 PM - Reply

      It’s fabulous!

  19. camparigirl August 3, 2018 at 8:16 PM - Reply

    I second that – I had never thought of adding club soda. Trying this tonight.

    • chef mimi August 4, 2018 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      Haven’t tested this on one person who doesn’t agree it improves the drinkability of a margarita. And smooths it out somehow…

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