Whether you’re setting up a home bar or want to re-create your favorite bar cocktail, knowing what ingredients you need for a margarita is crucial. From tequila and orange liqueur, citrus juice and mix-ins, we’ll break down the basic margarita ingredients you should have on hand.
While you’re at it, these are the classic cocktail recipes you need to know.
The Basic Ingredients for a Margarita
A classic margarita is made with tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice, in a 3-2-1 proportion. For a single serving, that means 1 ½ ounces of tequila, ½ ounce of orange liqueur and ¼ ounce of lime juice.
This ratio can also be used to make a pitcher of margaritas for your next party. Simply combine 2 cups of tequila with 1 cup of orange liqueur and ½ cup of lime juice in a pitcher, top with ice and split evenly between 16 festive glasses. If you’re in need of a new set, these are our picks for the best margarita glasses.
As the main ingredient of a margarita, the tequila you use is incredibly important. For those who are less familiar, tequila is a spirit made from blue agave grown in the Jalisco region of Mexico. Piñas, or the agave heart, is harvested, baked, fermented, distilled and then either aged or bottled to be shipped around the world. Here’s more on how tequila is made.
When it comes to margaritas, you’ll typically want to go with a Blanco tequila. This type of tequila is unaged, resulting in a clear final product that’s bold, peppery and has a touch of sweetness. The bright, spirit-forward flavor of this tequila type pairs incredibly well with the citrus of the orange liqueur and lime juice.
Some of the blanco tequilas that we reach for when making a margarita include Hornitos Plata, Espolòn Blanco, Casamigos Blanco and Patrón Silver, which range from about $25-50 for a 750 ml bottle. Check out more of our picks for the best tequila for margaritas.
Though Blanco tequila is the usual choice for margaritas, it isn’t the only type of tequila you can use. Here are some other types of tequila you should know:
Reposado tequilas are aged in oak barrels for up to a year, giving them a golden color. It has a slightly more mellow flavor than blanco tequila. Reposado tequila tastes great in any margarita, but especial ones spiced with jalapeno or chile.
Anejo, which means “aged” in Spanish, is tequila that has been aged in oak barrels for 1-3 years. In that time, the tequila develops an amber color, smooth texture and a complex flavor profile that includes vanilla and floral notes. Because of its complexity, anejo tequila is considered a sipping tequila and isn’t usually mixed into a margarita.
As the name implies, extra anejo is…