Recipe: The Best Margaritas

national margarita day is feb 22!


fresh, simple margarita recipe




This is literally what I g-chatted Joe several years ago when Twitter informed me that February 22 is National Margarita Day. Plans were immediately made to hit up our fave Mexican restaurant in SF. Margs and Mexican food are basically religion in our household, after all. Subsequently, every year I’ve forgotten about it until social media reminds me again, but this year, I managed to get it on my calendar. Which is lucky for you, because with Joe’s permission, I am sharing a very famous family recipe — Joe’s lethal margarita recipe. These are so good, I insisted we serve them at our wedding, and I worked with our venue to make sure they tasted exactly as they do at home. Don’t bother with gross mixes. These margaritas are made with fresh squeezed lime, tequila, triple sec, and NO additional sweetener. No agave nectar, no simple syrup, no way.

Now, in truth, we’ll sometimes mix up how much citrus we use (using lemon instead of orange, as in today’s recipe), but I tested the recipe below and it’s Joe approved, so roll with it. In our family, Joe always makes the margaritas while I do the cooking, so I was pretty proud when I managed to re-create these at home one afternoon with basic guidelines from him. And thus, the manatee has become the mento.

If you’re used to margaritas that are a lot sweeter, you can add additional orange, but I like how refreshingly limey these are — the true flavor of the citrus really comes through. National Margarita Day is this coming Saturday, so plan a fajita night and go for it. Oh, and also, I can’t stress enough that you should really only plan on drinking one of these. This is a one sip and, “Hello, I’m drunk” situation. Two makes a spontaneous dance party all but a sure thing. Here’s how to make ’em and dance the night away: 

The Best Margaritas Ever

Makes 2 generously sized margaritas

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (usually about 6-8 limes, depending on how much juice they yield)
1-2 tbsp of freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1/4 of a navel orange, juiced)
3/4 cup silver tequila (we like using Milagro; select something that is smooth, and whatever you do, don’t use gold tequila)
1/3 cup triple sec
— lime wedges
— kosher or sea salt

Mix the ingredients together in a non-reactive pitcher or serving container. Stir well.

Select two lowball cocktail glasses. Run the lime wedges around the rim of each glass. On a shallow salad plate, pour out a little salt, then dip and spin the rimmed glass into the salt so it sticks to the lime juice. If you don’t want salt, you can omit this step.

Add lots of ice to each glass. Pour the margarita over the top and serve. These will mellow out as the ice melts and the colder they get — you want LOTS of ice! :)

Enjoy with chips and guac, fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, chilaquiles, rellenos, tampiqueña…mmmm

Leave a Comment


  1. Margarita is my favorite drink! But i like when is prepared by someone else :)

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  2. Yeah baby! thanks for giving me a few days notice! Margaritas are the house wine in this house too, and your recipe sounds perfect. I like to throw a slice of jalapeno on top to garnish! Adds great flavor and less heat than you’d expect. Happy Marg Day!

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  3. From one Texan to another– LOVE this! Always looking for new ways to make margs and not having to use the icky pre-made mix is always a plus!

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  4. jillian wrote:

    yum! i havent had a good margarita for years! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  5. I have a tried and true margarita recipe but if you say this is the best ever, in my experience, you’re usually right – I’m going to have to whip these babies up!!

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  6. Definitley going to have to pin this and whip it up for a patio party!

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  7. Jen wrote:

    Yummmm! I love margaritas. It’s finally getting warmer out so the idea of sipping one outdoors is sounding more and more appealing.

    I’ll have to bookmark this recipe for the weekend :)


    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  8. BOOKMARKING THIS! but when can I come over and have the real deal!?

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  9. Jourdin wrote:

    Pinning this! These look amazing. I need to get better at staples like a good marg (at least it’s a staple in my book!)

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  10. Brittany wrote:

    This post makes me so happy. Thank you!

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  11. Oohh! Thanks for sharing, I didn’t know that Feb 22nd was National Margarita Day! Those look so tasty and wicked refreshing! Hope you are surviving the brutally cold winter in NYC.

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  12. Steph wrote:

    Vitamin C, good for you!!

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  13. alexa wrote:

    Simple and perfect. And gorgeous photos too. ;)

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  14. Elisa Bieg wrote:

    hahahaha “the manatee has become the mento”!!!

    Thanks for the laugh and for the fab recipe! Can’t wait to try it.

    19 Feb 2014 · Reply
  15. Kate wrote:

    I like the addition of orange juice. I’m not a fan of very sweet margaritas myself so I think I would enjoy these. Thanks for the “one sip and I’m drunk” warning. I will proceed with caution!

    21 Feb 2014 · Reply
  16. Ok this looks lush! xx

    23 Feb 2014 · Reply
  17. dude, everyday is national marg day in my world. trying this. thanks, joe!!! hope you kids had fun in SF. oxox

    23 Feb 2014 · Reply
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