5 magnificent margarita recipes to make now

When making your own margarita, make sure it starts with 100 percent agave tequila, fresh lime juice and a quality orange liqueur. Stick with these fool-proof recipes and recommendations to avoid heartbreak.

Tequila Daisy
David Wondrich’s recipe reprinted with permission from liquor.com
1 serving

½ oz. lemon juice
½ tsp. superfine sugar
2 oz. reposado tequila
½ oz. Grand Marnier
Seltzer water

• In a cocktail shaker, stir together the lemon juice and sugar. Add the tequila and Grand Marnier. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with a splash of seltzer.

Classic Margarita
1 serving

2 oz. blanco tequila
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. triple sec
Lime wheel and coarse sea salt, for garnish

• In an ice-filled shaker, combine the tequila, lime juice and triple sec. Shake vigorously and strain into a salted, chilled cocktail or ice-filled double Old-Fashioned glass. Garnish with the lime wheel.

Dale’s Ultimate Mango-Rita
Reprinted with permission from Dale DeGroff’s “Craft of the Cocktail”
1 serving

2 mango slices
½ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. triple sec
1½ oz. tequila
¾ oz. lime juice
Lime wheel, for garnish

• In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mango slices with the simple syrup and triple sec. Add the tequila and lime juice. Fill the shaker with ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the lime wheel.

Prefer to leave the bartending to the professionals? Check out our 4 favorite local margaritas from classics on the rocks to boozy blended perfection.

Spicy Margarita 
1 serving

2 to 3 jalapeno slices, seeded
¼ oz. agave nectar
2 oz. reposado tequila
1 oz. lime juice
¾ oz. Ancho Reyes chili liqueur
Lime wheel, chili pepper and coarse sea salt, for garnish

• In a shaker, muddle the jalapenos with the agave nectar. Add the tequila, lime juice and Ancho Reyes. Fill the shaker with ice, shake vigorously and double-strain into a salted, ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with the lime wheel and chili pepper.

Margaritas for 10

20 oz. blanco tequila
8 oz. water
7½ oz. triple sec
6 oz. lime juice

• Combine all ingredients in a large, sealable container and stir gently. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to bottles, pitchers or a punch bowl to serve.

Batch Made in Heaven

Making cocktails for a crowd isn’t difficult, but it’s more involved than just scaling up a single-serving recipe. Here are a couple tips for the perfect mix.

• Water is an integral ingredient in any cocktail and should comprise 20 to 30 percent of the total volume. When making individual drinks, it comes from shaking or stirring with ice. For multiple drinks, it’s easier to add water directly to the batch. Determine the final volume of your batched cocktail, multiply by 20 percent (.20) and add that much water to start. Taste and add more if necessary.

• Citrus juice gets progressively more sour the more you use. Before multiplying the amount of juice in the single recipe by the number of drinks you want to make, multiply the base amount by 20 percent (.20). Starting at 8-out-of-10 sour power will help avoid a mouth-puckering experience, and you can always bump up the citrus if needed.

To Salt a Glass

Ever see a bartender rub a margarita glass on a janky sponge, then plunge the glass headfirst into a plate of salt? Not only is this unsanitary AF, it also affects the taste of the cocktail by getting salt inside the glass.

For a better result, pour a tablespoon of coarse sea salt (not table salt!) onto a small plate. Rub a lime wedge around half the outer rim of the glass, then gently roll just that outer rim in the salt. Salting half the glass lets imbibers decide how much salt they want with each sip.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.