Margaritas are synonymous with Mexico.
They’re the quintessential Mexican cocktail!
Indeed, one of the best things to do in Mexico is to sip real Mexican margaritas on the beach – made with fresh fruit juice (of course!), not mix.
Both lime and tamarind margaritas are our go-to drinks when we visit Mexico.
Then when we return home, we’re always on the hunt for the perfect margarita recipe to mimic those great margaritas in Mexico we drank.
So we reached out to a host of top food-and-drink bloggers to help us – we share their best margarita recipes below.
About Mexican margaritas
But first, let’s learn some fun facts about Mexican margaritas.
It’s not actually clear who invented the margarita – or if margaritas are really Mexican.
Margarita Sames, a Dallas socialite, swore that she first created the drink for guests at her Acapulco holiday home in 1948. Then her buddy Tommy Hilton added the drink to his Hilton hotel bar menus.
But the more widely accepted story goes that Carlos “Danny” Herrera whipped up the cocktail back in 1938 for a beautiful Ziegfeld showgirl, Marjorie King, at his Rancho La Gloria restaurant in Tijuana.
She apparently was allergic to all alcohol except tequila, but didn’t want to drink it straight.
So Herrera combined tequila, lime and salt – and the margarita was born.
Whatever its origins, the margarita has become one of the world’s most popular cocktails – and it’s America’s favorite cocktail, according to Nielsen stats.
Given that so many people love the drink, it’s little wonder that Mexican margaritas even have their own holiday! Yes, there’s a “National Margarita Day,” held on February 22 each year.
What kind of tequila for margaritas should you use?
When it comes to the tequila for margaritas, make sure you use a good one.
For most margaritas, a silver or blanco (young and unaged) tequila is best for a smooth taste.
Ideally, look for a tequila that says “100% blue agave” or “100% agave azul.”
Some well-known brands are Herradura, El Jimador, Clase Azul and Don Julio. (Anything less than 100% is considered a tequila mixto.)
Tequila is only tequila if made from 100% blue agave plants.
And the only place where blue agave plants are grown is in Mexico’s state of Jalisco. (Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco; Puerto Vallarta is also in Jalisco state.)
To really get into the spirit, serve your Mexican cocktails in beautiful margarita glasses.
Missing a blender? Check out these different varieties of blenders on Amazon.
Pour just the right amount of alcohol using a jigger.
Some of these recipes call for a muddler to muddle an ingredient (meaning to press it against the side of the glass).
Best Mexican margarita recipes
Here, now, are some great recipes for how to make Mexican margaritas at home.
And with so many different Mexican fruits, you can create a whole range of homemade margaritas – from the original lime margarita to pineapple, peach, kiwi and other fruit margaritas.
You’ll even find some exotic and spicy variations! Apple cinnamon mezcal margaritas, anyone?
Ahhh, the classic margarita! Think of it as the refined version of the original margarita concocted by Hererra back in 1938 in his Mexican restaurant.
It’s the most popular of all Mexican margaritas.
And it’s soooo easy to make. Ask any margarita purist, and they’ll tell you the classic margarita recipe only requires three ingredients – tequila, orange liqueur (like Cointreau or Triple Sec) and fresh-squeezed lime juice.
Serve it on the rocks in a ratio of 3-2-1, the perfect proportions, whether mixing for 2 people or 20.
Want a Cadillac margarita? It’s the “premium” version. The Cadillac margarita recipe calls for a top-shelf tequila and Grand Marnier (a mix of cognac, distilled bitter orange essence and sugar) instead of Triple Sec.
Lower in calories than a regular margarita, the skinny orange margarita here is made with agave nectar instead of a higher-calorie orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec).
In fact, it’s about half the calories of a classic margarita! Now you don’t have to feel guilty about having two.
Tip: Fresh juice works best in this orange margarita recipe.
Here’s a wintery twist on the traditional Mexican tequila cocktail.
This cranberry margarita recipe blends the salty flavor of tequila with the slightly sweet tartness of cranberry juice – and tweaks it with a kick of ginger beer.
Who doesn’t love mangos! They make some of the best Mexican margaritas.
You find sweet ripe mangos everywhere in Mexico. But they’re often hard to find in the grocery store at home.
No worries, though. This frozen mango margarita uses pre-cut frozen mango (available in the freezer section).
And if you don’t like mangos, simply substitute frozen strawberries instead.
If you find mango margaritas a little too sweet for your taste, try this spicy pineapple jalapeno margarita. Crushed jalapeno infuses a touch of heat, which tempers the naturally sweet flavor of the pineapple and orange juices.
Don’t forget to rim the edge of the glass with salt and chile for an extra dash of spice!
When it’s hot outside, you want an easy cocktail that's delightfully cool. Say hello to watermelon margaritas!
As a blended slushy-style drink, this frozen watermelon margarita recipe creates a smooth summer sipper that everyone loves.
Skip the tequila for a virgin thirst-quencher.
In the mood to try an unusual take on the traditional Mexican margarita? This coconut kiwi margarita blends coconut milk (for texture and richness) with the subtle tropical flavors of kiwi fruit.
Rim the glass with sugar to enhance the sweetness of this summery cocktail.
For another great twist on the classic Mexican cocktail, whip up a jalapeno cucumber margarita.
The jalapeno adds a hint of heat, while the cucumber cools it down – and it’s all perfectly balanced and refreshing.
Who knew you could make a margarita from apple juice?
A great cocktail for fall, this recipe calls for mezcal, apple juice, lime juice and a dash of cinnamon. (Mezcal is made from the same agave plant as tequila, but the agave is typically roasted in a fire pit, which gives it a smoky savory flavor.)
Cinnamon stir sticks and apple slices make the perfect garnish.
Let’s face it, margaritas can pack more than a few calories. But it’s possible to dial down the caloric hit with this skinny spicy margarita recipe.
Rim the glass with chili salt for an extra explosion of flavor.
Spice, baby, spice. Yes, here’s another spicy margarita!
This jalapeno strawberry margarita recipe is easy to make. A great summer drink, it also pairs perfectly with a BBQ.
A Cinco de Mayo celebration on your mind? Then whip up these spicy peach margaritas. Jalapeno adds some zest.
They’re sweet, tart, citrusy, salty and spicy all at the same time – and bursting with a delicious peach flavor.
Feel free to swap out the peach fruit and substitute strawberries or mango instead.
Bust out the blender! You’re making a slushy pineapple margarita cocktail.
Go easy, and use a bag of frozen pineapple chunks bought from the store. Or if you prefer, freeze some fresh pineapple. Or use chopped fresh pineapple with lots of ice.
For variety, mix up this tequila cocktail by using half frozen peaches and half frozen pineapple.
Sweet but tangy. Subtly spiced. This blood orange margarita is an elevated take on the classic margarita cocktail.
What makes this margarita special? The blood oranges. They’re a type of orange with flesh that’s a deep, dark ruby red in color.
Tip: A reposado (or aged) tequila works particularly well in this margarita recipe. It lends a slightly caramel flavor to the drink.
And now we come full circle (almost), back to original Mexican margaritas, with this simple margarita recipe.
This lime margarita is quick and easy to make – and will have you dreaming of being back on the beach in Mexico in no time.
Now you know the best margarita recipes
As you can tell, there’s a margarita for everyone!
From authentic Mexican margarita recipes to the trendy, these are sure to become your new favorite Mexican cocktails.
Let us know in the Comments below which ones you like best.
About the authors:
Janice and George Mucalov
Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George are the owners and founders of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents.
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